Choosing the right approach

25 November 2015

What an interesting day…. and on reflection, one I have learnt a huge amount from. Three challenges presented themselves in quick succession this morning. Firstly, a disgruntled customer who felt that she should have received an update on her claim to her uncle’s estate, followed swiftly by a property manager who wanted to make his point and finally, a house buyer who wanted to bend the terms of our signed contract (with my permission, of course) and sub-sell a property (i.e. transfer the benefit of the sale to someone else).

Dealing with these individuals requires tact and diplomacy and also, at times, steadfast determination. In the first instance,  “I am sorry that you feel that way but I can assure you that we are progressing your claim just as fast as we are able” goes some way to improving things and also, if possible, providing an explanation as to why the claim is taking longer than the client had expected. Situation 2 can easily be resolved by allowing Mr Property Manager to put his point across and then moving on! The past cannot be altered but the future can, so it is much better to focus on things which can be affected, rather than things which cannot.

The final scenario was by far the most odd. Sale of this particular property has been nothing if not interesting from the outset with the estate agents often saying, “We’ve never known this to happen on an estate before!” This week, our house buyer decided to ask for a variation in the contractual terms of the exchange. On hearing that we were not willing to do so (because sub-selling is restricted under Standard Condition 1.5 of the Standard Conditions of Sale 5th Edition), instead of being polite and courteous, the gentleman was rude and obnoxious before hanging up the telephone. Well, that is certainly not going to make me change my mind!

Throwing the toys out of the pram rarely achieves positive results, in my experience, whether it is me throwing the toys or others throwing them at me! The right approach must be measured and calculated appropriately according to the situation in question, so as to achieve the desired outcome. In all three scenarios, the desired outcome has been achieved, though not necessarily by the first chosen method. Well, we live and learn

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