27 things the public want from the perfect estate agent

30 March 2010

Last week, a very interesting question was posed on the Money Saving Expert forums (the site run by Martin Lewis, that chap off GMTV):

What would your dream estate agent do?

 Here's a quick summary of 27 points from the thread, in the order they were raised:

  1. Listen and respond to specific requirements, not just price and number of rooms.
  2. Responding to enquiries, answering and returning calls, actively using email and doing some of the running during the sales process.
  3. Communicate the benefits of using an estate agent, versus a private sale.
  4. Confirm and show up on time for viewings (or, particularly for lettings, cancel them if the property has already let).
  5. Provide interesting information, rather than tell you that you're standing in a kitchen.
  6. Don't behave like a friend, treat customers professionally. Acknowledge and welcome any foot traffic. Keep in regular contact.
  7. Qualify applicants properly and report their status accurately.
  8. Cultivate a plan B, ready for if a sale falls through.
  9. Make the effort to identify and recommend only good, reliable conveyancers and mortgage advisors.
  10. Offer advice on how to maximise the chance and value of a sale or let.
  11. Encourage the vendor to influence the property description.
  12. Use floor plans and indicate the total square footage.
  13. Use Google Street View.
  14. Give the size and aspect of the garden, as well as the rooms.
  15. Avoid judging people based on appearance - keep an open mind - and don't treat them like idiots.
  16. Be honest. Provide as many (professional quality) pictures and details as possible.
  17. Avoid complacency (if you know what to do, keep doing it!).
  18. Provide weekend and out-of-hours services.
  19. Use a good CRM system. ;o)
  20. Give timely and honest viewing feedback.
  21. Allow adequate time for viewings.
  22. Explain to house hunters that you will show them some properties that aren't quite right, but that this will help you better understand their priorities (as per Phil and Kirstie).
  23. Systemise your business to improve quality, using checklists and the like.
  24. Educate first time buyers.
  25. Spell accurately.
  26. Empathise and be respectful.
  27. Keep property statuses up to date on your website and property portals.

All good advice!

Leave your comment:

What you said:

07 May 2010 21:07:33
Very good Martin!

I can see that alot of the frustrations the general public have with agents should be fairly easily rectified by a 'good' agent, so that's encouraging!


10 May 2010 13:48:00
Thanks for the comment Eric - glad you found the conversation thread as interesting as I did.

There's so much pressure in the world for new and exciting innovations, but sometimes the answer is just good old fashioned service levels!

28 June 2010 08:31:49
V good, simple straightforward advice.

If everyone adopted - and stuck - to these 27 points, the industry would have a much better name!

28 June 2010 11:01:30
Thanaks for taking the time to comment Michael, I couldn't agree more!

14 July 2011 09:14:42
I wish all estate agents did this. I would say the communication aspect is key, to keep chasing up an estate agent who should be calling you as the client is a priority to me.

Also send/bring the details of the property you are selling before a viewing! This fundamental practice wasn't done on at least three viewings I had, so I had no idea what the dimensions and the specifications were of the properties I was viewing.
Property dealer
14 July 2012 14:14:38
Buyers need;
1. total square footage, not just number of rooms,
2. plans of the plot ie garden and or land with indications of boundaries, 3. when I'm selling a property I want it to remain on the market until exchange of contracts - to focus the mind of that oh so certain buyer who is (not?) going to proceed. Agents seem to forget they act for the seller and it is not in the seller's interest to stop marketing the property just because someone seems interested. Be honest agents, how many tmes have you taken properties off the market because a buyer seems to be proceeding and the sale has fallen through?
4. And what is with this 'I can't tell you how much has been offered'. When I'm buying, if I don't know what the current offer is I can't better it and if the property is not quite right for me I'll just look elsewhere and the vendor may just lose out on a few thousand extra or a quicker completion.
19 January 2016 11:21:06
I'm glad that you put listen and respond as your number one. I truly believe that good communication the most important quality in an expert estate agent. As a house seller or buyer it can be stressful dealing with an agent who's not a great communicator. As the market is time sensitive, you need an agent who will let you know quickly where you stand with your current buying or selling situation so you can move on quickly to another property or potential buyer.