Estate Agency Armageddon  … coming soon!

22nd July 1991 – my first day as an estate agent.

I was going through my old papers and I found my own Valuer/Lister workshop training notes from the early 90’s

At those meetings ..  I liked to write stuff down, I used to write everything down (it looked good as the new boy). The notes, taken from the Area Manager, were all about him banging on about needing more stock. I wrote phrases like ‘these are tough times with all the corporates taking over estate agency – we need to fight back’ … ‘these are shaky times as other agents over valuing to get he listing… ‘these are ambiguous times in agency as agents quote cheap fees’ …

He would go on at every monthly meeting about a lack of stock, cheap fees, corporates and over valuing because without decent stock, at decent fees and decent asking prices  …. we wouldn’t be able to whether the storm and the bosses would close our office down… and we would be all out of job .. then would be able to pay the mortgage.. then we would be homeless .. .. starve then die  (Ok the bit in italics I have added with artistic license – but that was what he was banging on about)

… but here is the best bit.. the office is still there 25 years later

You see, it made me think .. we all understand about the importance of requiring swift action today, the urgency, the man the battlements otherwise the world will end ..

… but will it end? (the world)

Its like those people who feared nuclear Armageddon, so installed nuclear bomb shelters in their garden in the 1960’s and 1970’s with 12 months of food and water supplies… because they didn’t want to die .. they feared dying

.. yes .. life is a risk .. but it still goes on

In cave man times, you could be killed by sabre toothed tiger or killed by the caveman down the valley with a spear or rock. That was the risk you took. Nowadays, its dirty nuclear bombs, terrorists and climate change.

Preparing, worrying and tormenting yourself about the issue of the day hasn’t done a thing to actually make it go away.

In its place, we intensify the fear in our head .. but that isn’t nice to bottle it up, so to make ourselves better, we tell everyone else the fear, because by doing so, we share the pain (fear) and it makes us feel (because why should I suffer in silence)

We have the same issues today in estate and letting agency than we had in 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s and 00’s ….

  • Lack of Stock
  • Too Much Competition
  • Cheap fees
  • Over Valuing

So, when you are harking back to the good old days of 70’s,80’s, 90’s and 00’s in estate agency .. when you get nostalgic for those past memories, for the time you remembered estate agency was like riding a bike without holding the handle bars and you didn’t have those online agents, those cheap fee agents or those agents who over valued …

… it’s interesting that we never seem to get nostalgic for those past fears?






Christopher Watkin

I teach, guide, support, mentor, consult, counsel, partner many hundreds of UK Estate and Letting Agents in their quest to grow their estate and lettings agencies business. Old school techniques of touting, landlords wanted leaflets, ring us for a free valuation, we have sold this in your street leaflets don't work anymore. There are too many competitor agents .. meaning cheap fees are epidemic, overvaluing is almost a norm to get the stock and don’t even mention about the online/hybrid threat. So a few years ago, I set about looking around the UK and spotted that certain agents (not many mind you) in certain towns were still seen as the ‘go to person on property’, the person the newspaper editor rang up every week for a comment and I looked at what they did and they were doing some thing quite remarkable…. Only one thing but they were doing it so well .. and reaping the reward in terms of decent listings and decent fees, happy staff, decent sales pipeline and exchange income, managed lettings portfolios in the many hundreds .. but more importantly, they really enjoyed the job… they enjoyed getting up in the morning and people looked up to them Over 400 agents around the UK are on a mission to change the way our Estate and Lettings agency profession is perceived and looked upon, doing it town by town, city by city. I guide these 400 agents, teach them, mentor them and support them to be seen in a different light, to be seen as the ‘go to person for property’, actually be the ‘local property expert’ and prove it. Christopher Watkin 07950 147 572

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