An estate agent has stuck a sizeable knife into the industry’s flank after The Sunday Times published an interview with an anonymous former national agency chain employee during which they accuse the sector of widespread ‘dirty tricks’ and harsh working conditions.
The agent, who worked within the industry for 15 years before quitting, particularly takes his former employers to talk over the pressure of doing 50 cold calls every day and having to secure at least one valuation from among them.
Based on the person’s descriptions of a national chain with more than 100 offices nationwide a clutch of firms are in the frame, while the 100-branch agency based in the south of England leaves just two to pick from.
As well as cold calling, several other areas of estate agency familiar to thousands of negs across the UK come in for criticism, including how little many negs earn from sales, the system of referral fees and the pressure negs are put under to get customers to take their recommended suppliers and the increasing habit of big first taking sales progression away from branches.
One area that Sunday Times readers may have been surprised to hear about is that agents, keen to get the best price for their vendor clients, contribute to the problem of gazumping by passing on better offers after initial offer negotiations have been concluded.
The estate agent, who says previous jobs included a spell working as an agent in South Africa working for an ‘international chain’, also calls out portal juggling, the industry’s weak regulation.
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