“You’re only as good as your last…

…game/winner/hit/performance…” So goes the old adage, advising us not to place too much emphasis on what has happened in the past. Top earner on bob-a-job in 1972, Regional Manager of the Year-1997-1999, breaking the 1000 barrier for number of ‘friends’ on Facebook in 2015.. All highly commendable, (well maybe not the last one, you social misfit), but mean absolutely naff all in the context of what you are really judged on in the here and now-your most recent performance-be it riding a horse, attracting members of the opposite sex (that seventh Sambuca and low lighting have a lot to answer for), closing a deal, or for those of us fighting our way through the foothills of the property market, selling a house. A recent survey carried out by Portico estate agents in London, the results of which were published, concluded that only 12% of those questioned placed importance on the age and history of an estate agent. Noting that Portico themselves were established in 1818 (the same year that Chile gained independence from Spain and Illinois became the 21st state of the USA), so clearly years logged is important to them, I did begin to wonder who deems the age and history of a firm to be of such import that it is a deciding factor in agent selection. Well some research on Rightmove showed that many agents who have been in operation since the last king was on the throne really do believe that being able to remember the days when a pint was 20p, smoking was de rigeur and Cher still had most of the face that she was born with will convince the undecided to choose them over some upstart of an agent who has only been around since Katie Price was on Husband No 1 and still referred to as Jordan. The new kids on the block (remember them? You should have seen me throwing a few shapes to ‘Step by Step), are not immune to hyperbole. Invariably they refer to themselves as, ‘vibrant’, ‘progressive’, or if particularly full of themselves, ‘visionary’. The latter I would apply to behemoths such as Henry Ford, John Rockefeller, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerburg, not anybody in the Cwmbran postcodes, not even myself (I know, selflessness and modesty are my middle names).
All such proclamations are jolly good, my dear chap, but what do they actually mean in relation to delivering a service to the client and-this is the real deal maker or breaker-how do they affect the fees that a potential customer will expect to be charged? Another scan through the competition reveals that alongside Cheshire & Co, there is only one other agent in the target areas of Cwmbran and Newport that clearly states in their advertising their services and their fees. Forget the ice bucket challenge, that is so last year. Instead, ring an estate agent in Cwmbran and ask them what they charge and what exactly constitutes this fee. Answers on a postcard please, the winning entry will receive a signed photo of me, surely that is worth the cost of a ‘phone call…