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As stated by Elliott, Rundle–Thiele & Waller (2010), businesses that are established on trust from the customers are successful. As a business enterprise, Century 21 Westside is aware of this fact and it has been establishing customer confidence as the main business strategy. According to the case study, Australian real estate is characterized by customers who lack trust. The case study goes on to suggest that according to a recent survey on professional trustworthiness, real-estate clearing Agents rank 23rd out of 25.
This position is slightly above the position of politicians and second-hand car dealers who are the least trusted professionals. To operate in an industry characterized by a lack of trust is not only difficult but also costly for the business since extra measures are required to counter the effects of lack of trust by the customers. The business also needs to change the perception that people have of the real-estate business to maximize sales to the existing and potential customers.
Although Century 21 Westside has applied several measures to counter the effects of untrustworthy, they are inadequate. The business, therefore, needs to apply extra measures to win the trust of the customers. This section, therefore, proposes the actions that the company needs to take in its attempt to address the customers’ perceptions concerning trust in real estate agents.
Lack of trust in real-estate agents results from the accumulation of experiences and therefore it is not an instant result or experience. To win the customers, the company has to focus on long term measures basing on the application of short-term strategies. The long-term strategies will ensure that the business wins and maintains the trust of its customers through its operations. To achieve these measures the business needs to start with its basic operation procedures of ensuring that its operations are credible and meet customers’ needs.
Meeting the needs of a customer will create a pool of satisfied customers and this is the first step towards winning customers’ trust. Satisfied customers will also recommend the business to other customers and since customers trust other customers, the business will move an extra step towards winning the customers’ trust.
Customer’s perception of real estate agents is not based on groundless accusations since at one time or the other the agents have misused their positions through customer exploitation. Most frauds however go unnoticed by real-estate companies due to lack of accountability or lack of competent audit systems. To avoid this scenario, the company should consider streamlining its accounting and audit system to ensure that its agents meet the required professional standards in their operations.
By ensuring agents’ accountability, the company will have agents who are responsible for their actions and this will minimize fraud cases. Customers are always sensitive to businesses that have customers’ concerns and therefore the company’s efforts will have an effect on their decision-making process. The customers will respond to these measures by having trust in the company and its operations.
Dealing with the accountability of the agents is not sufficient in ensuring that the company gains the necessary trust from the customers and therefore the company needs extra measures. Agents play an important role in determining the customer’s perception of a business and therefore the business should ensure that they send the right agents to the field. This implies that the company should begin from the hiring processes and procedures through hiring competitive and professional agents to conduct its business. Agents who meet the required professional standards will conduct their businesses professionally with confidence. Such agents also have convincing skills that they can apply to win customers’ confidence. If customers trust an agent, they will have trust in the company and its operations.
Finally, the business should apply a personal selling strategy to convince the customers that their operations are legitimate. The company can use this approach alongside the other sales approach to win trust from the customers. Personal selling will have double benefits to the company that will improve customers’ trust towards the business. Personal selling will directly influence the perception of the customers towards the company to win their trust (Greiner 1972). Secondly, personal selling will increase the company’s sales volume, which will contribute to the customers’ trust towards the company through positive influence.
Although Australian real estate is an attractive industry it lacks customers’ trust, which is its major weakness and therefore the concerned companies should respond to tackle the problem. To address customers’ lack of trust the company should start by establishing long-term strategies through the provision of services that enhance customers’ satisfaction. Secondly, the company should ensure the accountability of its agents throughout their daily operations.
A good accounting system will ensure the accountability of the company’s sales agents by making them responsible for their actions. Finally, the company should apply personal selling to increase its sales capacity and to convince customers of their liability and credibility. A perfect combination of the three actions will ensure that the company creates and maintains confidence among its customers.
Elliott, G, Rundle-Thiele, S & Waller, D 2010, Marketing, John Wiley & Sons, Milton.
Greiner, E 1972, Evolution and revolution as organizations grow, Harvard Business Review, pp. 37-47.
Kerr, S 2004, Introduction: Preparing people to lead, Academy of Management Executive. Vol. 18 no. 2, pp. 118-120.
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