Two small boys, not yet old enough to be in school, were overheard talking at the zoo one day:
“My name is Billy. What’s yours? “Asked the first boy.
“Tommy,”replied the second.
“My Daddy’s an accountant. What does your Daddy do?” Asked Billy.
Tommy replied, “My Daddy’s an estate agent.”
“Honest?” Asked Billy.
“No, just the regular kind,” replied Tommy.
Estate agents have for many years attracted jokes like that and a less than favourable press, so it makes you wonder why anybody would want to do the job, let alone start a franchise doing it.
Why would you invest so much money into something that is likely to end up in you being the butt of jokes in the pub on a Friday night?
Well, the first thing to say is that it’s not really like that at all.
Some estate agents have made life difficult (or funny, depending on your point of view!) for the rest of us by being less than genuine, that’s true, but the vast majority are doing a fine job.
But where did this all start?
Where are the bad estate agents?
In about 1995, you could buy a house for around 50k. Honestly, you could. That’s not adjusting for inflation though, which skews the figures somewhat, but houses were much cheaper.
There then happened a period of rapid growth, with lots of people seeing houses as an investment, and so prices started rising.
This was all good to some estate agents because they got a percentage of the selling price, and so it was in their interest to get as much as possible.
Then the banks weighed in, giving ridiculously good mortgages to people who could barely afford them.
Supply and demand were in play, and because the demand was high (some would say artificially so), and supply was dwindling, the prices started to rocket.
And what were estate agents doing?
Well, that’s the thing, the market was so buoyant at the time, it was easy to sell a house, so some estate agents didn’t have much work to do. They simply put a sign outside a house and next thing you know, it’d been sold.
It’s important to understand that these were the exceptions to the rule, most estate agents were doing a sterling job, and selling houses wasn’t as easy in some places as the hot spots of the country – work still had to be done to earn a fee.
But, the damage was done.
The headlines were telling us that they were earning thousands of pounds for a few minutes’ work.
And so, it was seen as the easy path to good money.
It’s not quite like that…
These days, being an estate agent is actually a lot more work that you would think.
You’re not just putting posters up in a window and hoping for the best, there’s an active role for the agent to play in the selling of a property.
It’s almost like you have multiple jobs in one, for example, you’ll have to perform the following tasks during any house selling process:
- Valuer – you’ll need to understand local house prices and how they’re affected by property type, condition and location so you can give the vendor a realistic value for their property.
- Adviser – Some people need help to understand what they need to do to their house in order for it to sell quickly, and you’re going to need to provide that help in a way that doesn’t annoy or upset them.
- Salesperson – When showing people around the house, you’ll be selling on behalf of your vendor, can you do a good enough job? Are you confident meeting and discussing property details with people?
- Fount of all knowledge – This is especially true if you’re showing the house to people moving to the area. Do you know where the local schools are and what their Ofsted results are? What are the local pubs like? Where can they get a good Chinese meal? Your impressive knowledge of the local area can really help inspire confidence in the buyer and sell a property.
Can anybody be an estate agent?
Yes and no.
Technically, yes. Anyone can become an estate agent, and you don’t need any formal qualifications, but it’s not really that easy.
Not everyone is suited to the role.
As well as having a thick skin to laugh off jokes like that one up top, you also need to have those skills mentioned previously.
You need to be a “people person”, but also understand figures, the property market is always evolving.
That’s why Home-Xperts is such a good choice for many.
If you have the people skills and the drive to do well, then we can provide the framework, a system that works and the training that will turn you into a brilliant estate agent that really can do well in this market, and more importantly, make a difference to the people around you.