By Mike White of Martin & Co Lettings in Norwich
In a challenging lettings market an agent’s level of customer service is more crucial than ever! For the reasons already well articulated by other bloggers on the Homes24:blog, agents are currently finding their stock levels to be at the lowest levels for some time. With so many new agent entrants to the sector, how does a landlord make that all important selection of which one to entrust their valuable property asset to?
Well, one very effective way is go on the recommendation of a fellow landlord who you trust. Alternatively, you can see who has done well in the annual National Estate & Letting Agent Awards scheme which recognises the best agents based on research conducted with landlords UK-wide. The scheme measures the quality of customer service provided by agents during the rental process through a completely transparent system via customer feedback.This year Martin & Co won the national title of 2009 Best Large Letting Chain based on a number of individual offices winning or being shortlisted for individual awards. Martin & Co in Norwich were the only letting agent in Norfolk to be shortlisted. Our view is, any agent who registers for the scheme is making a public pledge that they are focused on providing the best possible service to their clients.
Clearly but surprisingly, this isn’t a view shared by too many other Norfolk based agents as, so far anyway, only two agents have joined the scheme for the 2010 awards! Both are Norwich based, Ourselves – Martin & Co and haart.
To win an Estate or Letting Agent of the Year Award, a firm has to demonstrate a consistently high level of service and, to achieve this, they must ensure that staff follow those standards of efficiency, good communication and transparency that differentiate the exceptional agent from the ordinary one. So why are there not more agents in Norfolk entering? Can’t be bothered, too complacent, unlikely to win, not regarded highly enough by clients? As I’ve said before in previous blogs, letting agents could go the same way as the dinosaur unless they can deliver the highest levels of customer service. If we win something next year that will be great as it’ll validate our business focus as being correct. If we don’t, then we’ll blooming well do something about it!
Mike’s on 01603 766860.