Vendors to Reap What They Sow.

Vendors to Reap What They Sow.

Vendors to reap what they sow.

We’ve said it before:

It’s your fault.

Yes you.  The homeowner/vendor.

Not to put too fine a point on it.

Clueless.

Clueless about how to choose a great estate agency.

Clueless about why the fee is irrelevant.

Clueless about why you place so much importance on the valuation.

And what makes it worse?

A large number of estate agents are aiding & abetting this incompetence.

The end result?

We get the estate agents we deserve.

EP 2: Do We Get the Estate Agents We Deserve?

Two and a half years on from the podcast clip above, of that much, I’m certain.

In that time, we’ve seen the advent of PurpleBricks.  Every high-street estate agents living nightmare.

PurpleBricks.  The same as your high-street agency. Only cheaper.

And that’s the point.

Vendors may think, when it comes to agency fees,  cheaper is better.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Seth Godin points out that “if you do undifferentiated work,( as many agencies do ), the market will always squeeze you to do it cheaper.”

And PurpleBricks, along with the likes of eMoov and YOPA did it cheaper.  Substantially cheaper.  That was their unique selling point.

Not better.

Cheaper.

£895 seemed amazingly cheap.  At the time.

But because it’s undifferentiated work by these online opportunists, they are being squeezed.

Quite hard it turns out.

£695 – £495 – and now £99.

The Candy Diet, again by Seth Godin points out that if all you ever eat is candy, the future will be a world with nothing but Candy shops.

Likewise, if all a homeowner ever instructs is a cheap, fixed-fee, online, D-I-Y agency, don’t be surprised when traditional high-street agencies disappear.

The shame of that would be the demise of those that do actually care about providing a great service.  Those that invest considerable time, money and effort into a service designed to do what most vendors want.

Achieve a premium price. In a timescale most convenient.  Without the usual ‘headaches’.

The tide of cheap online and hybrid agencies, however, is washing ashore.

Many traditional high-street agencies have accepted this as inevitable and jumped in the water.

Savills, Countrywide, LSL are just a few of the really big agency chains that partly embrace this offering.

The usual excuse proffered is that they are offering the vendor additional options.  Full service, if that is what is required.  Half a service, with the option to upgrade later, if that is a more suitable option.

The problem with that thinking is that it places the responsibility precisely where it shouldn’t be.

With the vendor.

Said differently.

There is the very best way to sell your home.  But, we’re going to offer you the option of doing it slightly worse.  Because that’s what others are doing. And we’d rather have your business than gift it to some other agency.

How very inspiring.

Play the confusion card.  That’ll work.

The right way to sell a home.  And the ‘not so right’ way.

As if there isn’t enough confusion already, in the process of choosing an estate agency and selling your home.

But the half-truths and deceptions continue.  As strong as ever.

YOPA and PurpleBricks have frequently been admonished by The Advertising Standards Authority.

Advertising that misleads.  But advertising that obviously works because for the third time in just over a year, YOPA have been required to withdraw misleading ads.

A slap on the wrist and on they go.

As a vendor, one might expect the agencies to be above all that.

One might expect them to act with a sense of professionalism, ethics and integrity.

Many do.

It’s still your fault, though.

Estate agency is very competitive and these agents live and breathe a sales culture.

Not for them any reason to inspire a vendors trust.

Some will say and do almost anything to gain an instruction.

Just as wolves chase sheep, agents chase vendors.  Anyone with a warm pulse.

The agents that desert the high-street, to become a small cog in a digital marketplace, are not blessed with strategic vision.

As Seth Godin (you might have guessed he’s up there with the angels) points out:

“Uber drivers, freelance, bottom-fishers, hard-working people cranking things out by the pound will eventually be squeezed by the market.”

Uber drivers will be replaced, in all probability, by driverless cars. The price will go up.

Hybrid ‘local property experts’ might be squeezed out as the major players build their brand and open up avenues previously unexplored.  What was for many easy entry, to the world of hybrid estate agent, will seem a lot darker in the coming years.  The price will go up.

No matter what the changes in store for estate agency, the responsibility for choosing the best agency still rests firmly on the shoulders of the homeowner.

If vendors don’t know what they are doing, it’s a risk.

And the bubble that is for many the ‘safe-harbour’ of a review site?

That’s about to burst anytime soon.

allAgents, Feefo, Trustpilot and other soi disant review sites have been rumbled.

Fake reviews, major agencies selecting which reviews to publish on certain sites and some review sites ‘at war’ with agency owners.  Irrespective of whether the genuine reviews have any credibility or authority, whatsoever, getting a genuine review from a vendor that knows what they’re talking about is hard to find.

If you’re a vendor, looking for the best agency, you need impartial, principled, unequivocal advice.  You need someone to provide the questions.  Someone that knows the answers you should expect.  Someone that can negotiate the fee to ensure both parties win.  That’s done by a sliding scale fee , together with an accurate valuation.

You need someone to check the contract.  Ensuring there are no disadvantageous clauses hidden in the small print.

You need someone who will keep your property at the forefront of the agency’s mind.

You need someone on your side.

Check out our service on www.agencynegotiation.com .

We’re here to help.

If you’re satisfied with mediocrity and second-best, it’s still your fault if things go wrong.

Thanks for reading.

 

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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