Systems eat people for breakfast

Looking through some of the 30,000 mystery shop reports for the Best Estate Agent Guide, I’ve noted how many EAs had high scores for one phone call and low marks for another or scored well overall on the calls but poorly on the emails.

By contrast, those branches that have been awarded “Exceptional” status, the Top 5% in the country, scored the highest marks on every contact and some branches, the truly “Elite”, did so for both Lettings and Sales. This has led me to ask, “why does this occur, what do the Exceptional and Elite EAs do that the others don’t?”


Nearly all the Best Estate Agents have systems in place for inbound enquiries. They have worked out that the “first touch” a potential client has with them is really important and rather than leave it to chance have developed processes to ensure consistency. And the best EA systems I’ve seen follow a similar pattern:

  1. There are targets for every service delivery point. These include all calls answered within four rings and all emails replied to within 5 minutes during working hours.
  2. The performance is measured continuously to identify any system issues or failures.
  3. The peak periods are either covered by additional team members being allocated or using moneypenny*
  4. There’s a process for handling the enquiry with a proper mechanism for recording all the information accurately. This is regularly audited to ensure standards are maintained.
  5. The conversations aren’t scripted but do follow a set pattern, what insurer Hiscox calls “a guided conversation”.
  6. They have recognition and reward programmes in place and catch people doing things right. They also take to task very swiftly any poor performers.
  7. They are obsessed by customer service and measure this at many touch points, including “first touch”, often using NPS delivered by Boomerang CRM**

I will be discussing all the habits of those EAs that have been assessed as Exceptional for the Best Estate Agent Guide at the EA Masters on the 22nd September. You can find out here how your branch rated.

*We use and I’m very pleased to recommend them
**I’m so passionate about customer service delivery that I’ve invested in Boomerang CRM

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