'It's very interesting',says Debbie Fortune of award winning local firm, Debbie Fortune Estate Agents, 'and it's something we ask in our feedback forms wherever we can...after all, our customers are the most important part of our business and we need to know what they expect from us if we are to deliver in everything we do'
Research revealed by the Homeowners Alliance looks at the reasons people choose the agents they do, and how agents can be aware of the things that most put off potential customers about particular agents.in their market research they asked over 1000 people who have used an estate agent what their biggest 'turn-offs' were when choosing an agent. Apart from the obvious ones, like being pushy, flashy, scruffy or late, it was really revealing to see that over 50% of the 1000 plus individuals questioned were put off by Estate Agents who were inexperienced or who lacked local knowledge.
'This is music to my ears', comments Debbie, 'and there is really no excuse for any company, whatever their business, to employ a team of people who are then 'let loose' on the unsuspecting public without the tools or the training to do the job properly . This is particularly relevant when we all know that buying or selling a home can be very stressful , and is almost certainly the largest financial transaction we will ever make in our lives...so doesn't it make sense to deal with an estate agent who is either experienced through longevity, or if lacking the years of groundwork, is well trained and knowledgeable, not only about the properties they represent but also the intricacies of the housing industry, be it sales or lettings.'
'Thankfully as a company I feel we are already ahead of the game', she adds, 'and bearing in mind our phenomenal growth over the last eleven years, and my forty years dealing with property in the area, we would have laid ourselves open to lots of criticism if we had not embarked on a comprehensive and structured training programme for all of our team, that's full time, part time, junior or senior....it is the only way to empower them to do the job properly and avoid the sort of criticism levied in this research.'
Debbie Fortune Estate Agents have three offices in the country are south of Bristol, now with over 30 local staff, covering the sale and rental of property in the country area south of Bristol.
Debbie says, 'it is absolutely fundamental that all of our teams have the tools and the knowledge to do their job well and so...we take training very seriously.
For example , like many agents , we employ part time staff, who help us out at busy times when our viewing numbers go up. There's always a first time for any team member whether part time or full time to see a house , for sale or to let...so we take pains to prepare them with everything they need to know about the property. BEFORE they visit.
The feedback we get from buyers and sellers is that this preparation is something that other agents simply do not do , so it's no wonder that our profession has such a poor name!
...and let's not forget our apprentices, adds Debbie, ' in addition to their heavy college workload they are also expected to learn their craft 'on the job' and all
of this takes a huge commitment from them and their mentors.
Our profession is all about service and our aim is to delight everyone we deal with.
People are the key and I firmly believe we have the best teams at all of our offices than we have ever had ...their support and enthusiasm for my vision for the company is tremendously exciting and heart warming.'
'Thankfully we get few complaints, but we do get some, so once again we learn from them , and , in the same way we learn from research like this from organisations like Homeowners Alliance.'
If you would like to know more about this award winning company and its ethos contact Debbie Fortune Estate Agents.