We have been lucky enough this month to have 2 training days with Richard Rawlings, the ‘Estate Agency Trainer of the Year 2012’. Richard is widely regarded as being one of the UK’s most innovative and challenging trainers within estate & lettings agency, helping agents to substantially increase their market share. His ideas are effective both in teaching good agency technique and also by inspiring the latest thinking in contemporary estate agency. We were all, therefore, very excited at the prospect of hearing from Richard!
The training started off by focusing on the brand of ‘Sewell & Gardner’ and ensuring that we stand out from the competition by doing something different, making us a ‘remarkable’ agent, not just a great one. Sometimes being remarkable is not about the newest gadget or the flashiest website, it is about common courtesy, caring about the customer and putting ourselves in their shoes to appreciate the stresses of selling or renting a home. We genuinely believe that this is our forte, and that each and every member of our team works at Sewell & Gardner because of the agency’s reputation within the town and how highly regarded we are within our community.
We also learnt about the importance of promoting ourselves as individuals to give each customer their own personal point of contact and hence overall giving unique customer service. We hope that we offer our customers a little insight into our own lives so that the interaction is more evenly balanced and our customers know we are human and not just robots on the end of the phone!
Out of the 20 of us who took part in the training, the feedback was extremely positive and everyone seemed to take away a different aspect which they wanted to focus on in their everyday jobs. Some of the most notable ideas included:
The sales team focusing on the importance of prompt feedback to vendors and ensuring properties were regularly re-positioned in the market to renew interest. It is imperative to put ourselves into the minds of our customers, to understand how they feel when someone has been shown around their home and has made lots of ‘ooh ahh’ noises and then they leave and anticipate the feedback. So they may sit by the phone desperate to hear from the agency and as the hours go by the disappointment and frustration grows. The sales team have promised to make it their mission to ensure this doesn’t happen, and that ‘ooh & ahh’ is expanded upon, be it positive or negative, as quickly as possible!
In lettings we decided to focus on the importance of making that extra phone call every day in an effort to gain more business. This market has seen the biggest shortage of rental stock in years; we need to make sure that every avenue is explored and, whilst our competition rely on leaflet dropping (many through doors of empty homes), we want to speak to our prospective landlords and explain everything they need to know about the rental market in our area. After all, we have the most qualified ARLA agents around, so we can offer the very best advice possible! The trick is to find those ‘prospective landlords’ currently looking to build a rental portfolio and that is why we run our regular ‘Investor Tours’ to encourage anybody looking to buy a rental investment (from any agency in our area) to speak to us for unbiased yield calculations and information on everything the investor needs to know, regardless of which agency they purchase through.
There was obviously a lot more gained from this training experience, but we can’t give all our secrets away – you will just have to invite us round for a valuation or pop into our offices to see our skills in action!
Since our training with Richard, there has been a much greater feeling of confidence in both the sales and lettings offices. We are all very proud to be a part of the Sewell & Gardner brand and confident in our ability to provide the very best in customer service! We hope you agree…