In a week that saw Wales undertaking victory celebrations as a result of losing… and Anton falling foul of not having to choreograph a novelty show for a naff dancer with all the grace of a galumphing hippo… I also found myself facing a new one that will feature in my forthcoming bestseller, ‘The life and times of a (devilishly good-looking) estate agent in South Wales’. I have already written to George to confirm that he is going to play me in the mini series… After the deja vu scenario of seeing a property for which we had received a proceedable offer-that the vendor had rejected with disgust as being far too low and then had said that he was taking the property of the market-being listed with another agent with an asking price the same as the offer that had been denounced, I was visited in the office by another potential vendor. Having informed me that the acquisition of the listing was between us and another agent (6 other agents had been discarded), he wanted to ask some further questions before making his decision. The first one was the timeless classic, of “How much will you reduce your fee?” (no prizes for originality there), but the second question was a bit of a googly; “What percentage of stock do you sell?” 47.5% I replied. The follow-up really did have some top spin; “What are you going to do to improve those numbers?” I have to admit that my initial reaction was, “What the “£$% has it got to do with you?”, but then my inner Andy ‘I love you Jezza’ Burnham kicked in and I responded with, “What is important to us is what we will do to sell your house and by the way, of the sales that we agree, 97.5% actually complete, a figure of which we are very proud”.
After our Watchdog wannabee had departed, I did reflect on how statistics can be used to say pretty much anything. It is a rare specimen of the estate agency breed that doesn’t look at their percentages in comparison to their competitors. I cannot speak for the females of the species but from a male perspective it is rather akin to waving certain parts of one’s anatomy at one another. Grown up and professional doesn’t cover it (well, certainly not in my case…)