Monthly Archives: February 2019

There’s more to life than the high street

I’ve always been a bit of a Marmite character and todays’ trade press news has brought responses on both sides of the spectrum in the usual ratios.  I’ve been blessed to receive some wonderful phone calls, emails and DMs’ on social media wishing me the best of luck. Also, haters are always going to hate. They can only hurt you if you place a value in their opinion.

Like most new stories, you only get to see the tip of what is usually a much larger event and the factors leading to that event. This often leads to an understandable mix of responses based on the publicly available information, rather than the wider back story of the people or organisations involved.

Typical of some of the comments is from anonymous Property Industry Eye poster ‘IndAgent’. The questions and statements it contains be taken a number of ways and I felt that it was only fair that I gave a more reasoned explanation and a little more background to my decision. My answer to this question is repeated below.

Readers will know from a previous blog that I have a couple of health issues and these have lead to a number of events and decisions over the past few years and to my announcement last week.

I love estate agency with a passion but I also need to re-prioritise, down-size a little, be kinder to myself and reduce the number of properties I deal with to facilitate other needs and dreams whilst ensuring my clients receive the same high standards I have always espoused.

My other business Ocean3D.co.uk is growing quickly with some highly notable clients already on our books but, equally requiring more of my time and resources. At some point, when the time is right or, I feel that I can no longer look after my estate agency clients to the standards I set due to other business, time or health considerations I will stop listing and selling peoples’ homes. Until then, my clients’ needs remain “number one, not just one of a number.”

IndAgent

Morning Chris. Interesting move. Couple of questions…. What percentage fee/or average £ fee would you be aiming to charge clients?

If you aim to charge more than your local, High Street competitors, what are your justifications for charging more, whilst on the surface ‘doing less’ in the eyes of the general public.

As agents are marketing firms, selling a product, a house, if a client was to ask, ‘where are you advertising my property?’  What would your response be?

My reply:

Our fee is typically 0.25 to 0.5 % above our competitors. On a typical house sale in my area that’s a reasonable sum for a job well done (people still recommend us widely locally and on social media despite costing a little more than some but, equally less than others).

I’m happy to spend some time with you at your premises on how to raise fees if you want to employ me. My industry knowledge has been used quietly over the years by a number of firms and individuals including a good number with far higher profits and turnover than, I suspect, every poster on this forum.

I employ a number of USPs’ including 3D tours, magazine cover style main photograph, excellent social media presence etc. but, most importantly, a more personalised, experienced and friendly service that has a reputation for honesty, integrity and transparency. Heck, our sole agency contract even has a badge to prove it! http://www.plainenglish.co.uk/services/honesty-mark/honesty-mark-holders.html

As for advertising your home, we advertise on our website and the portal that we receive the most leads from, that is cost effective and value for money. We’re not on Rightmove any more because it was no longer a cost-effective way to market clients homes.

If all people are employing you/ your firm for is the fact you can say you advertise on Rightmove, you are simply holding yourself hostage of going with the lowest common denominator.

I’m not in a race to the bottom on fees or service, never have been and never will. We’ll lose some business and some of it will, no doubt, good business but, I’m looking forward to having a little more free time on my hands, developing my 3D tour business, not being beholden to a number of fixed costs and, moving towards my goal of buggering off to the Med’/ Caribbean with my partner as charter and private yacht skippers and hosts in a few years time. After 30 years of working in agency and a few health concerns, I need to reprioritise and re-focus.