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Recommendation – or promotion? Are Estate Agents words to be trusted?

The last year or so my brain has been pondering the liberal, widespread and cheapened use of the word ‘recommendation’. It seems, within the moving sector to be used quickly, easily and with scant regard to true meaning.

It is conning the public.

A very quick search yields a result powered by Oxford English Dictionaries. The results are;

a suggestion or proposal as to the best course of action, especially one put forward by an authoritative body.

the action of recommending something or someone.

So, it is reasonable to consider that if somebody recommends a company to you they have your best interests at heart? That they have knowledge of the service, and are confident the results for you will be great?

Seems obvious.

Yet frequently we hear of Estate Agents recommending a firm of solicitors. The client accepts this as exactly what the agent said. A recommendation.  In truth, they’re on a commission for doing so. Therefore this isn’t a recommendation it is a promotion

I was with a customer last week who told me that their agent ‘recommended three removal companies to call’.

This isn’t right. This is a suggestion.  If the person made a ‘recommendation’ then I put it to you it would be in the singular.

At this point I’d fully expect to be accused of high handed pedantry. I would agree were it not for the fact (yes- fact) that this simply is not in the clients best interests. The client receives a ‘recommendation’ where one doesn’t exist. Is this not a lie? Is this a con?

In the second example the client has considered that the agent by implication has knowledge that all three firms are as good as each other. Something that quite wildly isn’t true. The client knows no different. Has this client been mislead? I would say so.

There are large differences between promoting, suggesting and recommending.

I am wondering why people dealing with members of the public moving home are being so slack with their integrity?

Many people talk about having the reform and correct function of the housing market at the front and centre of their concerns. Until we correct this total, casual, lack of empathy  and concern for the well being and happy moving experience of the industry’s paymasters it’s all waffle,

For members of the public reading this. Just think for a second about what I have written.

Was your solicitor (for example) actually, ‘recommended’ to you. Or were you pushed towards them. Was it that they were promoted to you. Or do you think the person that gave you their name used them, liked them and would do so again.

Same goes for movers, IFA’s, Estate Agents, Surveyors…..

Please, think about it.

It might save you being subjected to some truly crappy service solely so the firm who pushed you can earn an extra few quid.

Matt

matt@mgtr.co.uk