I’ve written before about the importance of the “First Touch” and how a prospect client will often base their decision on whether to use you or not depending on how they feel after their first contact.
As a test for our new initiative, which we will be announcing shortly, I’ve emailed many EAs for property details and it’s incredible how few bother to reply and of those who do how long it takes. The exceptions who respond quickly, with either the information I’ve requested or an offer to assist, stand out for all the right reasons. But I’d like to focus on “Last Touch” today, based on my experience of having moved a few weeks ago.
Whilst searching for the right home to buy I’ve been renting and most recently in central London for the last couple of years. The experience wasn’t awful but it opened my eyes to how poorly “tenants” (what a ghastly word by the way, surely we can come up with something better?) are treated generally: it seems tenants are “guilty until they can prove innocence” for many things. But what has really upset me is the £318 “fine” I’ve paid at check out. At first I thought it might be the scuff mark on a wall my removers made or maybe a scratch on the kitchen counter top but no, my check out report was 100% fine, no deductions at all, the “fine” was the check out fee.
Can someone please explain how a £318 checkout fee can be justified? I asked several of our Mastermind Group members and received replies such as “well, was it in the terms & conditions?” and “it goes towards the overall fees” but neither of these satisfied me. The EA has earned over £15,000 in fees and commissions for my tenancy and this last charge is not only a step too far but has caused me to feel completely shafted – and that will be the last memory of them I take with me.
Another of our members was considering a tie up with a removal company and how they would brand their vans, packing cases, wrapping paper and the removal teams would wear overalls all with the EA identity. I counselled against the branding. The last part of the transaction, the move itself, is nearly always fraught with stress and whilst I accept it as an occupational hazard, I am disappointed with my removal firm for the lost teapot lid, scratched painting frame and aforementioned scuff mark on the wall – but I don’t blame the EA and might I if their logo was plastered everywhere?
If “First Touch” is the major influencer to win the business then I believe “Last Touch” to be the primary driver for repeat custom and recommendations. And again I’m going to highlight housepartnership.co.uk whom I bought my home through. A few days after completion, Andrew Giller who sold us the house, popped round to make sure everything was OK and he gave me a smart golf umbrella. This “token” gift was a very nice touch and tops up the already positive feelings I have for Andrew and his business. By contrast there’s no way I’m going to recommend my previous landlord or the EA that handled the tenancy, albeit I won’t break my personal rule to name anyone I criticise publicly.
The best EAs have systems in place for both “First Touch” and “Last Touch” – do you?