Having had plenty of time to consider the state of the nation and the world in general (‘off to hell in a handcart’ seems suitably apt), I have been giving some thought to the valuations (and subsequent instructions), that I have lost to other agents. Yes, I know that it may come as a shock, but some people do not choose The Chesh to sell their property. Once I reconciled myself with the fact that not everyone thinks that I can walk on water… I acknowledged that it is unrealistic to think that you will be given the instruction to sell the property from every valuation that you carry out. Of course, as with everything one should try and be exceptional, (I know Ladies, it is a gift…) and we may well genuinely believe that we have been especial, but others may not. That being the case, we move on and in the words of Jim Bowen on Bullesye, “let’s look at at what we could have won”. As an aside, why was a prize that someone from the midlands could have won always a speed boat?
There are some vendors that as an agent you are never going to get; because your profile does not fit what they want. No, I am not meaning that they have an aversion to tall, debonair, urbane and follically-challenged estate agents but they have determined from the outset of initiating the selling process, that they want one thing above everything else. They want it to cost them as little as possible. I think the word that I am looking for is ‘cheap’ and the cheaper the better. History recounts that when my resolve has weakened and I have ‘done cheap’, these type of vendors complain the most. The premise of providing a top level service and doing it very cheaply is illogical. Everything costs something. It is a non sequitur. Adding further to the illogical argument is the agent who states that they are the best and will provide a top class service, but that it will be cheaper than any other agent in the area. So how are they doing this? They aren’t. They may be the cheapest in the postcode but they are not outperforming every other agent in the service that they provide.
What do we do about illogical buyers and agents? Nothing, leave them to it. They come together because each has what the other wants. History will again recount, that when it all starts to go wrong because the cheap service does not deliver the results wanted by the vendor, the latter will remain with the poorly-performing agent because, yes, you are getting it now, the agent is still cheap. As Spock offered, “I find your lack of logic disturbing”. As do I and that is without having pointy ears and having to wear a snug-fitting romper suit of dubious material.
The days of eye-watering high fees are long gone, but ultra cheap fees also have a limited life-span. They cannot last; let me explain. If a reputable, professionally-accomplished agent has an average fee of say £1500 and completes 4 property sales in a month, then that is an income of £6000. The agent next door who is offering a fee of £750, has to do twice as much work to generate the same amount of income. That is twice as many viewings, double the amount of printing, phone calls, petrol, ink, teabags and most important of all, twice as much time. This is the one thing that you cannot get back, re -sell or repackage.
So what is the answer? (Try and imagine The Chesh and Captain Kirk on the flight deck of USS Enterprise sporting equally fetching out-sized baby-gros, looking expectantly at their half-Vulcan crew member). The only behaviour that you can genuinely influence and control is your own, so as my old Sergeant-Major used to say, “continue you as you are”. Continue with the consistent message of a quality service for a reasonable fee.
And if Spock-like logic fails to win the day, it is always an option to resort to the oldest trick in the book as evidenced at a recent industrial tribunal where an estate agent who was offered a sex act by his boss if he hit sales targets has won his case of sexual discrimination. The lady boss told Paul Elworthy that she would perform the act on him if he banked £180,000. He stated that this proposition made him feel, “uncomfortable”. The tribunal’s findings did not recount whether this was because he knew that he couldn’t make the target, or whether if he did, he was going to have to feign a headache. I know, I know, I will go and get my coat…