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Don't Start your own Estate /Letting Agency until you have read this

[Reading time 9 mins]

"If you build it, they will come." The classic line from the late 1980’s movie Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner, yet such advice on starting your estate/letting agency could prove catastrophic for any start-up Estate and Letting Agent in 2019
I see it all the time with 20 and 30 somethings, top class Valuers or Branch Managers, working for the ‘man’, be that Corporate or Indy. They are the very best listing machine around, converting every free val they go on, yet when they open their agency, that same thoroughbred listing machine, who put everything (house, mortgage, car, soul, loans etc) on the line to open their own agency turns out to be not very good at generating valuations.
It doesn’t matter how good you are at converting if you have nothing to convert.
Most great valuers/listers are simply not good at generating their own free vals?  Harsh but true
Don’t believe me? Look back over your last 30 free vals – how many of those did you generate yourself…
Recent posts

Blocking your diary out for prospecting is wrong

The best Estate Agents block out their diary’s to prospect for new properties/listings… because without listings you have nothing. Yet I am suggesting blocking time out to prospect is actually the wrong thing to do...
Blocking time out to prospect shows that we actually get our priorities back to front.
Because blocking out something, in fact, frees up the rest of the time for what is the most important thing in your agency.
By allocating small amounts of time for prospecting for house sellers (and landlords) we are fact surrendering more time to what is less important …admin etc
What if you did it the other way round? What if in its place of blocking time for prospecting, you blocked time for admin and other boring jobs?
What if you limited the time available for things that don’t result in a new listing or agree an offer to a sale?
What if you blocked out only 2 hours a day to updating your C.R.M, viewing feedback, vendor contact, cultivating relationships, emails and reporting your s…

Treading Water as an Estate/ Letting Agency Boss

ESTATE /LETTING AGENTS  - Is it at all conceivable that you and your agency are having the same year over and over again – like Groundhog day. You might be repeating the same ways of doing business, built on the same actions you did last year (and the year before) built on the same beliefs. 
Without changing the way you do business, you remove the likelihood of changing your results. 
You might have the best of intents to be a better agent, but those intents are not enough to keep you from just treading water. 
You know you need to change, because if today was enough, then you wouldn’t need to change. 
Those agents who stop treading water tend to lead a life of their own making and produce an agency with results they want. 
How? 1st- you need to know where you are going, because you can never hit a target if you can’t see it because without a target, you are discharging yourself to the now – not the future. 
To change, you have to know what you want and why you want it, and you need to focu…

Slagging off the competition in Estate Agency

Some Estate Agents have been known to speak ill of their competitor agents in their FV pitch. If I had a £1 for every time some Valuer or Branch Manager say, “There is no way they can offer a decent level of service on such low fees and run a business model that isn’t sustainable in the long run.” ….yet they are still in business years later and show no signs of disappearing.
Nevertheless, I think there is a better way to talk about your competitor agents at the free val
“We know [insert name of agent] well. So much so, we have many acquaintances and friends at that agency. They do decent work as an agent, yet we have vastly different ideas about how to sell(let) property. Do you mind if I share with you what makes us different as an agent?”
You see, I believe being in estate agency (and lettings) is all about relationships, its about saying the right thing and then committing to it, I believe we as agents should work extremely hard at selecting the right words that make those convers…

Estate Agents - The only reason your Facebook Ads or marketing leaflet campaigns aren’t working ...

Estate Agents - The only reason your Facebook Ads or marketing leaflet campaigns aren’t working is that your advert has to bring value. The No.1 thing that is happening in society the way people value time.. time is exploding in value to us because we all now live in a 24/7/365 world. 
People don’t want read your self-serving propaganda on your estate agency, your sales message, landlords wanted, your Rightmove pie chart, what you have sold, and why your agency is so good. 
What Estate Agency advertising (in fact all advertising) has doing since the 1980’s is it stopping you from doing what you want to do and it's selling you something which means by nature it is stealing your time which is why the second you decide that to stop selling and give out valuable content and you actually want to bring people value instead of selling them something … you win.   
Talk about the one thing every homeowner and landlord in your town is interested in  .. what is happening to the local property m…

a lesson from a Farmers Market to all us agents

I love to go to the Christmas market in Stamford with Senior Management (the wife)… especially the food bit. This year there were two cheese sellers .. and both made cheese and their farm. They sell an almost indistinguishable product (Red Leicester cheese), but one was selling three or four times as much cheese as the other. Their marketing techniques were comparable. Try and catch people’s eye, give them a sample of the cheese (with cocktail stick – this is Lincolnshire) to try and use that time the potential punter is munch the cheese to go into sales mode The first cheesemaker informs his potential punters his cheese is the best Red Leicester cheese in the UK. ‘I should know, I make it,’ he proudly declares. The second cheesemaker tells potential punters that his cheese are vegan, dairy and gluten free. ‘Its delicious when a thick chunk is cut and eaten with some warm bread. Great grated on pizza and when having a nice glass of vino on a Friday night afterwork .. the bold, yet mello…

