Customer service?

Having worked for both corporate and independent agents in the past, there is a huge gulf in levels of service being offered to clients. All too often home-owners instruct a big name firm, thinking this is a sensible move but the reality can often be frighteningly different….


There have been two separate instances this week where corporate agencies we are involved in chains with have come under severe scrutiny, either from their clients or other professionals involved in the transaction. The first of those agents in question are a local office of one of the biggest chains in the country, who have tried to impose unnecessary, and clearly impossible timescales on their vendors to complete in less than 2 weeks from now, (most likely to be included in this month’s branch sales figures!). The entire chain is still a way off even exchanging contracts – their clients were rushed into going as far booking removals and left worried they would lose their onward purchase if completion didn’t happen, which was never the case.


The second is a high profile, multi-office chain in London, which has played a huge part in delaying their client’s onward purchase (through Chantries) by withholding information and a basic lack of communication up the chain. The sales person who is in charge of the file clearly has little previous experience with dealing with leasehold properties and has raised, and subsequently dashed, hopes of an exchange of contracts three times over the last two weeks!


As an independent agent, we rely so much on recommendations from our clients and therefore put customer service at the top of our priority list. It would appear that in the corporate world, agents will shy away from any responsibility and hide behind levels of middle management and a so called “strong brand”.


When Chantries opened over 4 years ago, the three directors made themselves the faces of the company, dealing with all aspects of the sale directly and quite literally putting their money where their mouth is. At no point will someone be passed from pillar to post or dealt with in an unprofessional manner by inexperienced sales staff, incentivised by commission and strict targets.


If you are weighing up which path to take when selling your home, I would urge you to consider which would act in your best interest or go that extra mile to facilitate a successful outcome.


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