Estate Agents Only Are Allowed A Vision.

Estate Agents Only Are Allowed A Vision.

Estate agents only are allowed a vision.

I have started to appreciate the ramblings of ‘The Ego from Essex’.

He has provided me with many opportunities to voice dissent and a fair helping of amusement to boot.

From Could Have Been Worse to The Impertinences of an Egocentric Lightweight, to PurpleBricks, Russell Quirk And Countrywide to Is it A Cunning Plan, Baldrick? and Honest? Let Me be The Judge of That

Very Vacant – the vacuum at the top of the industry’s significant companies being the latest diatribe in trade journal, Property Industry Eye.

In which our columnist insists that “no matter how dumbed-down it’s perceived, strategic direction must come from grass-roots property experience.”

No room, in his eyes, for the “MBA holding, public school type.. A spreadsheet junkie. A  big brain.”

“An insulting misconception that UK estate agency cannot offer up prime examples of leadership, it is regardless a huge mistake to pass responsibility of any of the foregoing entities (Fine & Country, ARLA, Reapit, Countrywide, On The Market, YOPA, Rummage 4, to a driver with no experience of the track.”

So no need for those outside the industry to apply for these roles. They simply aren’t up to the task of taking these once great agencies to iconic status. It’s a job for an insider.   A “visionary from within the industry.”

Here’s the problem with that thinking – the sector is ranked in the bottom three on The Veracity Index of Trusted Professions.

So any “visionary from within the industry” has so far spectacularly failed to deliver what the customer most seeks.


Might the role then be one that delivers that to customers rather than seeking to maximize short-term profits to ensure shareholder value. Unless there is consistent customer satisfaction, employee buy-in and community support, the short-term profits will prove to be unsustainable over the long term and the search will begin again for a new CEO.

If you’re looking for vision, try this.  From the book, Conscious Capitalism by John Mackey & Raj Sisodia.

“The founders are on fire to create something of relevance, resonance, and permanence – a business that will far outlive them, that delivers real value of multiple kinds to everyone it touches…..They dream of creating a business that enriches the world by its existence and brings joy, fulfillment, and a sense of meaning to all who are touched by it.

Picture a business built on love and care rather than stress and fear, whose team members are passionate and committed to their work. Their days race by in a blur of focused intensity, collaboration, and camaraderie. Far from becoming depleted and burned out, they find themselves at the end of each day newly inspired and freshly committed to what brought them to the business in the first place – the opportunity to be part of something larger than themselves, to make a difference, to craft a purposeful life while earning a living.

Think of a business that cares profoundly about the well-being of its customers, seeing them not as consumers but as flesh-and-blood human beings whom it is privileged to serve. It would no more mislead, mistreat, or ignore its customers than any thoughtful person would exploit loved ones at home. Its team members experience the joy of service, of enriching the lives of others.

Envision a business that embraces outsiders as insiders, inviting its suppliers into the family circle and treating them with the same love and care it showers on its customers and team members. Imagine a business that is a committed and caring citizen of every community it inhabits, elevating its civic life and contributing in multiple ways to its betterment. Imagine a business that views its competitors not as enemies to be crushed, but as teachers to learn from and fellow travelers on a journey to excellence. ….

Imagine a business that exercises great care in whom it hires, where hardly anyone ever leaves once he or she joins. Imagine a business with fewer managers, because it doesn’t need anyone to look over peoples’ shoulders to make sure they are working, or know what to do, a business that is self-managing, self-motivating, self-organizing, and self-healing like any evolved,sentient being.

See in your mind’s eye a business that chooses and promotes leaders because of their wisdom and capacity for love and care, individuals who lead by mentoring and inspiring people  rather than by commanding them or using carrots and sticks.  These leaders care passionately about their people and the purpose of their business and little for power or personal enrichment….

Such businesses – suffused with higher purpose, leavened with authentic caring, influential and inspirational, egalitarian and committed to excellence, trustworthy and transparent, admired and emulated, loved and respected – are not imaginary entities in some fictional utopia.  They exist in the real world, by the dozens today but soon by the hundreds and thousands….

Welcome the world of Conscious Capitalism.”

Instead, of course, you could be CEO of an estate agency, defining potential customers as ‘leads’.

One that insists its employees adopt boiler-room tactics, straight out of The Wolf of Wall Street.

That uses a video conference call to announce job losses. And lays waste to the term ‘family’.

That uses P.R to spin the truth into something more digestible.

That seeks to undermine its competitors at every opportunity, by means fair and foul.

That hires the wrong people, again and again. And again.

He goes on (as is his wont):

“There is a certain nuance to our industry whereby it is necessary to understand its quirks and to feel and anticipate its ebb and flow.. To innovate, you need to know it.  To fix holes, you need to know what are really holes and which are not.  What are actual problems and where are opportunities.”

Where are they?  These industry titans that can fix those holes?

“To innovate, you need to know it”?

There has been precious little innovation in estate agency during the past decade that hasn’t emanated from outside the industry.

Ours is a broken industry in the UK and those with vision enough to fix it are not to be found inside.

We need to stop trying to make existing things that aren’t working better, and focus on fresh, exciting, new ideas.

Those charged with filling the vacant CEO positions have it right.

There is a need to identify leaders from outside of the industry.

And to persuade them that the opportunity exists to create something truly special.

An iconic estate agency firm that is loved, admired, respected and above all, trusted. 

When that is achieved, there will be no need to worry about shareholder value.

Get to it!

Thanks for reading.

Not my usual topic of personal brand, but short-term, myopic thinking needs calling out for what it is.

Dangerous and delusional.




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