What does the public think estate agents do

Posted on 3 Mar

A recent survey from Rightmove talked about how a seller would dish out a notional £100 if they had a choice in how their agent would spend it.

The results made depressing reading for agents.

The public would spend just £6 on an accurate valuation, £24 on sales details, £16 on accompanied viewings and £25 on promoting the property on Rightmove.

The bit that will make you reach for the pills is £13 on offer negotiation and only £8 on sales progression.

Given that most agents know that £80 out of the £100 should actually be spent on those last two, you can see both how little has been done to educate the public on what we actually do and how easy it is for lower service models to cash in on what the public thinks they WANT – not what they NEED.

To that end I hope that the newly created ‘Propertymark’, to be used by ARLA/NAEA agents, will make that a priority.

I would canvass for anyone seeing the mark to be able to at least see what the profession actually does, from real people.

Rather than telling us how the mark guarantees quality, let’s start to get some real feedback from real people who’ve dealt with agents, in all areas, and post their experiences on the site.

That would allow the public wanting to know more to read actual case studies and understand how the process actually works.

I’m staggered how, for example, the public still thinks a house is sold when it’s simply put under offer – how can this possibly still be common currency? However, it explains why sellers would spend misguidedly as above.

More case studies would help hugely and agents must commit to soliciting them.

Quotes from people on how the agent made the difference, what they actually did to get the deal through, how knowledge meant they asked the right questions and smoothed the path – this will differentiate Propertymark and make it THE go to place for the public if promoted correctly.

I’ve talked before about the need for a level playing field, and a plethora of variable quality rating sites doesn’t help the consumer – and remember consumers are buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords.

Needs and wants have always been easy to muddle, so let’s see if this new mark can help distinguish – to everyone’s advantage.

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