All Change

Following last week’s announcement that we have retired the Estate Agency & Lettings Agency of the Year Awards I’ve received several calls from people asking “why?” given the preeminence of the events.

I’ve found my replies have drawn on examples of others getting out at the top and going on to achieve something else of equal or greater merit, from The Beatles to Sebastian Coe, from Arnold Schwarzenegger to Victoria Beckham but this is only half the story.

The trouble with being number one in anything is where do you go from there? There are broadly three options:

  1. To seek to continue to improve with marginal gains.
  2. To continue as is and gradually decline as others catch up.
  3. To get out and reinvent yourself. To act as a new entrant with a totally clear sheet of paper to work from.

For every example of someone getting out at the top there are at least a hundred, maybe a thousand or more, that have clung on to eventually exit a shadow of their former selves. This to my mind is quite sad as the last memory can linger longer than those prior. A recent example of hanging on too long to a market leading position is the local newspapers. They had total dominance and yet allowed new entrants such as Autotrader with cars, Monster with jobs and of course Rightmove and Zoopla with property to take their market and then grow it even further.

The awards were set up to champion, reward and promote best practice and I believe the industry has higher standards than it did 15 years ago, in no small part as a consequence. However, the world has changed significantly in the last decade and a half and the rate of change in our industry is faster than many others right now so I feel it’s the right time to create something completely new and different that will have the same purpose but achieve it in a radically different way.

Am I nervous at getting out at the top and starting something completely new? Most definitely “yes”, however my excitement is even greater and I’m confident that when we announce our new initiative in a few weeks it will reset the bar at a new and much higher level and give the industry something even more valuable to aim for.

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