Like car salesmen, lawyers and journalists, estate agents are not always top of the list when it comes to favourite professions. Although many would accept we’re needed when it comes to selling your home, not everyone understands what it is we do so, sometimes, it’s a little bit harder to convince a customer that they’re getting value for money.
If you’re washing machine breaks down, a plumber will turn up and mend it; if the lights go out, there’s probably an electrician on your contacts list who will come and sort it out. When it comes to restaurants, we’ll even happily pay over and above the bill laid before us.
But, when it comes to an estate agent, some will admit to feeling a bit bamboozled by the cost and therefore a little reluctant to part with the fee.
But what if an agent was to offer you a money-back guarantee if you weren’t completely happy with their work? What if their customer service was rated excellent anyway? But – even better – what if, at the end of the whole house-selling “journey” they handed you £2,500 to spend on a bit of a holiday to recover from the move, perhaps that three-piece suite you had your eye on or maybe to put towards that new kitchen? Would that help you feel a bit better about settling up?
The thing is, at esaleuk.com, we already do all those … sort of. Admittedly, at the moment, we can’t actually place cash in your hand on completion but, on an average sale of a property priced at around £250k, it’s about what you’d be able to keep in your pocket if you compare our packages to those offered by a traditional high street agent working on a commission of 1.5%.
Yet, bafflingly, some will still tell you to steer well clear of online agents – and simply because their business model is based on effective use of the internet.
If truth be told, we’d love to offer our customers a £3,000 package and then give them £2,500 cash back when the deal is done. However, as our biggest online rivals are currently using high-profile television advertising to market pay-up-front deals for under £800, the focus is on bottom-line price, which means our best bet is to continue to offer similar packages for a very competitive price of £595 (including VAT).
It’s a shame really as agents are often criticised for not really celebrating with clients when the deal’s done. Recent research suggested, on “Completion Day”, customers sometimes get the feeling their agent has already moved on to the next sale. Wouldn’t it be great then if, instead, we could say congratulations and hand over a “cashback” sum large enough to make a difference?
Sadly, at the moment, the market restricts us a bit of a joint buzz, maybe a high five and some verbal congratulations which, although sincere, never seem quite enough to register the significance of the moment our customers pick up the keys to their new home. One day, though, we’d like to think that will change and we can add the “cashback” option to our no-quibble guarantee, our low prices and our drive for exemplary customer service which we hope already set us apart.