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BLOG: Why I quit the high street estate agency after 20 years to ‘go hybrid’

Former Savills and John D Wood senior explains why he joined the House Partnership and, three years on, wouldn't now go back to 'the office'.

David Harvey

house partnership blog harvey estate agency

After 20 years spent working in high street estate agency, I can say with confidence that stepping outside your comfort zone can be quite a scary experience.

But these are the times when we learn and grow the most – it’s here where many of the opportunities reside.

Upon reflection, I found that the big change I made to my career now feels like a natural step, so I would love to share my journey in the hope of inspiring others to make that courageous leap forward.

Moving from a regimented structure took adjustment, but I could not go back to working in an office six days a week for 10 hours a day, most of which was reporting up and down the hierarchy. Having the confidence to back my abilities to make my business thrive is both stimulating and empowering.

Why did I do it?

Changes in society and the industry crystallised my mind and I began looking for a platform ideal for me – a motivated, service-focused estate agent – that would enable me to operate successfully and enjoy a healthier work-life balance.

High street agents can be short-sighted, short-term, and obsessed with KPIs. Every client should be regarded as an individual with unique needs so that the advice our clients receive is always tailored and appropriate to their agenda rather than the agents’.

Being hung up on KPIs or targets can easily lead to overlooking the client, and yet the client should always be the main priority. Although I should warn; you must be self-motivated and driven to maintain such focus.

Would I really recommend it?

If you have a passion for selling, are self-motivated and enjoy putting your clients first: go for it. The work-life balance has to be earned in the first six months and I took just two Saturdays off, but now I am so much more involved with my twin sons lives and a price simply cannot be put on this.

Will everyone be self-employed soon in estate agency?

Estate agency people who give practical advice based on experience and expertise will thrive, while those who continue to be in the comfort zone of just ‘processing’ sales will become increasingly irrelevant. This is 2021 – consumers are incredibly well-informed and an agent must add value to the process and not just simply focus on KPIs.

David Harvey is a Partner for the House Partnership and is based in Weybridge & Walton Upon Thames.

One comment

  1. I’ve been working on my own for 35 years and think yes this is the way to go , no shop equals no overheads , a one to one service and full commission , not the 10% of the agency fee’s , so you can spend 10 times longer per client and property owners get a real service . On LinkedIn Steven Heath love to connect .

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