Unfortunately for Estate Agents, sales progression is a slow and lengthy process: recent figures show that on average it takes over 27 weeks from offer to exchange of contracts.
Even more unfortunately, slow sales progression is one of the core contributors to broken chains and fall throughs. Customers who are already cautious due to rising uncertainty in the UK property market often pull out of deals that they feel are stagnating or breaking down. Every hour that a sale stalls is another hour the customer has to find another property or agent, or begin questioning their investment. Combined with the current hostile state of the market, slow sales progression has never been more deadly to the UK Estate Agent.
As so much of the sales progression process is outside of your personal control, it is therefore doubly important that you take care over the next possible pressure point on the chain: your customer.By educating your customer clearly and transparently on the sales progression process, you aren’t just looking after them – you are looking after your sale, your chain, and therefore your bottom line.
Make Your Milestones Clear
If your customers have a clear view of the road ahead, you can begin setting expectations early. Knowing what is coming and how far they have come in the process improves transparency, and prevents the customer from feeling like they are constantly coming up against obstacle after obstacle. The mio integrated app provides your customer with a clear and simplified view of the sales progression milestones, and updates them in real time as you tick them off.
Set Realistic Expectations Early, and Anticipate Delays
It’s essential that your customer understands what a realistic timeframe is for their area. Customers basing their expectations on the national average or on experiences of friends or family from different parts of the country can be dangerous as sales progression times can vary wildly from county to county. For example, according to research by EMEA Matterport, the average sale takes six months and 24 days, but in London it takes eight months on average, which is significantly longer. Ensure you give a clear indication of how long you expect the whole process to take from beginning to end. That way, the customer has a better understanding and you can be judged on a fairer benchmark.
Additionally, when issues arise, it’s important that you let your customer know not only that you expect a delay, but that you are prepared for it. Make sure that they know that nothing will take you by surprise, and that you are prepared for all outcomes, and they will trust your authority.
Keep Customers Active
With a clear view of the milestones ahead a customer can also see clearly exactly what they can do to speed things up as fast as possible. For example, ensure that the customer’s solicitor has been informed of the sale before it goes on the market, so that you are able to hit the ground running when a sale does come through. This has the added effect of allowing the customer to feel they have some personal control over the situation.
Show, Don’t Tell
It’s no secret that there’s often a sense of mistrust between a customer and their agent. Centrally, if you are able to easily demonstrate your actions and your efforts to complete a sale with clear action, this will always work better than simply telling them.
The mio integrated app is the perfect way to show your commitment to reaching completion and exchanging as quickly and efficiently as possible. Each milestone is checked off as it is completed, showing your customer clearly the actions and steps you are taking on their behalf.
Lucy Luxton, mio client and Branch Manager at Fox & Sons in Tiverton, has this to say:
“Where our homemovers are making use of the mio app, we’ve noticed a big difference in our relationship with them, as it helps to manage their expectations and keep them well informed. They are more proactive, understand what’s supposed to be happening next, and even if I do drop them a courtesy call, they typically say “oh yes, I already knew that as I’ve seen it on the app”.