Today the rumour mill has gone into overload with the sale of yet another established Estate Agency to a large corporate. While either company is yet to formally confirm the situation, it seems inevitable.
I for one find it sad that over recent years numerous independently owned estate agents have sold out to larger corporate entities. The consumer will ultimately be the loser in the battle as any room for individuality is often lost in the corporate machine. Estate agency is a service business and being independent means you can tailor your services to meet the needs of a client, this may be flexible payment terms, preferential rates or doing the odd favour for people just because you can.
Corporate agents tend to work within a rigid framework with everything chargeable to clients while always hiding behind lengthy terms of business. For employees its often 8am-8pm hours Monday to Friday often with Saturdays and Sunday thrown in for good measure. As a consequence, many of the employees are simply exhausted and cannot meet the often unreasonable expectations placed upon them and leave the company only to be replaced by another young enthusiastic newcomer who more than likely will experience the same fate.
With this cycle unlikely to change and getting worse all the time, all knowledge, skill and service is being stripped out of the business and will only perpetuate the terrible reputation estate agents have nationally.
The best agents are the ones who know their patch best. This cannot be achieved by google maps and five hundred calls a week. It is achieved via years burning through shoe leather pounding the pavements knowing every building and the owners and would be owners and tenants. A one-week intensive training course and a rigid structure work overall for the corporate machine but in many cases, they do not work for the people who work for them or indeed the customers.
If you work at an agency that has recently being bought out by a large corporate and you are fast losing your love for the industry and want to work for an agent where you can offer more be individual and have greater flexibility we would like to hear from you. We are independently owned, award winning, respected, have a low staff turnover, a high level of staff satisfaction and perhaps more relevant we are not for sale.