The State of Estate Agents

There is a systemic problem in some estate agencies that has been casting a nationwide pall over the Buy Sell and Let business.    We have all heard stories about duplicitous agents whose motivations supersede those of their clients and unfortunately, these stories are prevalent enough to tarnish the entire industry, incorrectly.

If we take a moment to look at the behaviors that drive the individuals and businesses who are culpable for the creation of this ill will, we can start to pinpoint their motivations and better understand the impact it might have on your experience.  

Each property transaction has four core players,
Whilst everybody is aware of the buyer the seller and the individual agent as key components in a property transaction there is a further fourth element, a little-understood key factor that largely determines the behaviour and ethos of the individual agent. It determines the odds of a Vendor having their property overvalued and that property subsequently sitting around on the market for long periods of time,  of prospective purchasers having their time wasted being taken to see properties that do correspond with their requirements. Repeated cold calling, agents trying to sell you insurance or pushing you to use their recommended solicitor, and in rentals and property management, the previously mentioned fourth element is the reason that there is an ever-changing array of agents,  none of whom ever get to know the properties they are responsible for are all symptoms of this 4th factor.
What is the 4th factor? The Corporate Estate Agency business model is the fourth factor, it has infected what should be a simple and honest facilitation of a transaction between a buyer and seller, infected it with an ethos of greed and a litany of sharp behaviours. The business model pits individual agents within any given Corporate estate agency against each other, like starving cats fighting for a morsel of food these agents have to fight for each deal within their own offices, not even mentioning the fight against other Corporate estate agency business for customers.
 This business model exhorts the individual agent to elbow his colleague out of the way and to do whatever it take to get a listing and to close the deal,  the basic pay in these business models is always far too low to survive on and this in turn creates a desperate culture dominated by those with the least scruples, willing to do whatever it takes. This business model is what has contaminated the Estate Agency business and given it a bad name.
 Fortunately, that is not the entire story and there is good news for anyone looking for an alternative that does have scruples, because there are alternatives that operate in an entirely different fashion and are not beset by the avaricious tendencies described heretofore.  If honest open and transparent are qualities that matter you then the smaller boutique agencies ought to be your first port of call.It is fair to ponder whether the issues endemic in the Corporate Estate Agency business model are not also present within Boutique agencies,  I can tell you they are not and I will tell you why they are not.
Boutique agencies do not have national marketing budgets and have to acquire their business via word of mouth and repeat business to do this they have to ensure that they treat their customers openly honestly and are transparent in their dealings because if they fail to act this way they tend to fail, they nurse a small patch of chimney pots, build relationships with their customers and get to know them as individuals and in order to do this Boutique agencies simply can't motivate their staff in the same way as the Corporate agencies because it would inevitably result in negative experiences for their clients    
 If you are looking for honest agents that are reliant on word of mouth to attract their customers, businesses who have to compete on a basis of integrity because they don't have nationwide marketing budgets,  who don't and can't treat their staff as entities to be manipulated with a culture of greed and fear and due to this don't have the high staff turnover of Corporate Estate Agencies look for your local Boutique Agency.