Peter Rollings says estate agents are ‘lazy’ as business leaders discuss agency issues

Peter Rollings

Rightmove has had a negative impact on the estate agency sector in recent years, as it has allowed many agents to become ‘lazy phone answerers’ who merely react to changing market conditions.

This is the opinion of well-known estate agent Peter Rollings, non-executive director of Foxtons, who was one of eight well-respected property industry figures to take part in a roundtable discussion about the estate agency sector and the challenges it faces in the current climate.

The outcome of the discussion, which was video recorded, is informative and at times causes significant disagreement and argument amongst the participants.

It includes an interesting comparison between estate agents and hamburgers. And hostage negotiators.

Plus this observation: “In 2023 those that have been just treading water will be found out pretty damned quickly and they must be gotten rid of straight away”.

The Participants:

Peter Rollings, former CEO and current board member at Foxtons

Sarah Edmundson, CEO of charity Agents Together

Matt Giggs, Founderof the Giggs Group

Russell Quirk, Co-Founder of ProperPR

Iain Mackenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals

Adam Day, UK Country Leader at eXp

Gemma Noonan, Operations Director at the Giggs Group

Mark Burgess, CEO, Iceberg Digital

Their two-hour long conversation was video recorded in November and will be made available to watch in full later later this month.

In the meantime, here is a clip, which is the first of many set to be released on YouTube over the next few days.

Matt Giggs, Co-organiser of the panel debate says “It’s not easy gathering busy property people together to tap them for their wisdom. I’m so grateful to the panel for giving up their time to tackle a number of important subjects and challenges that our industry faces as we navigate 2023.

“Many say that there’s too little in the way of advice and guidance from those that have been there and done it and I hope that agents at all levels will take some benefit from the panel session that we’ve put together here. And if it’s valuable to people, we’ll make it a regular thing.”

Russell Quirk, Co-organiser of the panel debate, added: “The intention of this gathering was to get to some home truths in a sector that is potentially about to see a change from one of the easiest markets we’ve ever known to one that many are saying will be Armageddon. I don’t share that view and prefer to think about 2023 as probably a return to a normal market.

“What’s important, and this hopefully comes through in the discussion, is to be aware of our strengths and weaknesses and to act on the gaps accordingly whether it be leadership skills, pricing strategy, marketing or enthusing about licensing for estate agents, something I strongly support.”



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  1. Robert_May

    For the past 12 or 13 years I’ve been doing the numbers (to myself an insight in what is going on in the industry) there is a clear split between two distinct types of agent


    There are  just over 3000 activity centres, individual #local markets where 3 proper and genuine estate agents  do enough business to keep the lights on and staff employed- that’s 15-16000 branches who  are trading as duty of care and skill agents. There are  about 10,000 branches or individuals & business who are passive intermediaries (with and without  an office); They  fight hard  over the 20% of listings the main agents don’t win (or want), whack the listing on the web and wait.

    The reason there was room in the market for disruption  from 2013 onwards was that the disruptors were offering the same plonk it on the portals service but for a lot less than the 1.12% pus VAT  passive intermediary with an office agents were charging.


    Its not laziness are  such its how they  operate


  2. AcornsRNuts

    Foxtons and Quirk, well-respected?  Really?

  3. jan-byers

    I think the problem is that the internet and RM have turned agency from a real sales job to a low skill low paid admin job


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