Is This a Sign of Estate Agency Suicide?

Some signs really grab you by the throat and insist you notice them.

Two examples did that to me this week.

The first was in a local mortgage broker’s office. Big and bold on his feature wall he has words to the effect of: ‘Spend just 15 minutes with us to discover 1000s of great mortgage deals.’

He’s on the High Street so gets a load of eyeballs seeing that very clear call to action. It’s an excellent use of signage space.

On the same day I noticed a sold board just a few hundred yards down the road from the clever mortgage man’s office.

But not just any old sold board, one that made my heart sink.

It said – Sold by Myself. But was from a local agency with a High Street office.

It may well have read – The traditional model of estate agency is dying and we’re assisting in its suicide in the bid to grab a few cheap fees in the short term.

This agency has a Sell It Yourself (SIY) option.

Nothing at all wrong with that – many agencies have introduced this into their range of options. For me it works as a suite of three choices an agency can offer potential vendors.

People, when presented with three options often choose the middle one. This Sell It Yourself option would be for the cheap and cheerful end of the market.

I don’t even have a problem with promoting the SIY offer if it’s on a website or direct mail.

But seeing it plastered over boards does two things to me.

1) It tells people that they can do without agencies which over the long term, and at such reduced fees, is suicide for the agency and indeed the industry.

2)It proves that the adage ‘any publicity is good publicity’ is bollocks. That saying always has been nonsense.

You need to be promoting the right message with your publicity efforts, which boards and signs are.

The mortgage man has done it brilliantly – he set out why people should pop in and even how much time a person would need to invest – in this case just 15 minutes.

The Sold by Myself sign is sending out a dangerous message for agents on so many levels I don’t have the space to go into them all here.

What do you think? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading and here’s to your next Sold or Let board.


PS: My five-year-old daughter Charlotte wants a new bike for Christmas. She’s declared herself a ‘big girl’ now and big girls need new bikes.

So, I’ve started the Charlotte Christmas Bike Campaign – which basically entails me putting all individual volumes of my estate agency articles on offer at £150 +VAT each (30 articles per volume) – this includes the Letting Agent Articles Volume 1 which is my latest offering and best seller.

To find out more just let me know your postcode and I’ll send you information of the offer if your area is still available.


Jerry Lyons

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