Your three best friends ...

Think of your three best friends ..  then I asked you to describe them in no more than five words .. I bet without a missing an heartbeat you might say fun, caring, faithful, big hearted or unstinting, yet if I asked you to tell me about your estate agency’s qualities, traits or attributes  … would it be so easy to reel off five words?  Estate and Letting Agents spend so much time and effort in becoming known without telling people what we, as agents, want to be known for. All I’m suggesting is that if we, as estate and letting agents want to have a opportunity in how our estate and letting agency is seen and noticed (ie people’s perception of our agency) in the big bad world, then we need to be purposeful about creating that perception. … because if you don’t tell your story – somebody else will.

Storytelling in Estate Agency

In this busy 24-7 social media, where the average human  gets 2,000 adverts pushed at us a day world, when we manage a agents to get our advert in front of someone, albeit for a fleeting few seconds, the mistake we make as estate and letting agents is believing that we need to give potential landlords and house sellers all the information about our agency and why its so much better than every other agency.. whilst we have their ever so brief attention. That is what the teachers taught us at school. We were not reprimanded for writing down everything we knew on our answer sheets for our essays and exams. If you wanted top marks on your exams – you dumped everything on the page ..  yet this doesn’t work when we are dealing with real life people. The objective isn’t just to deliver the evidence that we are the best agent in town by giving chapter and verse .. far from it … it’s to grab the imagination of the house seller or landlord. As children, we communicated in stories, not facts and f…

The Adam Day Interviews

Purplebricks - Why have they got the lions market share of the online Estate Agents?
What can High Street learn from Online Estate Agents?
What is the future of UK Online Estate Agency Model? (Adam Day)
Should Estate Agents boycott Rightmove this winter?
What would you do in the next 2 yrs as a hybrid agent?

Adam Day - Why did you move to EasyProperty?

Simon Whale Interviews

Simon Whale - Who do you admire in UK Estate Agency Profession?
Simon Whale - What would change about your life?
Simon Whale - Are Estate Agency Awards worth it?
Simon Whale - Who are the best 3 Estate Agents in the UK
Simon Whale - Why are Estate Agents rubbish at prospecting?
Why is 80pc of PropTech a waste of time?
 PropTech for Prop Tech's Sake - Simon Whale vs Watkin
Simon Whale - Why is it difficult to swap CRM systems in Estate/Letting Agency?
Simon Whale talks PropTech and Estate Agency

What are Simon Whale's plans after REAPIT?

9 Videos by Iain McKenzie of the Guild about Estate Agency

Top tips for Canvassing from Iain McKenzie
Customer Care in Estate Agency
Estate Agents - Is there an imbalance between staff and PropTech?
How do Estate Agents increase Market Share?
Estate Agents - GREAT SCRIPTS for Negs and Valuers
Do Estate Agents get paid enough?
Do Estate Agency Bosses train their staff enough?
iain McKenzie talks about Compliance in Estate Agency
Iain McKenzie - What one thing would you change about Estate Agency?

Caring in Estate Agency

In this 21stCentury internet world we increasingly see choices to choose the quick digital shortcut over a handcrafted, individual personal reply. Don’t get me wrong, I love the cut and paste email message on Facebook .. but could it  bee seen as just that? When we communicate on autopilot instead of individually, thoughtfully and with humanity .. what will we become? Robotic? I have learnt there is not shortcut for caring. No alternative for connection that is meaningful and deep. If you want to get more landlords and more home owners to use your agency, you have to do it one by one, you have to do the work of being the kind of person who makes the effort to build the relationships that matter .. if want to create the future you want to see.  We are not in the property business moving people .. we are in the people business helping them move home.   … And if you believe that .. then surely, as we are all individual human beings  .. surely our communication must be on a one to one basis…