Inaccurate descriptions on home listings, difficulties in booking a viewing and not being able to get hold of estate agents: according to recent research from Global Noticeboard, these are home buyers' biggest pet hates. But it's great news, right? These are people who are hungry for the house hunt and keen to see your instructions - as long as they're accurate, attractive and available.
Here are the top home-buying bugbears, and our advice on how you can make yourself known as an estate agent with a difference.
Bugbear #1: Innacurate representations of the property
Avoid it by: There are lots of ways to better represent a property to bring it closer to reality, namely:
1) Home staging
Speak to your vendor about the importance of home staging (this blogpost is a strong resource, and has a download for you to pass to the home owner). Help potential buyers see through the current occupants' style and more of the reality of what it'd be like to live there.
2) Using the right equipment to represent the property
You only truly know the difference a wide angle lens makes when you see it used alongside a smartphone photo. Luckily, you can do just that:
See that bathroom? These photos were taken seconds apart. The one on the left is a standard iPhone photo; and the right hand side shows a photo taken by a FocalAgent professional photographer with all the right equipment. Making sure your photos are taken with a wide angle lens will help your potential buyers see more of the room in one shot, and get a better feel of what it's like to stand in that room.
3) Editing - but only some things...
A lot of people say Photoshop is cheating; but we're not talking about opportunist nips and tucks. The editing we champion is to straighten the lines that go skewiff and remove items that won't be a permanent fixture (removing cars from driveways, for instance).
Bugbear #2: Finding a convenient time to view the property
Avoid it by: When you're first meeting with a buyer, make sure you've got a checklist of lifestyle questions to ask. As well as getting to know their diary and therefore being able to offer them a handful of convenient viewing slots, they'll appreciate the personal touch and give you a chance to strengthen your rapport.
Bugbear #3: Getting hold of estate agents
Avoid it by: Only the truly dedicated can get this one right all the time. If being available on WhatsApp seven days a week is the difference between a happy buyer and one who'd rather work with the estate agent down the road, it's probably necessary.
Grow to love your out-of-office reply. Even if you're out for lunch, or at a series of viewings for a few hours, keep people in the loop. And hey, if you can make it memorable, all the better... Here are some hints for that (you're welcome)!