Would you hold an unhappy customer to their sole agency contract?
I often look through the internet at Google searches such as-
- The main problems facing estate agents
- Estate agent problems
- Biggest issues facing estate agents
- Estate agency issues
And there are as many responses detailing customers problems with estate agents as there are search responses giving information about what issues estate agents face themselves. I see advice from all sides for consumers and how they should deal with any complaints they have.
I know that the best way to avoid complaints from your customers is to provide excellent service but there may be times when someone is dissatisfied with what you’ve tried to do for them. So my question is, what would you do in that situation?
Mi, personally can’t see a situation where I’d want to hold an unhappy customer to the end of their sole agency contract. Of course if someone asked to leave the contract and I suspected a deal being struck up with a buyer I’d introduced, then this is a different situation. But even then I don’t think I’d hold them to the contract. I’d follow up the end of the contract with a letter confirming the payable fee, the terms under which the fee should be paid and a confirmation of all the buyers I’d introduced to the property. This can be followed up later with confirmation from Land Registry of the name of any new buyer.
In terms of a potential unhappy vendor, there are a few ways of going about resolving the situation and understanding the complaint is the first call. This will obviously come about from dialogue with your customers – and open dialogue will hopefully stop many of these instances from happening in the first place. Once you’ve opened the lines of communication with your vendors at the start of your relationship you should never let them close again. I’ve blogged before about having a set schedule of communication, and I don’t see how this should ever change
But if you do find yourself in a complaint or dissatisfaction situation then talking it out will always help. The best place for this may well be to visit the vendor in their home. It gives then the safer ground, rather than the impersonality of the telephone or asking them to visit your office. Finding out the true nature of the problem and proposing solid, actionable steps to resolve it is the professional way to deal with it. If it can’t be resolved in this way then I suggest that it’s probably best to part ways. And formally end the contract with a letter like the one above.
I’d rather spend my time on customers that are pulling in the same direction.