I’m Moving – It’s a pity my Estate Agent is Standing Still!
I’m Moving! Get up off the floor – I do occasionally stretch languidly from my generally inactive state and wiggle my toes about in a desultory attempt at what I might call exercise and what you lot might see as a pathetic attempt to persuade you that I am ACTUALLY alive!
But no! That’s not what I meant; however, as I am now in a sort of vertical position and feeling reasonably frisky, I’ll tell you what my latest beef is about today (yes, a strange choice of words, I admit, for a vegetarian. I’m wondering if I should coin the phrase ‘I’m having a courgette’ but I don’t want you to get any funny ideas).
Anyway! Back to my beef – Estate Agents! I can almost HEAR the closing of the ranks – now, now, come on – I was one for years, you know, to my chagrin. Thank God I’m not one any more and I’ll tell you why – they’re rubbish! Almost without exception. I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is , and that’s the way it’s always been since time immemorial. Well, okay, since about 1720 at around the time property agents were first recorded. Before that, I suspect that there was some bloke in a pair of pin stripe pantaloons with a slicked back wig down at the local tavern, doing a dodgy deal in a dark corner while quaffing some ale and generally persuading some poor unsuspecting urchin to rent a bijou hovel down some landlord’s back alley.
Now before the estate agency fraternity of the world unites against me – I’m not saying that Estate Agents today are dodgy. Far from it – today’s estate agency industry is well regulated with the appropriate routes for unhappy customers to complain – although quite HOW the NAEA (the National Association of Estate Agents) perceive their feedback to be entirely objective when they’re estate agents too is quite beyond me. There’s always the Ombudsman, I suppose, but on the flip side of this coin, how does someone impartial who doesn’t have estate agency experience deal with complaints about an industry they know nothing about?
Anyway, enough of that – back to me. I’m moving – and it’s no thanks to Estate Agents, Rightmove, Zoopla or that other one that tried to muscle in on the other two but failed rather miserably to have any impact whatsoever –Oh! On The Market, that’s it – or anyone else involved in the whole sorry saga of Getting An Estate Agent to Call Me Back About A Property I Want To Buy.
Come on, Guys! What do you DO all day? I know the old joke about what does an estate agent do in the afternoon (Look out of the window) – but you can’t be looking out of the window all day – although I know one thing you’re not doing is calling your clients and your applicants back.
I was an Estate Agent once (once is enough, believe me) so I know all about the upsurge in use of Client Management Systems; the dominance of the property portals in lead generation; cost issues; staffing issues; applicants lists; hot leads; warm leads – God! Are you running a bakery, and can I have a nice hot cinnamon roll and a latte please because I’m sitting here waiting for an Estate Agent to Call Me Back and I’m a bit peckish. And bored. I eat when I’m bored. It’s a good job I don’t move very often, because, topically, I’d be the size of a house.
Now, I’ll tell you a secret. I’m Old. Yes, as well as being bored and peckish I actually remember black and white Telly; writing letters as a form of social media; getting paid by cheque (WTF?) and being an estate agent before CMS made sales negotiators lazy. I was an Estate Agent B.C. (Before Computers) and all I had in order to sell houses was a display in the window, a newspaper advert every week in the local rag, a Kodak instamatic camera and a telephone with a dial on it that I used to actually MAKE CALLS! This brings me neatly back to why I’m eating a cinnamon roll and slurping on a latte. I’m waiting for an Estate Agent to Call Me Back, just so that I can tell him in no uncertain terms exactly what I think of his shoddy service and to gloat because he’s missed out on commission that his long awaited phone call would have earned him.
You see, this is the great thing about moving to a small village with a strong and active community – none of the residents and my soon to be neighbours actually rate estate agents very much either and it was as if they know this smarmy, slicked back hair and pointy toed shoes individual with the BMW wouldn’t bother to ring his client back to book a viewing, so they had a word with the owner of the cottage that’s soon to be mine, and through the joint efforts of several neighbours, the local publican and a really nice man in Kettlewell, I met the owner directly, agreed a price with the minimum of fuss and now, I’m three quarters of the way there to being a resident of God’s Own Country. Yes, Yorkshire, look out because I’m moving in!
It’s at this point in proceedings that Estate Agents really do need to BE sharp as opposed to simply looking sharp – how many of us are sick to death of walking into an estate agency which looks like a café and beyond the squashy sofa’s to Make You Feel At Home, there’s a desk which looks like your mother’s old kitchen table, and some pouncey looking bloke with an entire pot of Brylcreem on his head and a pin stripe suit that’s so sharp he’s probably covered in band aid underneath the matching shirt. The latest fad in Estate Agency interior design is NOT TO DISPLAY ANY PROPERTY YOU ARE ACTUALLY SELLING. This is a ploy so that the pouncey looking bloke has to actually SPEAK to you and then he makes a big thing about appearing interested in what you are telling him. If you haven’t got a property to sell, most pouncey looking blokes will lose that interest pretty damn quick because they haven’t made the connection yet between buyers and their commission fee for selling something. Anyway because he’s got to meet his targets, he’ll register your details on his swanky looking portable tablet thing that replaced a pen and paper and which he can take on appointments to Look Important. After that, he’ll forget all about you before you’ve even got your foot out of the door; let’s face it, if he can’t be bothered to telephone his vendor clients who pay him a considerable amount of money to be ignored, he’s not going to bother phoning someone who might just want to buy a property one of his clients wants to sell, is he?
Come on, Estate Agents. If the local publican in my little village hadn’t had a word with the florist, who spoke to the Woman Next Door, who in turn had a word with that nice man in Kettlewell, I would be putting on weight and demanding more cinnamon rolls and another latte. Instead of which, I’m moving very soon – and there’s not an estate agent in sight. So, if the network of the local community, villagers, and small traders in a remote little hamlet in Yorkshire can produce a sale without even putting pen to paper, never mind using a phone or running around clutching the latest in mobile gadget technology while dressed like a prat, why can’t estate agents be more like, well, estate agents and actually help people move? And speaking of moving, I’d better wiggle my toes a bit because I fancy another cinnamon roll and a latte. I think I’ll pop down to the estate agents to get one.
© Amy J Steinberg 2017