O.ther B.ugxers. E.fforts…

….As the O.B.E. (Order of the British Empire; established on June 4 1917 by King George V for all you anoraks out there) is more commonly known. By some blip in the postal system and/or a typing error on the list that was prepared for the Honours and Awards Committee, my name did not appear on the New Years Honours List.  Shocking, I hear you say.  Bearing in mind that it was established as an order of chivalry and I nearly always hold the door open for members of the fairer sex – unless of course it is raining, Kylie or Flavia (who got married last week – how dare she?) are strutting their stuff on the box or there is only one milk chocolate digestive left in the tin – I would have thought that I was an odds-on cert.  As the saying goes, if you want something doing properly, do it yourself.  To that end, in pursuit of a bit of bling I am going to nominate myself.  I didn’t think that this was possible and not really cricket, (for the benefit of the English Cricket team that’s when you try and use the wooden thing – the bat, to hit the red round thing – the ball), until I discovered how certain agents get to be ‘Leading Small Estate Agent in South Wales’ or ‘Best Letting Agent in Rydale’ (up North if you are interested).  Following on from an article this time last year in the Daily Telegraph by their chief property expert Graham Norwood that proclaimed ‘Britain’s Best Small Estate Agents’ (Daily Telegraph 12 January 2013), I decided to delve a little deeper into how this list was compiled.  In fairness to Mr Norwood and his team his list generated a considerable amount of discussion in the feverish world of social media, culminating in his taking to a blog site to explain how he did his picking.  He explained that he consulted with over 200 property contacts that he had established in his 12 years of writing about residential property, plus he asked for suggestions on Twitter.  Not the most exhaustive selection process it has to be said, and the title was a little misleading as it was the top 20 selected from the ones that he knew of; not from a pool of every agent working throughout the British Isles.  As he admitted in his blog, “..the list is largely personal…nor are these agents the only good ones in the country”[sic]. He did though state his belief that it was a more independent means of selection than that of self-nomination for awards; a practice that is common throughout the industry and explains why certain agents proudly display how they have won an award in a category that only they knew about…

Reading through his list did reiterate two very pertinent maxims to which all estate agents should aim to adhere at all times: excellent customer care and knowledge of their subject matter making vendors and buyers happy with the minimum of fuss.  On a personal level, putting my magpie-like characteristics aside, I would rather see a contact book on my desk full of customers who would use my agency’s services again, rather than a shiny plaque on the wall covering the damp patch.

To conclude the first blog of 2014 covering the topics alluded to above, namely cricket, self-worth and awards for personal endeavour, I draw your attention to one of the best sledging lines ever used.  The Australian pace bowler Glenn McGrath asked the slightly rotund Zimbabwean Number 11, Eddo Brandes why he was, “so f”£$ing fat”, to which Brandes replied, “because every time I £$%& your wife, she gives me a biscuit”.  No answer to that really.