Estate agents trusted less than bankers, councillors and journalists

New polling by Ipsos shows that the British public trust estate agents to tell the truth less than bankers, local councillors and journalists.

Estate agents were trusted by only 28% of respondents, though still rated more trustworthy than government ministers, advertising executives, and politicians generally.

Politicians and Ministers, as well as estate agents, have seen a decrease in their level of public trust since 2021.

Estate agents ranked in the bottom four of the latest MORI Veracity Index, which is the longest running poll on trust in professions in Britain, having been asked consistently since 1983.

The 25th edition reveals a significant decrease in public trust in politicians, with trust falling to levels last seen after the expenses crisis of 2009. It also shows that nurses, engineers and doctors are the top three professions most trusted to tell the truth in Britain in 2022.

Ipsos Veracity Index 2022: bar chart of ranking for all 30 professions

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13 Comments

  1. Dominic_Murphy33

    Is anybody surprised by this? Most agents want to be considered professional yet act in an entirely unprofessional manner. The industry needs compulsory examination and regulation.

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    1. Ric

      Morning Dominic.

      So… Why “most” Dominic?

      I accept you may have been on the end of unprofessional behaviour, and if you have you are right to give it some…

      BUT you say “Most agents” so please, and this is just an honest debate…

      How many agents have been unprofessional with you personally? Do you buy a lot? View a Lot? (Perhaps you view a lot but never buy?)

      Give me the examples which warrant the “most”?

      I want to learn and many agents may also be interested to see if the industry can shrug off the reputation. I am, I introduce myself when people as what I do as “I am a boo boo hiss hiss, I know, Estate Agent” which is horrible, as I don’t do anything wrong, if anything I perhaps tell the truth too much.

      PS – A qualification doesn’t stop a liar… it perhaps hides them better… I would rather know “What is the lie, the unprofessional thing the most you talk of do wrong”

       

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      1. jan-byers

        I now am a developer

        I have worked for corporate and independent agents in the past

        Every single company I worked for I would say was at some time  unprofessional in many ways and lied in many ways

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        1. Ric

          Did you lie? or were asked to lie?

          I was asked to lie once by a company… left that company… (The only other one I have worked for, so not hard to work out for those who know me)

          Examples though?

          My comments to Dominic were why “Most” agents… as for me “Most is 75% plus lets say”

          PS – “Most” developers screw over sellers? fair or not? (just asking) as I have proof some do, but is it fair to say “Most” and pop you into that category? on the basis not many of us can truly say we have canvassed every Developer or Estate Agent to truly put the word “Most” or even “lots”…

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    2. jan-byers

      There is regulations

      Exams would not make a jot of difference

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      1. jan-byers

        I Meant ARE not is LOL

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  2. Ric

    Genuinely ****** me right off this… but more for my team than anything else.

    These polls should be required to get an example from the person who answers “Estate Agents” for instance, as to what specific incident happened to them which was proven to be a lie?

    The public BS every day to Estate Agents:

    I can buy without selling (After first saying they were NOTM and then find £500k they forgot about).

    I will be on time. (After promising to be fitted into an already busy diary – 3pm doesn’t mean leave your home at 3pm ffs)

    I will be there. (After you confirm apps the day of and oh, yeh, I got called into work)

    I am going to sell within 1 to 2 months max. (When they are desperate for a Valuation, BEFORE they jet off on holiday)

    The valuation is because we are thinking of selling (AKA, Curious, re-financing or bored) – Not all, but soooooo many.

    My house is going OTM on Monday so please let me view. (They say the same 3 weeks later when they forgot they used that line last time)

    Feedback, I didn’t realise it was on a main road – (They live off that main road?!, be honest and say, “we just wanted a nosey” true one from yesterday)

    I can only view today because we go away tomorrow – LIE… you can view when you get back, but WTF will you talk about on the plane!!!!

