The Mood of the Industry – Concerns Remain Unchanged. But…

Fortuitously, Josh Rayner’s second temperature check on the sentiment of the estate agency industry has been carried out straddling a week where agents remained incarcerated and also a week where the sector was unleashed by the Housing Secretary. Therefore, we expected to see a change in the attitude of negotiators, branch managers and listers and, perhaps, more optimism in so far as the status quo.

But no, those polled have dug-in their heels and the enthusiasm for a change of role and a different model of working remains at over 60% of agents. In fact 64% favour either working from home; moving to self-employed or leaving the industry altogether.

But this time Rayner also analysed the respondents by job role and whether they represented an independent agent, a corporate or online. And it’s this detail that now makes for interesting reading. Here are the highlights:

Of Branch Managers, more from the independent sector than the corporate sector feel unsure about their role or are concerned about job security. We think this is surprising given the close attention that corporates have had of late with regard to viability. 61% independents vs 58% corporates feel this way.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the group that most feel that nothing has changed in sentiment terms, are business owners. But the second highest group here are branch managers in the independent sector (30%) albeit that corporate branch managers are not that far behind

66% of independent valuers are concerned about job security.

The largest section of the industry that want to quit altogether are negotiators in the corporate world.

In summary, the sector that seems most ill at ease is the online sector (82%). The most worried about job security is independent valuers. Yet at a senior level, the independent element of our industry seems most content that it’s business as usual. Typically, valuers feel less secure in their jobs than negs in either sector.

Josh Rayner, architect of the series of surveys to ascertain industry mood says:

“So the overall mood of the industry hasn’t changed much in the past two weeks in spite of lots happening yet it should still be seen as a concern that 64% of the industry are either feeling differently about the role they want, are exiting the sector or are worried about their job security. But 50% more people have decided they want to leave the industry since we took the first poll two weeks ago’.

But what’s fascinating is the difference in sentiment between seniority of role and the type of business that each is employed within. If I were an independent estate agency boss I would certainly take note that the corporates are seemingly set to hold on to their valuers and negotiators more ably than they themselves may do. You have to ask yourself why that might be?”

Rayner intends to keep taking the temperature of the industry. The question is, will the industry take the medicine that’s needed to restore faith in it?

The question posed:
Property Pulse Poll – Coronavirus has thrown the property industry another set of challenges, but different ones to that of 2008 and Brexit. Stuck at home unable, by law, to carry out our most basic functions. Staff are furloughed and the market is in suspended animation with significant disruption to revenues, staffing and our overall viability as a sector. How does that make you feel?

Here are the answers:

  Feel Different Out of here Nothing has changed Now thinking about job sec
Corporate Branch Manager 29% 13% 29% 29%
Corporate Negotiator 21% 21% 29% 29%
Corporate other 33% 8% 9% 50%
Corporate valuer 17% 16% 16% 51%
Independent Branch Manager 26% 9% 30% 35%
Independent Business Owner 18% 0% 67% 15%
Independent Negotiator 42% 8% 17% 33%
Independent Other 42% 13% 29% 16%
Independent Valuer 17% 0% 17% 66%

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