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‘Property ghosting’ is a problem that nearly all estate and letting agencies will face at one time or another.
Ghosting, which is normally associated with online dating, is now being used as a term to describe people who indicate an interest in properties and then ‘ghost’ the agent, seller or landlord by suddenly cutting all lines of communication.
According to a survey of more than 1,000 consumers and industry experts conducted by Savoystewart.co.uk, some 96% of people have looked at properties even though they have no intention of moving or buying.
While this isn’t an issue when people browse for property online – as the majority do – there is a small number of consumers who have taken more extreme steps. This includes 10% who have attended an open house viewing and 8% who have attended a personal viewing despite having no interest in taking things further.
Why does ghosting happen?
When questioned about their motivation for attending a viewing, most consumers said it was purely down to wanting to snoop on other people’s homes. In some cases, people said they were looking for inspiration or considering buying a property close by.
Some 50% of those surveyed, meanwhile, confessed to actively looking for homes that they knew were out of their price range with 'high-spec and desirable features’ like swimming pools and home gyms.
Nearly half of those responding admitted to looking at properties at least once a month, even though they have no desire to move to a new house.
According to Savoy Stewart, there are a number of red flags for agents to look out for when it comes to recognising window-shopping enthusiasts and those most likely to ghost agents. These include not wanting to give out multiple points of contact, not knowing what they're looking for when being asked qualifying questions and getting offended when being asked personal questions.
To ensure ghosting isn’t an issue, agents could look to ‘touch base’ once a week directly after the date of a consumer’s enquiry or viewing.
Six months after the initial enquiry or viewing, if there has been no subsequent correspondence, you could send them a courtesy email and afterwards archive them and their details.
Attracting genuine movers
While avoiding ‘ghosting’ completely might not be possible, having an excellent, slickly designed website and a fully functioning, all-in-one property software system can drastically improve your chances of enticing genuine movers rather than those who are merely seeking to be nosey.
Here at Gnomen we can offer both those things. We also offer 24/7 customer portals to provide a great, interactive means of communication and correspondence, and help you to win more instructions.
The customer portals allow you to send SMS and email property alerts to prospective buyers, as well as booking real-time diary appointments and enabling sales applicants to book viewing slots at a suitable date and time for them.
Do you want to read more? Check out our latest blogs here.