Over the last year, we've seen the importance of all parties working harmoniously in order to make sure transactions get over the line and a high level of customer service is provided.
As the build-up to this year's ESTAS starts to grow, I've outlined below three reasons why using customer feedback and reviews to improve service is more crucial than ever for agents this year and beyond.
Buzzing market provides opportunities for agents
It’s been all change in the property industry since March 2020 with more working from home, virtual viewings and Covid-safe branches.
However, one constant since last summer has been a high level of demand for homes, which has subsequently boosted the number of sellers in the market.
The recently-extended stamp duty holiday has been a big driver of activity as has the re-evaluation of priorities as people desire larger properties with office and garden space.
As a result, there remains a huge number of opportunities for agents to take on new instructions. The stamp duty holiday extension combined with fewer Covid restrictions should help to sustain housing market activity for much of this year.
That said, high levels of demand from buyers and sellers also breeds competition amongst agents.
In order to capitalise on favourable market conditions, the best agents will need to prove their commitment to transparency and high levels of customer service.
It will also be important to show buyers and sellers how you speed up transactions and facilitate secure sales.
An effective way of showcasing your agency's strengths ahead of the competition is through reviews. If vendors are unsure which agency they want to sell their property with, positive feedback and recommendations could clinch the deal for your agency.
Reviews and feedback are more accessible to tech-savvy consumers
The use of social media in the property market keeps growing and this is demonstrated by the high number of agent reviews and recommendations left online by consumers.
The pandemic has taken more of the home moving process online. Consumers who are more than happy to carry out virtual viewings and online appraisals are much more likely to post feedback on your service.
A rise in accessible customer feedback is important to your agency for two reasons. Firstly, the more positive feedback and reviews left about your firm, the better your brand image and awareness will be.
Secondly, with this feedback easy to find for prospective clients, it's crucial that agents monitor what people are saying about their service, whether it's positive or negative.
Online feedback can help you to gauge current trends and consumer expectations - information which can be used to improve your whole service.
That's why agents who don't want to recede into the shadow of their competitors must embrace and encourage all types of customer feedback this year.
Movers want to work with an agent they can trust post-pandemic
Over the last year, the role of trust between consumers and businesses has taken on increased importance. In the world of estate agency, meanwhile, trust and transparency have long been at the forefront of the best firms' offerings.
However, the events of the last year will be fresh in the minds of buyers and sellers for a long time to come. Agencies which have communicated well during the pandemic set themselves apart, while those that have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of staff and clients will also be held in high esteem.
What's more, the aforementioned stamp duty holiday has shown us all how fragile transactions can be. Those agencies which have strived to reduce the chances of fall-throughs and increase the security of sale are in a great position to build long-term trust with customers.
It is this exceptional level of customer service - provided during the most trying of circumstances - which underpins the core values of estate agency.
Buyers and sellers who have found an agent they can trust will be keen to recommend your services and work with you again in the future. Receiving this kind of feedback is key to maintaining a healthy pipeline of transactions.
Trust also contributes towards a more efficient moving process, which is what we're trying to help all parties achieve here at Gazeal and another reason why we're supporting the ESTAS this year.
*Bryan Mansell is Co-Founder of Gazeal