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Too many negotiators ‘hide behind emails’

Claim is made by senior Cambridgeshire agent Gavin Human as he joins independent Hockeys after a corporate career.

Nigel Lewis

A senior and experienced estate agent has backed the traditional estate agency model, claiming that the high street is not doomed, technology is only useful when it frees up negotiators to spend more times with clients, and that newspaper advertising remains a useful marketing tool.

Gavin Human (pictured, above) has joined Cambrdige firm Hockeys as an associate partner after a career at several high-profile agency names including Connells, Fine & Country and, most recently, at Countrywide brand Tucker Gardner.

Human joins 130-year-old Hockeys at its new branch on Mill Road in Cambridge.

“I truly and honestly believe that by using traditional estate agency methods mixed with modern technology and implemented by a fantastic hard working team, Hockeys will prove that not all estate agents are the same,” he says.


“I don’t believe a modern estate agent needs to be in an office all day, particularly with the technology that we’ve got,” he says.

“However, I still think that it’s really important to support the local high street, and to be actively involved in the local community, being the local property expert on your door step.”

Human also says that despite all the tech available to estate agents, nothing beats picking up the phone and calling clients and prospects, and that too many agents these days ‘hide behind emails’.

“I think that’s where agencies have lost their way over the years,” he says.

Hockeys is also backing newspaper advertising and, while many other Cambridge agents are moving their marketing budgets online, it has doubled its spend at the local paper, The Cambridge Independent.

January 6, 2020

One comment

  1. I hold Gary Human and Hockeys in equal high regard, having been an agent in Cambridge in the 90’s and being aware of Gary’s formidable knowledge and skill in the industry. But, and there always is one, did you know that half of the global population is now generation-z, and in ten years 75% of the UK workforce will be either millennials or generation-z.

    Why does this matter – well – have you noticed that no-one ever speaks to anyone on the mobile anymore, we click to connect, message, whatsap, twitter, instagram, linkedin, in fact there are about 16 major ways that gen=z and millennials now ‘connect’.

    So, I re-position the proposition about service, if I am 19 years old and I want to buy or rent, am I going to A) Walk into my local agent. B) Call my agent on the mobile C)Text them D)Whatsapp them etc. Because if my agent does not allow me to ‘talk digitally to them’ guess what I am going to the agent who listens to me and wants my business.

    It is time agents stopped being proud about being ‘traditional’ and doing things in the old ways. The customer is always right, and if you want to sit in your agency waiting for the telephone to ring, or you want to ring your clients, do not be surprised if the new agent on the block, virtual or otherwise is eating your dinner – which they just had delivered by one of many apps on their mobile.

    Don not narrow the prism of social intercourse with you clients, by connecting only via the telephone, take it from me 60 – 70% of my business and contact is not on the phone, and I could not be busier, that is why I am grateful I am not tied up for 30 minutes talking to one client, in that time I can connect with 20 clients and in a meaningful way.

    Is there a place for a really good, knowledgeable agent, of course they are at the heart of the business – as people know I do not suffer fools gladly – I want to deal with the man or woman who knows all about the product I want to buy, the market etc, and that is – forgive the pun – the Human part of the equation.

    If I opened an agency tomorrow the first thing I would do is make myself available across all communication channels, because those gen-z and their older counterparts, will not do business with businesses that do not have the capacity to do business with them.

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