By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.


Compliance expert: Agency complaints are inevitable

High transaction volumes are likely to lead to more complaints about agents, a compliance expert claims.

Paul Offley, compliance officer at The Guild of Property Professionals, said that while it is never a pleasant experience receiving a complaint, if handled correctly it can be used as a learning tool for the business.

It comes as data from The Property Ombudsman showed agency sales complaints rose last year as issues became more complex.


Offley said: “If you think about the number of customer interactions an agent has on a daily and weekly basis the figures really do start to add up. 

“Think about the viewings arranged, market appraisals, offers received, sales negotiated, tenancies arranged and managed, the list goes on.

“Out of all of that, the majority of your customers will be happy with the service the agent provides, but as in any organisation, the odd thing does go wrong, and what is really important about a complaint is how the agent deals with it.”

He said agents need to ensure they have a complaints procedure in place that is clearly displayed on their website.

Offley said an agent should acknowledge receipt of a complaint, ideally within three working days or less, adding: “The next step is to do a full and thorough investigation around the complaint, paying attention to what they have complained about and the response from the business during the incident. 

“If something has gone wrong, don’t be apprehensive about acknowledging that it has gone wrong, but steps are being taken to rectify it. While we are all striving to do the best for our customers, mistakes can happen and it is better to be honest about it to the consumer.”

He said where some firms fall on the procedure is not looking at why the complaint happened.

Offley added: “Is it because someone’s knowledge is not quite where is needs to be? Is it because someone’s interpretation of the legislation is slightly different to what it is in reality? Is further staff training required in some areas of the business? 

“Complaints should always be used as an opportunity to review processes and check whether the business needs to be doing things in a different manner to avoid an issue occurring in the future.

“If an agent responds to a complaint effectively, does a root cause analysis of why it has occurred and learns from it, then a potentially negative thing can be turned into a massive success and a positive growth and development tool.”


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up