One of my favourite songs is Easy by Lionel Richie and as I
sit here, listening to it, waiting on my SO to bring me a bacon sandwich ( don’t
worry its 50/50 in this household, I left her in bed whilst I went to the local
shop for the bacon and bread) I have had time to reflect on what has been a week
full of highs and lows. Stuart and I expected that self-employment would be a
challenge, and it has been. However, I did not expect the estate agency game to
be quite so cutthroat. I worked for quite a few years in the motor trade, so I am no stranger
to a ruthless, competitive sales environment, the difference between the motor
trader and an estate agent is that a motor trader accepts competition and
realises they will have to up their game, so to speak, whereas estate agents, on the other hand, use dirty tricks to try
and wipe their competitors out of the game using underhand tactics.
In the motor trade, a prospective customer is usually price conditioned before they get to the dealer. I imagine it is because they sell something tangible. The trader is selling metal and it has a value, whether it is a beat-up old transit van or a brand-new BMW the customer understands the value of the product. An estate agent is selling a Service, however, this is a whole different animal. What value can you put on a service? Just because it is cheaper is it worse? Just because its expensive, is it better? You only have to look at the internet, places like Fiverr, freelancer.com and a whole host of others offering services (that historically cost hundreds if not thousands of pounds) for tens of pounds if not less. I have used all these sites in the past and in truth, some have been poor. Most, however, have been fantastic quality and surpassed my expectations. This industry has everybody conditioned to think that selling your home is a very complicated process, it isn’t, not for the estate agent anyway, maybe for the solicitor should problems arise. Selling your home is as easy as selling a car. Market it, Get an Offer, Negotiate, Sell it. Here at Eazy Agent, we took a house on last week. A lovely property in Barnsley and the vendor decided to use our pay as you go product. The cost? £249! We attended the valuation (just for your information Onthemarket) on Thursday, marketed it on Friday, attended viewings on Saturday, sold the property subject to contract and supplied the memorandum of sale on Monday. Our Customer decided to pay for our attended viewing bolt-on, so her final invoice was for £279.
I would love to think that if you ring our Vendor, she will have nothing but praise for us. She still has the option to bolt on our completion service, but at this point, she is quite happy to deal with things herself. The cheapest of the other quotes she had received was £999, even if she takes the option to use our completion service, it will still have only cost her £479. Estate Agents are misleading you. There is no reason for the exorbitant fees other than pure greed and to cover their huge overheads. I know this sounds quite harsh, but I am sick to death of seeing others in this industry making snide remarks on our social media and our ads. The main one I see is “You get what you pay for” Well maybe you should contact our vendor, oh and the buyer, a lovely young family, who we are meeting up with next weekend, so they can measure up for carpets and furniture. Ask them if they got what they paid for (or not as the case may be) We have realised we are going to have to fight for our lives to move forward with our little business and we may have to get our virtual hands dirty but so be it. We will just keep being better than the rest of them whilst saving our customers thousands of pounds in the process.