I want to change the face of estate agency in the UK

Really?

If you are going to have a cause, at least make it a worthwhile one like ridding the world of poverty and disease.

Maybe you started your estate agency (and lettings at that) because you thought you could do a better job than your old boss …. you wanted to prove them wrong.

Sorry, they dont give a **** about you, so why should you about them?

OK, you did it to improve the lifestyle of your family, so they could have the fancy holidays and big houses and cars?

Nope .. you started your agency for yourself.

Starting your own business is important(important to you .. and your Mum but she would be proud whatever you did) and if you are doing something important, you are working to make change happen.

But here is the problem … change is complicated, change is bl**dy hard work and often unattainable. Are you trying to change an entire market? The attitude of landlords and vendors?

It’s all very good telling people you want to change estate agency forever if you don’t tell them how. You see, if you are going to change the face of estate agency, the clearer you can be about the specific change you are hoping to make is the starting point.

Next, you have to tell and show WHY these specific people (ie local landlords and local homeowners wanting to sell) YOU are trying to change the face of estate agency… then they might respond.

But That’s it.. how they will respond?

You might want to change the face of estate / letting agency… but if you don’t press the emotional hot buttons of potential clients, be they landlords or homeowners… nobody could give two hoots about you wanting to change the face of estate agency/letting agency. (well your Mum might).

My heart sinks when another online agent opens. There must be a website where you cut and paste the following statement and drop it into your promo stuff ..

“Over (insert number between 85% and 95%) of property searches are now made online, internet (insert estate or letting) agencies have grown in reputation over recent years with many people choosing to sell their homes online. We provide the same services as a High Street Estate Agent to sell your property; the only difference is we don’t have the same high overheads. The saving is passed directly onto you; potentially you can save thousands of pounds. This is why more people are using (insert name of your agency) to sell their home.”

What is it with you newbie online agents .. all of you are using cheap fees as your only reason to exist, the only reason to use you?

Just because you have low overheads doesn’t mean you have to cheap. You can offer so much more to landlords and vendors, for example (and some of these are extreme, but what about 100% accompanied viewings (homeowners hate doing them) or have Rightmove Premium listings on every listing or half page ads on every property in the newspaper. There are plenty more where they came from … but no .. you go down the bargain bucket, cheap as chips route as the only reason for people to change. Every one likes a bargain but don’t sell yourself short.

Why?

If you had the balls to quit your job and start your own agency … then at least start an agency where you can earn some money from it, by charging decent fees. Whilst the other muppets IMG_1606are selling their soul on the altar of cheap fees, you should become the agent who cares, who listens, who goes the extra three miles, the agent who takes it to the line .. wait there is no line, the agent who will care for their properties as if they were their own. Sure, it’s going to hard work, but this is your moment and in moments like this, greatness is obtainable.

Sure you’re outnumbered, and most certainly out gunned .. but you are a warrior and your weapon … is YOU!

You can change the world, and if you can do that, you can change the face of UK estate and letting agency .. but one vendor or one landlord at a time..

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 christopher@christopherwatkin.co.uk

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