Reviews, reviews, reviews...
As you know we have two ways in which people can feedback their experiences with us - through Reviews.co.uk, and through reviews of individual surveyors on our site.
These are a highly valuable source of how people are seeing both our, and your, service. Most pleasing is that the overwhelming response is positive, with the average still mostly 4 stars.
BUT.. from time to time we see trends appearing in the negative reviews which we feel would be helpful to feed back.
We know things are busy out there, because there seems to be plenty of business going begging! Amongst the most common reasons we see for a negative review is "Nobody answered my query" or "Nobody replied to my enquiry!" - so a top tip for converting leads into instructions would seem to be call people back when you get the lead!
And this extends beyond that first contact - another surprisingly common moan is surveyors 'going dark' either after receiving the instruction, or after carrying out the survey. These are the ones most likely to result in negative reviews posted on our site, or being 'named and shamed' on Reviews.co.uk.
This is another unpopular issue which comes up far too often. We've even had a couple of official complaints, including one who was intending to complain to the RICS about one offender and his response!
The high levels of activity in the market has presented the perfect opportunity to lift prices, which many of you have done, but PLEASE, REMEMBER TO UPDATE YOUR PRICES TO REFLECT YOUR ACTUAL FEES. To list fees lower than those that you are actually prepared to undertake is misleading to the public, and generates considerable ill-will. Again there is a high level of 'naming and shaming' reviews on this:
"one with an estimate of £190. Eventually charged £300+vat... Are estimates just a way to get to the front of the queue and then charge whatever they like?"
"l decided to use ****** whose quote was £361. When l e-mailed him the quote was raised to £420... This l found misleading... l gave your list a second chance using ****** whose quote was the same as advertised"
"Your service is fine but one of your surveyors ****** almost doubled the estimate for no additional services, whereas another ****** quote stuck to his estimate. ****** should be censured for estimating £446 inc vat and then quoting £780!!! He was unrepentant when I challenged him".
"I received a list of 3 quotes for local surveyors for my HomeBuyer survey. The 1st said that the quote was wrong and it would cost me another £100 according to their scale -I declined. The 2nd said it could only do it after 3 weeks and that the price wasn’t from their website, so they’d send me a new quote -I declined. Luckily the 3rd, agreed with the quoted price and conducted the survey within 3 days!"
Keeping advertised fees up to the real level also helps avoid downward pricing pressure, and will help maintain fees at sustainable levels for when things inevitably slow down again.
So please update your prices to keep them in line with what you actually charge! And as always, if you need help with that, please just ask us...