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  • Writer's pictureHermione Gardiner

When you lose a client, don't lose the lesson.

Updated: Feb 13

None of us want to receive that email or pick up the phone to hear the message that a prospective landlord didn't choose us, or that a current client wants to leave. Whether it be to self manage, to another agent, to live in themselves or to sell the property, we can often feel frustrated at the loss, especially if we are trying to grow the rent roll.

What if it may not always be convenient for that self managed landlord to manage their own property?

What if the other agent they have chosen doesn't live up to what was promised?

Remember that our communication and efforts will leave an impression on them and if we keep in touch they may just need us in the future.

And what if the landlord moving back into their property will move out again at some point, or purchase another investment in the future. Or that that they could still refer other people to us?

Remember - the likelihood of this taking place will depend on how they feel when they exit the business. What will your client be saying to others about their experience when they walk out the door?

How to you rate your exiting client process?

It is a smooth event that leaves the client with a warm positive feeling about your business? Or is it a bit of rush to get them out the door fuelled by annoyance that they're leaving. .

If we can handle this process with grace, dignity and detail, we may more than just leave the client with a warm feeling about our business, but we may enable them to return one day, or perhaps tell their friends and family of our friendly professional service.

In order to ensure they leave on a good note, here are some tips to facilitate a smooth departure and leave the door open for a possible return.

  • Ensure you have an exiting landlord checklist (message me if you need one.)

  • Always call to attempt to save the management in the first instance, consider if a call from the Director may help

  • Confirm the termination of management in writing, confirming the next steps for what you will do to ensure a smooth departure

  • Notify your tenants of the upcoming changes

  • Prepare the file for handover if applicable (keep digital copies)

  • Adjust the system for the departure, record notes of the reasons for departure for future reference.

  • Be aware of funds available and bills/fees still owing and be on top of the financials - communicating the final payments to them in advance.

  • Remind the landlord to Rates/Levies if you are paying them (this can be part of your farewell letter (message me if you need a copy)

  • Redirect/Cancel Landlords Insurance, Smoke Alarms, Tax Depreciation notice etc

  • Assist in arranging transfer of bond to new agent/landlord if necessary

  • Add a diary note to ensure the owner and property are archived promptly as soon as possible to ensure they do not get unnecessary statements or admin charges

  • Send a thank you letter/gift with an acknowledgement of their time as a client

  • Send an exiting client survey to see what we can do to improve and consider what can be implemented to minimise future loss. What can you learn from this experience?

  • Add a follow up date in your database to touch base with the client at 3 or 6 months

Don’t let the ball drop next time a client leaves you, handle it with care – even if they have frustrated you or things are rocky. You never know what opportunities may develop from just that one client.

If you want help improving your lost client strategy, get in touch today

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