According to a report from Quick Move Now, the overall number of failed property transactions has dropped dramatically since 2018: from an eye-watering 50% in the last quarter, to a more manageable 25.49% between March and June this year.
Despite this tentatively optimistic news for the UK property market as a whole, it remains important that agents stay proactive in managing property chains; the same report informs that almost a third of failed transactions were the result of chain collapse.
From baby-sitting first time buyers to mediating messy divorce settlements, property chains and their associated host of headaches and complications are unfortunately an unavoidable part of any estate agent’s life. There are so many factors making your property chains precarious – but what can you do to help stop them from collapsing?
Communication Is Key
According to Property Road’s survey of over 3000 consumers, one of the top three most desired traits that sellers look for in an estate agent is great customer service. This may not be surprising; at its core, Estate Agency is a service industry, so great customer service should always be at the forefront of any agent’s mind.
With great customer service comes the need for exceptional communication – but this can be difficult when it comes to long property chains. With so many people and parties involved in each step of the process and at each level of the chain, communicating progress can often become a lengthy and repetitive game of chinese whispers. To your customer, this can easily come across as ill-informed and under-prepared. In fact, according to the Property Ombudsman’s annual report 2018, the most common cause of complaint about estate agents is related to poor communication and record keeping.
You can put an end to this using mio’s secure instant messaging features which help you establish better relationships with your customers and across the whole chain, bridging communication gaps and succinctly communicating milestones in a single update.
Sometimes all the customer wants to hear is that something is happening even if it’s taking a bit longer. Providing regular updates can help reduce panic and associated problems so will always be well received.
While it is unavoidable that conveyancing and mortgage processes take a while, the real danger lies in your customer’s frustration at waiting. According to EMEA Matterport study, homebuyers further down the property chain can be left in the dark for months at a time during this period, resulting in dissatisfaction and volatility. Recent studies reveal that 55% of people would pull out of a transaction due to lack of visible progress.
Don’t be afraid to be transparent with your customers. All they want is the truth so they aren’t met with any nasty surprises further down the line.
mio’s concise notification system allows all parties to regularly check up on each step of the process, providing agents, buyers and sellers alike timely updates on progress and a live feed at their fingertips. Facilitating a view on the bigger picture for your customer will greatly reduce stress, and mediate the risk of fallthrough.
Get Your Timing Right
According to GetAgent survey, 63% of sellers felt that their deals took too long – unsurprising when you consider that completion in UK has been known to take up to 25 months. Yet of course, this doesn’t account for circumstances that are out of your control, such as down valuations by mortgage lender’s surveyor or a buyers financial situation hindering securing a mortgage.
Don’t let this be the deal-breaker – introducing your customers to mio can change the game. During our trial period in Cardiff we reduced average completion time from the national average of 126 days to 85 days – that’s a reduction of almost a third. Your customers will reap the rewards with faster completion rates and spend less time twiddling their thumbs! By speeding up the deal, your customers are less likely to pull-out which helps keep the chain from collapsing. Additionally there will be no more wasting time following up on unanswered phone calls and abandoned email chains.
All of these things can help your sales progression soar with happier customers and a significant reduction in fall-through rates. You’ll be setting your branch apart from the rest with mio and working towards building a reputation for dealing well with difficult property chains and providing excellent customer care. And, with this, your customers will be sure to recommend you to a friend! Your sales pipeline is your lifeblood; invest in sales progression and don’t see it as a burden.