The VW Scandal and why it Matters to Estate Agents.

Well folks it’s been a pretty interesting week.

Our internet crashed like the VW stock price and I had a day of being stuck in the wifi wilderness. It was strange. Lonely. Disconcerting. I even had to speak with some people over the phone.

Joking aside but keeping it topical it appears that VW have been telling a few porkies and is rapidly losing the trust and confidence of the public. Its PR machine, which is surprisingly not that well oiled in my experience, is grinding into action.

For them it’s pure damage limitation. It’ll take years to rebuild its reputation. The trust it has lost will require a lot of hard work and money on their behalf to regain.

Gaining a customer’s trust is hard. Losing it is easy.

Estate agents, just like journalists, aren’t instantly trusted – in fact often it’s the opposite. We have to work hard to gain it.

I think the best way to gain confidence is by showing someone how good you are rather than telling them. Even better still if it’s a delighted client of yours doing the telling you have in your hands PR gold.

I wrote a blog last month about what estate agents were doing to say thanks to clients who had used their services. It caused quite a stir and one of the big things that came out of it was agents telling me that a lot of clients didn’t thank them. Well that’s just bad manners.

However, if you do receive praise from a client whether it’s a nice thank you card, an email or a telephone call what are you doing with them?

Stuck on a wall, bunged in a draw, filed in an archive folder on your PC or simply forgotten about?

A big trick is often missed when it comes to making the most out of delighted clients. Why not be proactive and ask them for a testimonial?

That public proof will help build trust with people looking at your company and could be the deal clincher which sees them instruct you rather than your rivals.

So how do you get more than a simple ‘thanks, you guys were brill’? Two ways spring to mind.

  1. Again be proactive – have a post sale questionnaire to send to them. Ask them what they thought of your service – how they would rate you and would they recommend you? Then use the feedback within your marketing materials and promotional activity.
  2. This one is a safer bet but requires a little more legwork – If you know you have done a great job for a client approach them with a view to turning their experience into a case study for your business. Part of our PR package includes writing case studies that read like success stories rather than blatant marketing. People love a good human interest story.

A great example of this is what a company called Michael Jones of Worthing do with its Hear our Customers section. We don’t work with them but they deserve credit as they are turning their happy shoppers into PR and marketing magicians working on their behalf. It’s well worth a look.

As I mentioned we write up a lot of great case studies for agents across the country and we’d be delighted to talk to you about your needs or any questions you have.

We can even show you examples we’ve done for our clients AND provide testimonials that glow so brightly it’s as if they’ve been dipped in Ready Brek (for those of you that remember that old advert).

I’ll leave you with a quote I’ve lifted from the internet so it must be true:

“The most expensive thing in the world is trust, it takes years to earn and seconds to lose.”

I’m not sure who said it but I bet it is something that the now former CEO of VW can really relate to.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction.

Jerry

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Jerry Lyons

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