My thoughts on UK Estate Agency in 2016

What’s the problem with UK Estate Agency today?

Well, You aren’t the problem – far from it. Its the UK estate and letting agency system that is the problem. The system and the techniques of generating new business in estate agency, which used to work 10 or 20 years ago dont work now. That’s not your fault. You aren’t to blame for that. You are an awesome estate agent working in an industry that is really hard work.. but it does feel like you are drowning sometimes .. doesn’t it?

So if the system is a fault, the system can be changed cant it? Of course it can. So how do you get more business, more listings, more instructions, more take ons for your estate agency? Well these are my thoughts …

Let me be frank ..  It’s a whole lot easier to sell your estate agency services when everyone thinks knows you are the main man, the go to agent, the ‘daddio’ agent, the authority in your patch.

In fact, it’s not just easier to sell your estate agency services, it’s like your estate agency starts selling itself because of your reputation, your standing, and the level of talk going on via Twitter, Facebook and real life places like Golf Courses and Dinner Party tables around your town

Homeowners and landlords keep coming to you because they have just heard that you are the main man in one place after another.  Now you are the authority.

And authority sells – and you know it does in your heart of hearts.  Establish yourself as not just an expert, but an authority, and the whole estate agency game changes.

Yes, there are those agents who call themselves ‘local property experts’, ‘local property specialists’ .. and they seem to have caught the imagination of the UK population (to a point) .. Purplebricks have done well with with their TV adverts and the Bruce Brothers have created a very slick operation. I admire them greatly.

.. so should you be a ‘local property expert’?

No .. you should do something else

Why?  Well my friends, because the expressions ‘expert’ and ‘authority’ mean two totally different things:

  • “Experts” have a lot of knowledge/experience on a subject.  But that doesn’t mean anyone gives a sh*t.
  • “Authorities” are experts who have an audience who categorically and unwaveringly,  give a sh*t.

Take a second out your busy day for a second: In life, what do the majority of people do in the face of authority?  They listen to what that authority says, and that authority’s word becomes the rule – almost the law.  People trust that person not only to be right about their field of expertise, but to be so right they are worth listening to, following, and loyally defending. (bit Like Sir David Attenborough on nature and wildlife for example)

Authorities aren’t simply experts:  Authorities set the rules.  Authorities set the tone for the industry.  The authority is a leader, not because they claim to be but because they have followers who believe they are authority.

Many of you use the traditional methods and systems of leaflet dropping, 20/20 leaflets, Free Vals wanted, Landlords wanted etc etc to get more business and they still work, but not as well as a few years ago and a lot worse than 10 years ago. Many of you have social media campaigns which are there, and get the ‘odd’ free val. Then there is SEO, Google Adwords, Rightmove banners – again they work, but not as well as they used to.

Then some of you are using shiny ace new toys like ‘Valpal’ and other such things. I would serious consider Valpal but very soon every agent will have it – and then there wont be an advantage to having it. (although I think many agents are missing a trick with Valpal as only 10% of people who click on the link fill the form out – a few of us have designed a technique to engage and interact with the other 90% – even though they didn’t give us their details – it came about by a few agents sharing a few ideas on Valpal in our Facebook Group for Estate and Letting Agents – you put a facebook pixel/cookie on the page to bring people back to your Valpal page .. or even better, back to your blog

All of those are mechanisms that can help you get more business in estate agency, no doubt about it, but if you want to be in the position where people (house sellers and landlords) come to you – and it comes to you day in day out, month in month out, sustainably – building a faithful following who views you as the authority is the way to go.

And if you think I should be in the funnyfarm for saying all this, let me ask you … you as person, you must have people that you look up to, admire …and when they speak, you listen.  They tell you something’s good, or bad, the trend of the future or the thing of the past and you accept it without question. It could be a close friend, someone famous, like Richard Branson, Sir Alex Ferguson or someone like Sir David Attenborough.  And you follow them not because you are a visionless sheep, either, no because they earned that trust in your mind. (funny how Sir Dave was voted the most trustworthy person in Britain eh!)

So, starting on Friday this week, I will guide you in four important lessons to help you become the local property authority, the agent worth following Part 1 of a series of articles / lesson to make you the authority.

ADDED ON 30TH SEPT 2016 – Part 1 here

 Remember, its not you that is the problem – it’s the system. I will guide you and show you how to beat the old system and be more successful as an estate and letting agent


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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