Why do Estate Agents have such a bad reputation?

The biggest issues Estate or Letting Agents face currently, is lack of stock. They are only getting called out to approximately 50% of what comes to the market and 40% of those decisions not to sell. 

Vendors are now meeting 3 to 5 Estate Agents to value their property, and each agent is undercutting each other, as they are so desperate for the instruction. What the majority of Estate Agents do not realize, is that they all have stock in front of them; they just cannot see it. 

One major flaw is that Agents invest heavily in the portals, leaflets, online advertising, social media, videos, etc. all to generate leads. However, they forget or choose not to invest in their most important asset – Their people. Without investing in their people, they are significantly reducing their probability of winning the valuations in the first place. Then, they continue to moan that they do not have enough stock. As the number of Estate Agents and self–employed agents has grown, the competition is tougher than ever.

Having listened to over 2,000 Rightmove calls from buyers/sellers, who are looking to spend between £200,000 and £4,000,000 I can count on one hand, where I was impressed with how the call was taken. 

Estate Agents are dealing with people’s biggest assets, yet they fail to invest in the team, whose responsibility it is to deal with these people. 

I am currently selling my house. I did the normal thing; I called out 3 local agents. I left voicemails with one, no reply. Not a great first impression! The second one just rang; there was no option to leave a voicemail. The third one, I called and asked to book a viewing on a property we saw on their website. This is how the conversation went: 

Agent: Good Morning, ____ estates, Scott speaking.

Me: Hi Scott, I want to arrange a viewing on a property I’ve seen. 

Agent: I’m afraid that’s now under offer, and as such, we cannot do any other viewings

Me: What a shame, it’s only just come on. Is there any way we can still see it? 

Agent: There isn’t I’m afraid

Me: OK 

Agent: Is there anything else I can help you with? 

Me: No thanks. 

And that was it. So, Scott was saying we cannot view it, however, he could have had a different property available, and the call could have gone like this: 

Agent: Good Morning X estates, Scott speaking.

Me: Hi Scott, I want to arrange a viewing for a property that I’ve seen, please. 

Agent: OK, let me help you. My name is Scott, who am I speaking with, please?

Me: Tony Morris.

Agent: Thanks for calling X Estate Agents Tony. Your landline has appeared, please could I also get your mobile?

Me: Of course, it is 07…….

Agent: Thank you. Out of curiosity, who recommended you to X Estates? 

Me: No one, I live locally.

Agent: Great! The only reason I asked is that most of our business is recommended to us. Where locally do you live? 

Me: I am on ABC Road.

Agent: I know it well. We’ve recently sold 2 properties on the crossroads (neighboring roads). Before I organize viewings, what is your situation?

Me: I’m going to need to sell

Agent: Great, I’m sure I can help you with that. Tell me, what attracted you to property X?

Me: It’s on a great road in Radlett and looks like there’s a lot of opportunities to extend and do work.

Agent: Yes, there certainly is. It has gone under offer this morning, however, now that I know it is of interest, I will ensure to keep you updated on its progression. If anything were to happen, you will be the first to know. You also highlighted a few factors that appealed to you… character, good road, opportunity to do work, which of those things would you not compromise on?

Me: They are all full of equal importance, to be honest. I guess I am open to the road that it’s on. 

Agent: Ok, and Property X is on the market for £1.4m. What are you comfortable spending up to? 

Me: I’ve got a MIP for £1.45m.

Agent: Fantastic. Who have you compared that against? 

Me: I haven’t. 

Agent: Let me arrange that for you. We partner with X mortgages because they have access to the whole market, it’s likely they will get you a better option. When is the most convenient time for Chris Smith, our mortgage expert, to call you?

Me: Any evening from 18:30

Agent: Great, I will schedule a call for tomorrow at 19:00. Please can I take your full address on ABC Rd?

Me: Certainly, it is xxx. 

Agent: Thank you. To see if we can help with your property, I just have a few questions. To begin with, imagine we’re standing outside number 4. Please walk me through your home. 

Me: sure, it’s… 

Agent: Sounds fantastic. Love the fact that you have a separate study, as so many people are working from home. You mentioned the garden size, what is it approximately in feet?

Me: It is around 80 feet and south-facing. 

Agent: Sounds ideal. It sounds very similar to one of those ones we recently sold on the crossroads. There were 3 buyers that were bitterly disappointed to miss out on it. They would be the first people we would call out to view yours. When choosing an agent, what would you say is the most important factor to you? 

Me: Price. Because we are looking to make our final move, we need every penny. On that note, what are your fees? 

Agent: It depends. When Rob Smith comes to see it, he is our local expert, he will be recommending the right marketing strategy with you and then can explain the fees.

Me: okay.

Agent: as the price is key, what price do you need to make this work for you?

Me: ideally, £1.15m

Agent: Okay, that’s good to know. Aside from you, who else will be involved in this move? 

Me: my wife, Shana.

Agent: Great. It is imperative that Rob meets both you and Shana. The reason being is, you’ll both have different questions, and he will want to answer those to help you make an informed decision. Looking at Rob’s diary, he can meet you and Shana at 17:45 tomorrow, or on Friday at 18:15. Which works better for you both?

Me: Let me go tomorrow, please.

Agent: excellent. Please can I get both your and Shana’s emails and a mobile number for Shana? 

Me: it is…

Agent: Thank you. What steps have you taken to ensure that you are legally prepared?

Me: not arranged that yet. 

Agent: As every penny counts, let me organize for Chris Jenkins, our in-house solicitor, to call you and provide an accurate cost to move. Which time works best for you?

Me: evenings are always better.

Agent: he is available tomorrow. To summarise, Rob will be coming out at X. Chris Smith, our mortgage advisor will call you at 19:00, followed by Chris Jenkins, our solicitor at 19:30. Thank you so much for calling X Estates. We look forward to meeting you. 

Two questions I recommend my estate agent clients ask themselves after every call is:

  1. What is the most I could’ve taken from that call?
  2. What did I take? 

If we go back to Scott’s call, nothing was taken or achieved. 

As there was only 1 property available to show, multiple viewings were not an option, however, 1 was recommended, based on the inquiry.

So, one of the Major reasons estate agents struggle with a lack of stock, is their people have not been equipped with skills to spot or deal with opportunities that have presented them.

If you would like a complimentary discovery call, to discuss where Tony Morris International Can help You DOUBLE YOUR STOCK, without spending an extra penny on marketing, then get in touch at  info@tonymorrisinternational.com

Some estate agents are more motivated than others to succeed in any market. As I see it, you have 2 options:

Option 1- keep moaning about a lack of stock and do nothing differently, to help you get more stock.

Option 2- Invest in your team and watch the valuations pour in.

Which option are you going to take?

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