    Perhaps we should start telling porkies, and at least warrant the reputation, but what an earth do we lie about… I am unsure? (Forget the 1980 reputation, NOW, what now… argh)

    I can only assume as messengers we are too often held accountable for the information we pass on which turned out to be a lie. Pft…

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    1. Robert_May

      There’s no need to fret about this Ric, its a fundamental and unavoidable fact of agency

       

      The nasty estate agent has someone  who’s in a better position to buy, better able to buy, has more money to spend challenges the very core of people’s  wants, ego and self worth. That makes people  angry. You doing your job for your client is putting you in conflict with most of the people registered with you or who  find  their dream home on the net.  Avoiding the conflict, nastiness greed and aggro of buyers is  a key reason why vendors employ agents.

       

       

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      1. Ric

        Morning Robert, yup, I know… last year was a prime example of people not being happy our client felt the £50k extra from the cash buyer was in some way our fault…

        I shouldn’t care, but can’t help but care a tad.

        Oh well…

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  3. Robert_May

    332 people “traffic” each property that’s listed for sale,  80% of traffic is unique to each home listed… 265 people have a specific interest in each home.

    50 will be seriously interested, 10 will view, only 1 can buy.

     

    Is it any wonder the 9 people who  viewed but didn’t buy the home of their dreams are a bit miffed at the agent who got in their way?

    Is it any wonder  the 40 who didn’t even get to view are resentful?

    For the 800,000 people who are happy to have completed last year  there’s 7.2 million disappointed viewers and  almost the entire adult population who had no real prospect of buying the homes that were listed for sale?

     

    (The numbers for rental properties are even higher)

     

     

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  4. scruffy

    Sad to say, in my 45 years in property, the reputation of estate agents has not improved, yet there have been plenty of opportunities ignored by the industry to do so.
    In a recent post I quoted from the Estate Agent’s Handbook about the role of an estate agent being to act in the client’s best interest at all times, This has been substituted by the modern reality of acting in the estate agent’s interest at all times and paying only lip service to customer service when they are pre-occupied with the lazy option of referral fees, which so obviously compromise the maxim of “client’s best interest”.
    Staff are targeted to this role when they should be undertaking their core responsibility for which they were employed, not seeking to convert every applicant who responds to a property’s marketing with hard core selling of financial services or second rate conveyancing services. Such staff can hardly be an advertisement for our profession when they quickly become so disillusioned; triggering massive staff churn in such organisations.
    If the industry had spent more time exploring alternative and sustainable income streams for residential estate agents, many of the corporates would be less reliant on such questionable practices. Our industry has been dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, believing the latest whizz-bang technology of virtual tours, 3D floorplans and one-stop shops for all property services will make their clients happy and win over the gullible. This seems to have been at the expense of embracing adequate regulation and minimum standards.
    Customer service remains key and only a true independent who has no referral fees should have the temerity to claim that they act in the client’s best interest at all times.  

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  5. Woodentop

    Is this story surprising and is it not infuriating.

     

    There are some fundamental issues at play here.

     

    1. Historic demonising of estate agency work which is totally out of order as there are good agents

     

    2. Bad eggs exist is al walks of life. Is is being lazy, incompetence or dishonest behaviour? All have a negative effect that influences opinion.

     

    3. What about all those agents and staff who move heaven and earth for customers, often the saviour of what is considered a stressful time for parties. Do they get  a medal, no but they get the blame when its not their fault.

     

    4. There are very professional people within our industry. Training helps, licensing does not. Poor service is a mind set sometimes deliberate, others times situations forced onto the agent with no win win (in the customers mind).

     

    5. The number of complaints to regulators are not even a blip on the horizon when you consider all the transaction undertaken every year.

     

    So what is this survey saying ………. the same old regurgitated myth that agents in general is a shoddy industry. NO NO NO. We have walls covered with thank you cards, so many returning customers, so many referrals from customers to friends and family. Agents and staff should be proud to look in the mirror every day and say ….. I’m a good one and proud to be so.

     

    We will never root out the bad eggs, but tell me any industry that has. We work at the front line, the coal face of a service industry. if you don’t provide a service … only have yourself to blame and be outshined by those that do.

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  6. Gloslet

    In the same survey, less than half of those asked didn’t ‘generally trust’ pollsters to tell the truth.

    So, does that mean that the majority felt that the survey was not even true?

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