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‘Good communication helps keep vendor expectations in check’

Improved communication and increased transparency throughout the buying process can manage vendors’ expectations, improve satisfaction scores and create long-term clients.

That’s the view of those behind sales progression and communication tool mio.

Transactions taking too long remains an issue for many vendors and can sometimes be down to unrealistic expectations left unchallenged, says mio product director Jon Horton. 

"When it comes to chains and sales progression, agents have been working in silos for far too long. An inability to provide sellers with quantifiable updates and show what is going on across the chain could lead to overpromising and a general vagueness” he claims.

"It's this issue which means there are too many grey areas for consumers, increasing the chances of misunderstanding and frustration. If sellers can't get access to information and updates they require, it's no wonder so many feel transactions take too long" Horton adds.

A recent survey of over 5,000 vendors carried out by comparison website GetAgent found that 63 per cent of respondents felt their sale took too long, with only two per cent indicating that their property sold quicker than expected.

Horton says sales progression is a key element of the moving process and can be a ‘swing factor’ in whether a consumer uses an agent again.

"Effective communication is an integral part of sales progression. It’s the single largest area of complaint to The Property Ombudsman and agents need to get better by keeping clients regularly informed, providing timelines and up to date information on the status of transactions," Horton adds.

"This allows agents to manage expectations and reduce the number of unsatisfied customers who think their transaction took too long.”

Since 2017, the government has been working to improve the home buying and selling process and reducing transaction times; the national average throughout 2018 was around 18 weeks, or 126 days.

"It’s crazy to think that a decade ago the average was somewhere between 10 to 12 weeks and with advances in technology and data insight, one would expect the process to have become quicker, not slower," says Horton.

Government measures so far announced include publishing 'How to Buy' and 'How to Sell' booklets and looking closely at whether the introduction of reservation agreements could help.

"Alongside the government’s intervention, the technology available to agents and consumers has improved significantly in recent years. It's now much easier for agents to manage chains, provide relevant information and communicate with consumers” says Horton, whose product was piloted for 18 months in Cardiff.

He claims it helped slash average fall-through rates to 21 per cent compared to the UK norm of 33 per cent, and contributed towards speeding up users’ transactions to exchange from the estimated average of 126 days down to 85 between September 2017 to April 2019.

  • Matthew Gardiner Legge

    Great communication, great Proptech... all good tools for manging vendor expectations BUT it's the conveyancing process that continues to hold back the sales process. And that's the real problem.

  • Jon Horton

    There does appear to be a bit of a blame culture throughout the process but the agent is still the go to person in the eyes of the vendor and buyer so a lack of communication just exacerbated the whole situation. mio cleverly uses data feeds from third part systems which include legal milestones to update the whole of market picture portrayed across the chain in mio. Hands free sales progression for some agents which they warm to.

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