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Estate agent calls on ‘high profile’ London firms to stop bragging about viewings during lockdown

Ellie Rees turns to social media to say she is uncomfortable with competitors who have been 'air punching' publicly about flouting the lockdown rules.

Nigel Lewis

An estate agent has taken to social media to criticise ‘high-profile’ competitors boasting about viewings, sales agreed and exchanges during the lockdown.

Ellie Rees runs ethical estate agency Brickworks in central London, which she founded six years ago with partner Rex Siney as an agency with a commitment to a ‘new, ethical style of buying and selling houses’ that is ‘not a marketing ploy…but genuine’, its website says.

In a blog posted to LinkedIn, Ellie says she is uncomfortable with competitors who have been flouting lockdown viewings and business activity rules during the crisis.

“Of course, business must go on. We all want to protect our livelihoods, and estate agents are no exception.

“We’re standing by our clients and keeping things on track. It’s what we promised, so it’s what we’ll do.  But it shouldn’t warrant air-punching and back-slapping. That behaviour is tone deaf in the extreme at a time when people are losing their jobs – and their lives.

“And it reinforces the stereotype of estate agents as unscrupulous sorts who only want to line their pockets.  As millions of us have learned recently, ‘home’ means so much more than an asset.

“Beating your chest about business as usual is missing the point. Potential clients will see right through it.  The world has changed; we’re going to have to change with it.

“It’s OK to be proud of achievements. But to do so without awareness of context is to risk alienating the very people you want to engage.

“Let’s not miss the chance to be better at what we do, or forget what we have learned during the lockdown.”

Read more about viewings during lockdown.

May 7, 2020

3 comments

  1. Totally agree with this. Beating your chest and boasting about your achievements to fellow agents or to customers, is never a good strategy, pre or post COVID-19! In fact from a marketing point of view, forming a relationship with your ideal customers is the key. This should be done with clever content that appeals to the target audience. Not with facts, figures and boasts!

  2. Well said Ellie! Initially I thought it was ok to continue with viewings etc as long as these were done with social distancing in place. But, despite having written several promotional pieces for my estate agency clients recently, I think you are right that bragging about these things is insensitive at this time.

    I would add that when you mention about the estate agency stereotype of “only wanting to line their pockets” I don’t fully agree that this is necessarily their motivation – more often than not ,it is simply a passion for what they do. Achieving success for their clients, about whom they do actually care, is as much a driver as the commission, if not more.

    Have a great day, be kind, and stay safe. Richard.

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