Old Model, Old Tricks

I once read that “the price of clarity is the risk of insult” – I’ve taken this risk many times and will do so again now. It’s not the new models you should be scared of, it’s your current one.


According to Henry Pryor, the BBC’s favourite expert market commentator, approximately 50% of all properties listed fail to sell within 12 months – that tells me the current method is ripe for change and also explains why home sellers will now consider using a “new model” estate agent, (by the way, 22% said “yes” they had considered an online only agent when we asked them as part of the Home Moving Trends survey 2015).

Regularly on social media and daily on the online news forums, traditional estate agents rant about how the newcomers are “not professional”, “don’t know how to do the job”, “overvalue”, “undervalue”, and so on. As these comments are unlikely to be read by (bar a few) home owners, and are principally consumed by their competitors and the industry, I wonder why they bother to vent their feelings this way and have come to the conclusion it’s somehow comforting for them and might, temporarily, reduce their fear.

Instead though, I suggest this waste of energy be channelled productively, and that for me means focussing on the current business model, which for many estate agents is flawed and needs serious attention.

The Property Academy Mastermind and Summit Groups comprise 100 estate agency businesses and we’re helping them to fulfil their potential. They are achieving some dramatic results, (many doubling their income, market share and profits), not by doing anything radically different but instead through a total focus on the basics of estate agency. The first step we take is to establish the current performance, and to identify the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) for improvement. In addition to several financial metrics, here’s some of the main ones relating to business activity:

  • Share of Opportunity – what % of properties that come onto the market did you get to value?
  • Conversion rate – what % of properties valued that come onto the market did you win?
  • Average days on market – from date listed to offer accepted
  • Average time to exchange – from date listed and from offer accepted to exchange of contracts
  • Average price achieved – expressed as a % of initial asking price

Your daily focus and conversations should be around how to improve these metrics and that requires an individual assessment of each and every team member and each and every client. Rather than leaving these things to chance, or to the market, instead the best estate agents take action daily to improve their performance and to achieve better results for their clients. They largely ignore the new models and instead focus on improving their current one, differentiating themselves by improved results – you can teach an old dog some old tricks.

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