Being in the property industry during 2008 and 2009 has presented some of the hardest challenged in keeping existing customers buying when most in the marketplace were ducking for cover. In fact many of our competitors fell very early as demand dropped like a stone.
Our business actually thrived despite all the challenges and this was firstly and most importantly due to our commitment to an intimate relationship with our clients, most competitors were focussed on being sales driven. We knew the sales would come if the clients had a great relationship with us.
We involved the clients at every level of what was happening in our business, we posted photos, invited them to clients drinks nights, ran topical workshops. Every chance we had to involve them and had them meet with us, speak to us was taken. The response was that the clients felt part of the business’s success and in return they bought property.
We have built a massive amount of educational material which we provide free of charge to our clients, I tailored this education to suit the concerns with the market of our clients. We also introduced weekly market updates in video format on our website, I gave an honest appraisal including some of the negative things that were happening; this built huge brand loyalty and catapulted our sales.
Everything we did we would focus on expressing our uniqueness, I articulated this in regular training sessions and on our website. We offered a number of specific guarantees, which stood us out from the crowd, these included a 6 week to let your property guarantee, otherwise we paid the rent until we did. We guaranteed that the properties rent would be within £50 of what we said otherwise we’d pay the difference for 2 years, we also gave them a 24 hour Sleep test which took away the tendency for hardcore closing and buyer remorse. Constantly expressing our uniqueness to clients separated us from the rest of the market.
We actually put prices up halfway through the recession, preferring to build huge value into our proposition. We sold this as necessary and involved the clients, explaining to them the added benefit in the price rise, in fact the only ones who had initial fears about this were the sales team but as soon as the clients realised the extra benefits they supported it 100%. For the business this meant a huge difference.
Finally we introduced a range of products that complemented our existing products so that the average spend per customer was increased. This meant the introduction of a financial services arm of the business and further relationship opportunities for the clients with their very own Financial Advisor. This also introduced a residual income element to the business further securing our cash flows.
Overall it was perhaps the hardest time I have spent in business but with the disappearing act performed by most of our competitors we were left trading in a marketplace lacking any competition, which has allowed us increase our market share.
Live with passion,