Why Purplebricks wont change the face of UK Estate Agency

If you are an estate agent, most of you are starting to become aware of the creeping menace of the online/hybrid threat that is Purplebricks and their bedfellows, EasyProperty, Yopa and alike.

Things are changing in UK Estate agency, in fact things have changed in all aspects of life .. and nobody can deny that fact

We can blame (if blame is the right word – ok, let’s say point the finger at) the t’interweb and mobiles. The internet has become omnipresent and abundant with our phones and tablets. Now we all walk around, zombie like, with our heads in our mobiles, looking how many likes we have on Facebook or watching funny videos of cats.  None of use read newspapers anymore, we use the 24/7 internet for instant news, instant everything in fact. We can buy things with Amazons one click buying (My Mrs is addicted to Amazon – they have even opened a depot to keep up with her ordering) ..

But what hasn’t changed?

Human Beings.

Human beings who buy things for the reasons they buy things. Because they are frightened or lonely. Because they want to be listened to, seen or understood. Because they need peace of mind, contentment or assurance. Maybe because they are sad or doubt themselves .. or it just might be because they want to be happy.

These humans, who you want to be your clients, are your constant… they haven’t changed one bit in the last 20 years

As estate and letting agents, we have struggled with doubts about trends and marketing shifts over the last 5 years, and worried about which tactics will work where and when, when in fact we have lost sight of the fact that we’re still dealing with people whose wants and needs and unspoken desires haven’t changed at all.

Purplebricks will only change the face of UK estate agency if we don’t realise that we, as a profession, aren’t a commoditised, one size £798 listing selling fee fits all profession.

If you don’t give a reason to someone why you are worth the 1.25% selling fee, they will go with the PB’s of this world.  If you don’t show them you are worth the money, can you blame people for choosing PB’s?

As an industry, we need to realise we are still dealing with human beings, human beings with feelings, thoughts, worries, aspirations and fears. All we need to do listen and understand what those are, so we can change to meet, challenge and exceed them.


You guys have a great weekend .. and have a think what you can do to make your agency more human?

kind regards


PS Has anyone seen those new Yopa adverts based on the Village People out of the YMCA ..love them! Here they are https://youtu.be/XLBPiGFXgs8  and here and here


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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