Property PR Focus: The demonisation of estate agents
Topping the list of most hated professions, (possibly third to parking attendants and politicians!) are estate agents. As a property PR specialist I was invited to speak on BBC Three Counties Radio a few months ago in response to a report that claimed estate agents ought to be more tightly regulated and handled with a great deal of caution. Whilst I agree that the industry could do with more stringent regulatory guidelines (especially in the private rental sector) I do think that estate agents often get bad press when in fact, homeowners should be encouraged to trust and even bond with their agent to get the best chances of securing the home they’ve always dreamed of.
I do not disregard the short comings of individual organisations (and from experience, I recognise that there are many!) However, for the press to demonise estate agents as Machiavellian salespeople is simply counterproductive in helping disappointed homebuyers get their best chance of finding a home. As an ex-agent myself (if you couldn’t already tell!) , I would often make a point of calling the people I spoke to most often on a regular basis so they would naturally get the best pick of the properties available. Lesson in Homebuying: You won’t get anywhere if you don’t invest time in speaking regularly to the estate agents and forming a relationship with them. The more they hear from you the more likely they are to help find you what you’re looking for. A good estate agent will often be able to tell you about things that aren’t even on the open market or waiting to go live (which is a real God-send for London homebuyers trying to avoid being gazumped for the hundredth time..)
Estate agents could do with a better reputation all round. They don’t just take fees and make money; there’s a lot more to it than that (especially in the current housing market). I would be happy to hear from agents doing a good job for their clients who deserve to be recognised for it.