Updated: Feb 9
Estate Agents – Do you look at your business through the eyes of your customer?
When I worked as an Estate/Letting Agent, I tried really hard to have a great image. I always made sure that wherever I went or whoever I met, I made sure I presented myself in a way that matched my business. Along with this, I also made sure that my staff and the office matched the businesses style so that it all fit nicely with our marketing.
Any business should take great pride in how they present themselves to the outside world. If your business appears chaotic, is this the right message you want for your clients? Will they trust you? Will they feel comfortable giving you their business? Will they think “well, if you can’t be bothered to present your business well, how will you look after me?” Being self-employed can be very hectic sometimes, so are you so busy with your job you don’t sometime see appearance as an area of concern? Are your staff representing your business as you would wish or is asking them to smarten up their work attire a sensitive subject?
It used to drive me mad when staff wore scruffy clothes. I wanted to give the message to clients that we were professionals, not lazing around in our houses on a Sunday morning! (believe me I love my comfy cardigan but not for winning confidence with clients when they may wish me to sell their £500,000 house). I had to have a discussion with this staff member about the right image, this was quite difficult as the affordability for new clothes and their own self confidence with their body opened a can of worms. So, if you do face this you do need to use a very careful approach to your staff.
Within my office, I also tried to ban clutter. Random paper clips, half empty gum wrappers, trays full of paper; they all create mess which can be off putting for you and your client. A tidy desk is not only pleasing for a customer to see, but you can stay organised with your work and not end up losing random notes that have extremely important information on! If you’re disciplined, you might regularly check your tray and prioritise your work, but if this isn’t how you work, things will get forgotten!
So, what is the secret to a well presented, welcoming office or shop front! Here is a trick I learnt: I used to go into the office earlier than usual, before the staff, every now and then and it was amazing by just going into the office at a slightly different time what I saw. I saw it with fresh eyes as it was out of my routine and I used to do the ‘Nicola Sweep’! I saw it from the customers point of view, and I have to say sometimes I was really embarrassed that this is how we presented the business.
Any business that has a shop front, particularly an Estate Agent must look inviting and presentable. You are going to potentially be selling someone’s lifetime asset or finding someone’s dream home. They have to feel welcome and enjoy their visit to your premises.
At present its probably not so much of an issue as a lot of your staff I am sure are working at home. However, now might be the right time with less customers and staff coming into your offices to take a real step back and see it with fresh eyes.
Take pride in your office, allowing staff to notice and also take pride in the way your office is presented. Your well-presented office could be the deciding factor for a client to give you their business. Yes, a lot of agents are online, but the high street agent is by no means dead. You have the advantage of people being able to talk to ‘human beings'.
If you need help with where even to start, please feel free to message me. Most occasions of the ‘Nicola sweep’ will be low cost but so effective. I would love to hear what you see for the first time and help you to refresh your office presentation.