It is very interesting to see people’s reactions to this new venture we have started. We have received both welcome support and also strange aggression – clearly people feel very strongly about estate agents out there. When we set up this business we did so in the full knowledge that estate agency was hardly everybody’s favourite “profession”. However, part of the rationale in starting the business was to challenge people’s perception of estate agents and we understand that this will not happen overnight.
In the face of a certain amount of hostility and negativity one is likely to look for, and gratefully accept, the positive in the strangest of places. When we were dealing with the negotiations on the recent sale of a 3 bedroom apartment (which was very much sought after and in relation to which we received many offers) we were speaking to one potential buyer who was very keen to determine (before making an offer himself) the level of other offers we had received. Now, we have made much on our website about how our principal duty is owed to the seller and how honesty and transparency were very much part of our brand, so we assumed it would not come as a surprise to the potential buyer that, whilst providing some general guidance on where his offer would need to be, we would not disclose the value of other offers received. In face of this he offered to pay us a reverse commission if we effectively favoured him and helped him secure the property. When we refused this he retorted that we were “taking this ethics thing too far”. I think it was probably meant as a criticism but we will take it as a compliment!