Dealing with customer conflict is inevitable for property agents, so the Head of Property Agency and Property Law Division for MOL, Paul Jager, explores the most effective ways to manage these tricky situations in person.
In our industry, you’re often dealing with the most expensive asset a customer will ever have: their property. When things don’t go according to plan, this can lead to tension, raised voices and aggressive body language from customers.
The only goal when seeking a resolution to conflict should be a win-win situation that leaves both parties with a positive outcome. An unhappy customer is an unhappy advocate who may actively dissuade friends and family from using your service.
To resolve conflict in a way that leaves everyone happy, we need to focus on three key, interlinked elements:
Roger Fisher and William Ury nailed the thought process you need to consider for conflict resolution in their Interest-Based Relational Approach. Here’s a quick break-down:
This thought process can inform your actions. Here’s a 10-step guide featuring suggested actions to follow the positive start you’ve made:
Dealing with customer conflict isn’t easy. It takes practice and you won’t be successful every time, but it’s a skill worth cultivating. These ideas are a good start, but I encourage you to study further, because customer conflict is never far from our daily working lives and we need to be ready for it.
Paul Jager is the Head of Property Agency and Property Law Division for MOL with more than 30 years’ experience in the property industry.
MOL is a leading provider of professional development, offering flexible and online learning solutions to over 5,000 students a year. It operates nationally, providing qualifications in human resources, learning and development, leadership and management, property, conveyancing, facilities management, electrical and construction materials.
TDS, in partnership with the awarding body Propertymark and the professional training provider MOL, have developed the Level 3 Propertymark Award qualification in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) is a government approved scheme for the protection of tenancy deposits; TDS offers both Insured and Custodial protection and also provides fair adjudication for disputes that arise over the tenancy deposits that we protect.
We provide invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and disputes for agents and landlords through the TDS Academy as well as joining with MOL to provide the Level 3 Propertymark Award in Residential Tenancy Deposits.
TDS Insured Scheme: where a TDS member can hold the tenancy deposits as stakeholder during the term of the tenancy.
TDS Custodial Scheme: where TDS hold the deposit for the duration of the tenancy.
TDS Academy: TDS provides property professionals with invaluable training in tenancy deposit protection and tenancy deposit disputes.
TDS can only comment on the process for our scheme, other deposit protection schemes may have a different process/require different steps. Content is correct at the time of writing.
These views are those of the author alone and do not necessarily reflect the view of TDS, its officers and employees.