Estate agency is full of pathetic processes that encourage the public to have little or no respect for the profession. As an example, I can walk into an estate agents and demand to see a property, be really difficult with the negotiator on the front desk and eventually they will just take me round to see the property without even registering any details about me. Firstly because ‘you never know I might just buy it’ (yeah right!). Or secondly, because we as an industry have just not trained our staff well enough to know that their time is valuable and how to say no to people.
Equally, I can ask an agent round for a valuation without giving you much information whatsoever like I'm doing you some sort of favour and estate agents just take it because you wouldn’t want that pain in the arse client to go anywhere else now would you?!
There have been many debates recently on platforms like clubhouse or industry podcasts like Estate Agency X, where agents have debated why the public have a lack of respect for them and this problem sits at the heart of the matter. It's time for estate agents to grow a set of balls and actually start having a bit of respect for themselves, this in turn will allow the public to start having some respect for them too. If I want to see one of your properties, I need to give you my details. It does not have to be complicated and 99% of the population would understand this. You have an obligation to both your own company and your seller or landlord to take down my full details including whether I've got a mortgage in principle, what I'm doing with my solicitors and my entire set of circumstances before you get off your arse and take me to view a property.
Currently Estate Agency is too full of what if’s – what if that is the one person who buys the property? What if that person turns out to have a property to sell? These odds are just not worth the effort when you counterbalance that with; what if you only dealt with serious buyers and sellers? What if everyone actually told you if they have a property to sell? What if all of your clients were nice people?
So, in answer to the question – How can we make the public have more respect for estate agency, perhaps the answer is to first start to have some respect for yourselves.