You could be the best agent in the game, but sometimes, you’re going to receive complaints. Whether these are justified or not is irrelevant – one way or another, you’re still going to have to deal with them.
Real estate is an emotionally-charged environment, and when stress levels are running high for both parties, tensions are bound to rise. So, what can you do to deal with them? Read on to find out more.
Dealing with Real Estate Complaints – What You Need to Know
Managing complaints effectively can be the difference between you winning repeat business and referrals or losing a client completely.
Turn a negative into a positive
It might sound difficult, but it’s what’s got to be done. At some point, you’re going to get a complaint. It’s just going to happen. However, the trick isn’t to minimise it and make it out to be nothing – you should maximise it and find out exactly where your client is coming from, so you can make the most of the opportunity to learn and develop.
For example, if you work in property management, you might receive complaints from tenants who are unhappy about what they’re being asked to do. Looking deeper into it, you might find out this is because they don’t understand their legislative requirements. Instead of minimising the complaint, maximising it would have produced this information, meaning you can develop your service to better serve future clients.
Property management can be a sensitive area, as for tenants, that house is their home. For investors and landlords, it’s often less personal, but it’s still a substantial asset that they have a vested interest in.
Develop a culture where it’s okay to admit mistakes
One of the key methods for avoiding future mistakes is creating a place where people feel they can admit them. By offering yourself and your colleagues an environment where you can own up to errors, fear is seriously reduced, instead becoming learning opportunities that you can all grow from.
What would have been an overly negative experience for everyone involved instead gets turned into a positive learning experience.
Offer an honest and open dialogue
In addition to a robust, inclusive culture, you need to involve open and honest dialogue with both customers and staff within your complaints process. Actively listen to what all parties have to say, and clearly communicate your procedure for handling complaints.
First and foremost, let the customer know you’re taking their complaint seriously, then let them know the next steps, as well as how long they should expect to wait before they get a response.
Don’t focus on apportioning blame
Pointing the finger isn’t an overly successful strategy for handling complaints, as clients often care less about the root of the problem than its resolution. Complaints can do serious damage to your business if they aren’t taken seriously, so be sure to address them in a timely manner and don’t waste time blaming others. If not addressed quickly, they can undo years of hard reputation building.