The jungle drummers of the Cwmbran environ were at it so hard last week that even Roger Taylor might have been pushed to keep up. Like the characters in a Jane Austen novel, the negotiators (and anyone who had access to any form of telephonic instrument-branch managers were not immune) could barely contain themselves following the publication of a fellow independent estate agent’s article on his website. In his treatise, he revealed some home truths about other agents; specifically those agents who come under the corporate banner. Whilst the tone of his delivery may not have been to everyone’s taste, the content was indeed very accurate. So much so, that the points he ‘articulated’ had already been touched upon, conjugated and highlighted in many earlier blogs of Cheshire and Co. I am not for one moment accusing the gentleman of plagiarism-indeed imitation is the best form of flattery-but it did amuse me that a fellow independent agent should raise the same issues as we have on previous occasions. The issues raised were characteristics of the species corporatum agens. Several members of this close band of professionals (Band of Brothers has nothing on them…) were united in their ire at his effrontery. I understand that the regional director of one such corporate behemoth actually took the time out of his busy diary to write to the agent concerned to complain that this really wasn’t cricket. The cynical might opine that the notion of fair play rather got knocked into touch with a Kevin Pietersen approach when one of the regional director’s more junior employees knocked on the door of an elderly lady to tell her that they had 40 people wanting to view her property, nay buy it-right now! One could even say that the karma fairy turned up…wielding a cricket bat.
The squabbling continued throughout the week as the property portals Zoopla and OnTheMarket (OTM) engaged in a ‘handbags at dawn’ scenario. Despite losing 23% of its agents to OTM, Zoopla claimed to be unconcerned because since January, “The number of enquiries to OnThe Market had dropped considerably” [sic] Well that’s alright then. OTM then upped the ante in the hissy fit stakes by querying the veracity of the Zoopla analysis, stating that it was, “Simply…another desperate set of unsubstantiated claims geared to stemming the flow of agents away from it as they join OntheMarket” [sic] Ooooh! I think that this calls for the old refrain of “Fight, fight, fight!” Meanwhile, outside the kindergarten, the daddy of them all, with the lion’s share, (and that of mummy lion, the baby lions and various estranged lion family members), Rightmove, sat back toting a large cigar, laughing.
Come on boys and girls, at least pretend to be grown ups.