It Really, Really Shouldn’t Happen to an Estate Agent…

I’m forever telling my clients that marketing and PR is all about promoting the right messages and telling interesting stories.

Talking of stories I’ve begun putting together a little mini book of tales agents have shared with me over the years.

I went over my recordings and notes at the weekend and I just wanted to share this one with you as it brought a big smile to my face.

What follows is a true story I was told by a client about a hapless colleague called Matt and a vendor’s beloved family pet.

I’ve changed the name to protect the innocent and the agent couldn’t remember the cat’s name anyway.

My client let’s call him Steve said: “I worked with Matt in the early 1990s. He was a nice bloke but without doubt the most accident prone person I’ve ever met.

“If something could go wrong Matt would excel in making sure it did.

His track record was one littered with lost keys (to houses and the company car), coffee covered keyboards and even falling into a potential vendor when going through the door to carry out a valuation.

“But the crowning glory of Matt’s calamitous career started off with a run of the mill viewing one Saturday morning.

“I remember warning him that the owners of the property had gone away for a long weekend and had made it crystal clear to me that we had to be really careful when opening the door as their cat was a nervous type and likely to bolt if given half a chance.

“I couldn’t have made it any clearer to Matt aside from stapling a Post It note to his tie daubed with the words – DON’T LET THE F*&*ING CAT OUT MATTHEW.

“You know what’s coming next right?

“So Matt and a young couple full of the thrill of first time buying drive up to the house. I remember it was a nice place, loads of kerb appeal and according to Matt the lovebirds were chirping happily on seeing it.

“Then Matt did what Matt did best. He opens the door and a startled black cat flies past him.

The equally startled couple are wondering why Matt has practically dived at their feet in a bid to grab the pumped up pussy cat. The cat had vanished and so had the couple’s interest in the property.

“I was in the office waiting for Matt. He’d been gone at least two hours and I wanted to lock up.

These were the days when working past 1pm on a Saturday was strictly out of bounds for any self respecting ‘professional’ agent.

“This was an ancient time before mobile phones so I genuinely had no clue where he’d got to.

“Then just before I began really worrying he strides into the office looking as if he’d been dragged through a hedge (turns out he’d spent half an hour on all fours looking in hedges opposite the house until a concerned neighbour asked him what the hell he was doing?).

“Anyway all’s well that ends well.

“Matt told me what had happened but said everything was fine as he’d eventually found the cat and placed it safely next to its full bowl of food in the property’s kitchen.

“I’d forgotten about Matt’s moggy escapades until the Monday morning after that weekend.

“The owners of the property had called and asked if everything had been ok over the weekend?

“I replied ‘Yes no problems at all, some interesting feedback on the property and more viewings lined up this week.”

“Then they hit me with it.

‘It’s just that we seem to have a strange cat in our house.’ The lady of the house informed me.

My jaw hit the desk and before I had a chance to respond they added….’Thankfully one of our neighbours has been looking after our cat having found it in their garden!

‘Please kindly return our keys and take the house off of the market we’re changing agents.’

Steve added: “I’m not sure if Matt is still in the business. Probably safer for a lot of pets and people if he isn’t.”

Despite my enquiries Steve was unsure whatever happened to the cat Matt had plucked from the street.

I’m currently looking for a few more agents to share their interesting, unusual and funny stories with me. Drop me an email at: and I’ll explain more.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next instruction and the safety of all of our feline friends.


PS: If you want to hear the next few instalments of It Shouldn’t Happen to an Estate Agent but Does simply visit my website and download the guide to Estate Agency PR – this will add you to the mailing list and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Jerry Lyons

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