JUST LAZING AROUND, AGAIN.
“Your job’s a doddle really. All you have to do is think up a price for a property, stick it on Rightmove and sit back and wait…”
If we had a penny for every time one of us in the office had heard this, we’d all have probably taken early retirement and be sipping a Pimms by a pool somewhere hot. Regrettably though, the reality is somewhat different.
So just what does your typical estate agent get up to every day? Regardless of whether you work on the high street or for an online estate agent, daily duties will include some – or all – of the following:
Dealing with inquiries: Naturally, you need to be ready to answer the phone. The call could be from a potential client who wants a run-down on the estate agency services you offer but, equally, it could be from a vendor who has instructed you already and needs an update on how the sale is progressing. It may be a solicitor you’ve been chasing on a client’s behalf, it may be from a supplier providing images and floor plans, it may be the webmaster who manages your online presence or even a potential buyer requesting more details on a property you have listed… Sometimes, it can feel like all of them at once. The challenge is staying on top of them all and making sure you have the relevant information either in your head of close to hand.
Market research: One of the most important skills any estate agent needs is market knowledge. Contrary to popular belief, you can’t just stick a finger in the air and think of a number. Get a valuation wrong and one of two things can happen; either your client loses thousands as the property was pitched too low or the house sits on the market for ages because it’s priced too high. The right price is vital – but it changes almost daily so an estate agent needs to have their finger on the pulse and that means some diligent and regular research. Of course there are apps for that these days … but they need to be monitored regularly.
Admin: If you’re successful at winning an instruction, then it means some careful administration. Not only does every property listed have its own price, getting the details right is essential. Property deals may leave the onus for fact-checking on the buyer but, if details printed or shared can be deemed as misleading, the repercussions can be quite serious. Also, the last thing any estate agent wants is to fall foul of poor photography. Images need to be checked; we’ve probably all seen the compilations of what can happen if they’re not!
Marketing: Estate agency is a fiercely competitive arena and any business which stands still simply gets left behind. There are multiple channels for getting your message out there these days and they need to be used – and monitored – daily. Of course, as with any company these days, a website is vital and needs to be refreshed regularly or risk being dumped down the rankings by Google’s algorithms. Social media channels also need to be updated.
Dealing with Buyers: Contrary to popular belief, estate agency isn’t just reactive, but proactive. As well as vendors, any good estate agent is also going to have a list of buyers on their books who have registered an interest in a specific type of property. They need to be kept up to date with what’s available – or what soon will be. Keeping tabs on what buyers are looking for helps towards those swift sales – and swift sales help with reputation and therefore help to generate more new business. Buyers also need to be qualified; any estate agent who repeatedly wastes their vendors’ time by arranging a potential sale with someone who hasn’t the funds or can’t complete isn’t going to be in business for long.
Negotiations: Good haggling ability and a poker face are also vital part of any estate agent’s skill set. Of course they know the asking price of the properties on their books but they will also know the minimum a vendor is prepared to accept. There is therefore a balancing act to be done between getting the best possible price but not driving such a hard bargain that it deters potential buyers. It can be delicate and tricky but it’s something a good estate agent will be handling frequently.
Sales Progression: One we have found a buyer the work doesnt stop. In fact some say this is where the real work begins. Keeping buyer and vendor both informed and happy is part of the daily routine and some take a lot of work. Almost every agent will have a storey about how theyy have gone above and beyond what is expected to keep a sale on track.
Lead Generation: It would be nice to think that an estate agent merely sits in their office and waits for vendors to walk through the door. Of course, personal recommendations are immensely valuable and the sort of marketing that money can’t buy – but, on their own, they’re not enough. A good agent will always be looking for leads through new and innovative sources. Just about everyone is a potential client as most of us will know someone buying or selling property at some point in our lives. For an agent, it’s a case of being there at the right time and that’s not something you can simply leave to chance. If you do, then a rival will probably get there first.
If you’ve stuck with us and read all that, then you’re a little more informed about the property business but, hopefully, it will also help you choose an agent next time you’re selling. If they’re doing all of the above and more, then there’s every chance it’ll be a smooth process …
But, with eSale, not only do we promise all of the above, it’s available for just £595 (including VAT) if you pay up front which we hope sounds more like a bargain now you know it’s not just a case of slapping something on Rightmove, sitting back and waiting …