Are we gaining in the popularity stakes?
Wed 01 Aug 2007
I listened to a debate on the radio last week in which the general public were being asked to vote on who they thought was more trustworthy: an estate agent, a tabloid journalist or a politician. I am delighted to be able to report that despite what many people may have thought, the politician was voted the least trustworthy, closely followed by the tabloid journalist with the estate agent voted the most trustworthy.
Now - I am conscious that none of the three are at the top of people’s favourite professions however I do believe, in London especially, that estate agents are starting to earn the respect we deserve for carrying out a job fraught with difficulties when dealing with people at their most demanding. After twenty five years in the business it never ceases to amaze me what estate agents can get blamed for. It is incredible how sellers and buyers alike can change from charm and respect to vitriol and irrationality upon receipt of some disappointing news. Don’t get me wrong, I’m afraid it will always be our job to be the “meat in the sandwich”, to be the peace maker and be the bearer of good and ill tidings. As a job it’s exhilarating and frustrating, exciting and demoralising all at the same time.
It may be my imagination, however I feel that the reason for this new found respect is the type of people who are now representing our industry. In the past it was an industry that may not have been first choice on the career list but an industry that people ‘fell’ into and in some cases just existed in! Now I believe that we are attracting some really excellent people who have a wide variety of life experience and the ability to see the job for what it is: a fantastic opportunity to deal with real people, selling real things and not just stuck behind a desk in front of a screen for twelve hours a day. At Marsh & Parsons we insist upon utter integrity from our people so they have the ability to empathise with the buying public in a professional and human manner - they are capable of understanding the trials and tribulations of buying and letting property and can understand the opinions of the ‘injured’ party without stepping back from what they know is the right and proper course of action. It is always an estate agents’ duty to act on behalf of the seller or landlord; however I do not believe this makes it impossible for us to treat the buyer or tenant with absolute respect and this is the reason we are starting to gain in the popularity stakes.
In my view, our growing reputation is hard won, should not be given up lightly and indeed should be built upon.