A perfect talent storm

Posted on September 9, 2009


57DMarkets can be funny things but I have to admit that I am baffled by the current impact of supply and demand on estate agency.

One the one hand, the property market has shrunk due to the lack of credit, many estate agents have been laid off, as with many other industries, and yet, as things start to recover, there is a golden opportunity for those that are left to get in at the start of the up turn.

In addition, the recruitment market has changed from a candidate-led market of a couple of years ago, into one where employers are in control and should be able to pick and choose from them best talent.

A perfect storm, then, if you run an estate agent – talent to choose from to ride the wave back into the black.

So why is it that the agents selling our flat (that we rent) have missed the opportunity so badly?

  1. The property details advertised bear no resemblance to the property itself – the estimated rental income, for example, is 44% more than we current pay.  This has so far resulted in a steady stream of “interest” but at least one applicant has been witnesses screaming “no!” and storming out of the property.
  2. The price advertised is pure fantasy.  Even if viewers are able to see the “potential” (and past the damp, need for a new kitchen, bathroom etc.) they will need to take off at least 30% for it to be worthwhile.  Of course, they don’t know that until inside since the agent has chosen to make no internal photos available.
  3. Instead of acting professionally, the ever increasing number of agents dealing with the flat seem unable to agree within three hours of each other at what time viewings have been arranged.  Even then, they don’t necessarily know where the flat is – the fact that it is basement having been left off the details and catching out the agents as much as the “potential buyers.”

The upshot is not only that they will struggle to find a buyer for this flat (before inevitably having to reduce the price and update the website, incurring cost and time), but they have also missed out on impressing us enough that we would consider using them to purchase one of our own.  Indeed, they have now joined the ever-growing list of estate agents we would never consider doing business with.

It seems strange that, presented with perfect conditions, some industries seem utterly incapable of grasping them.