Rat and Mouse
Thu
10
Feb
On Mary Portas: the agents fight back

Amongst the fall out, this:

Calling Portas 'belligerent and ill informed', [estate agency consultant Richard Rawlings] said: "I was approached by Mary Portas' producer when they were researching the show. It was clear then that Mary's views on customer service with buyers were extremely naive. This was borne out in the show with her incesssant focus on viewings and in particular, the apparent need to be uber-informed about the minutest detail. 

"She completely ignored the most important aspect of customer service to the paying client, the seller, and the fact that successful agents focus on getting numbers around property, not taking up a buyer's time by explaining how the boiler works. 

"I spent about an hour sharing some really meaty and radical customer service initiatives with Mary Portas's producter, none of which they chose to use. Indeed, the consultant to the show was shown as Peter Cross. Who is he and what does he know about agency? Nothing. He's her partner in retail consultancy.

Interesting, and a common error... the assumption that the estate agent is somehow there to serve the buyer. The vendor, of course, pays the agent, and while it's in the vendor's best interests to ensure his agent isn't pissing buyers off, you can't expect silver service from an agent every time you take a casual interest in a property.

For more about Richard Rawlings, click here.

There's some debate about whether the agency featured - London's well-established Martyn Gerrard - came away well or badly. Some might think they were crazy to even contemplate getting. Greene & Co did well out of a reality TV show a few (quite a few) years ago (anyone remember that?). But Portas's shows are different... they're set up around a premise that something's badly wrong. What do you think?

The Modern Estate Agent has an interesting perspective here.

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