Don't Sell Like Estate Agents

Until the past few months, Estate Agents regularly topped polls seeking to shame the ‘most hated profession’.  Then bankers came along.  Here’s a reminder as to how those old poll findings came about.

I’ve a friend renting a flat out in London.  Against his better judgement, he decided to use Foxtons as his letting agent.  They have an awful reputation, reinforced by cultural failings exposed by their fleet of garishly liveried Minis and their agents never quite managing to look the part in their supposedly smart suits.  The bottom line is that they are renowned for unattained over-promises.  They charge higher commissions than anyone else, but justify doing so by their claims that they’ll get you a better rent.

Just a few days in to my pal’s relationship with them, their absence of goodwill has been confirmed, along with a lesson in how not to run a sales effort.

Within the first week on the market, they called my friend to say the rent was too high.  This being the rent amount that they promised they’d achieve.  Then the Foxtons fella asked what my friend would be willing to come down to.  Not taking no for an answer, the agent practically tried to bully my pal into dropping the price.  It struck my friend as lazy, unprofessional and totally lacking respect for his needs.

Then I happened to be in his pad when a potential renter was shown around.  In its entirety, here was the Foxtons agent’s pitch:

“Kitchen … bathroom … storage … what do you think?”

Seven words.  I’ve heard a few disgraceful selling conversations in my time, and this one certainly ranks as pretty shocking.  If people are surviving in these tough times with behaviour like this, then there’s hope that real winners will clean up.

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