‘The vast majority of estate agents aren’t very good’, says Peter Rollings

Peter Rollings

We are all aware that the housing market boom over the past couple years led to a surge in agreed property sales, ensuring that many estate agents produced record sales figures and secured bumper pay packets, but it really will be a case of survival of the fittest as the market continues to slow in the coming months.

A number of agents have struggled in recent months from low housing stock and a drop in sales. But not everyone, of course. Some shrewd agents eye falling property values and a slowing housing market as an opportunity to “take advantage of weaker agents”. That is the general view of the leading property industry figures who recently took part in a roundtable discussion about the estate agency sector, which was video recorded. Watch below.

Peter Rollings, non-executive director of Foxtons, believes that most agents share a common problem that they will struggle with, particularly in a sluggish housing market, and that is they are not particularly good at their jobs.

“The vast majority of agents aren’t very good,” he said.

Rollings urges agents seeking success in today’s tougher climate to “get back to basics now”, and “understand what’s necessary and deliver it”.

He also offered this piece of advice to employers: “If they [the negotiators] don’t deliver it, they’ve got to be told, straight between the eyes, that they’ve not got a job.”



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



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  1. Anonymous Coward

    You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

    You can show a buyer around their perfect property but you can’t make them buy it.

    You can provide a member of staff with the necessary tools to be a great salesperson but you can’t make them perform.

    You can be the most aggressive boss in the world but that doesn’t make sure that your business is profitable.

    Such a nice man, Mr Rollings: “If they don’t deliver it, they’ve got to be told, straight between the eyes, that they’ve not got a job.”

    The problem is that in a good market, anyone can fill a chair and make appointments. 30 offers on each property for sale pretty much guarantees a commission.

    Now that the market has changed over, a passionate sales person is like gold dust.

    Why did you hire the wrong person?  If they were the right person, why did you not put the right training into them to create a team member ready for a downturn.  If they’ve never seen a downturn and it’s their first time through the mill, how long is long enough before you cut them out?

    I truly despair at the “hire & fire” culture that has grown into the Western world over the last 4 decades or so.

    “Who cares about staff?  It’s their fault they can’t perform.”  The truth is that firing staff is a solution that is quick, cheap and relatively easy, even if it is personally painful as a boss.

    But it’s a bit sh1t really isn’t it.  Especially for the now redundant member of staff.  As a boss you should have prepared for the downturn and kept some money aside.

    There are too many estate agents fighting over an ever decreasing number of transactions for ever lower commissions. This generates a roller coaster ride for everyone involved.


  2. WiltsAgent

    Well that’s bound to go down well with Foxtons Staff. Why doesn’t Mr Rollings spend the next 6 months showing us all how it’s done.

    Sounds like Gerald Ratner and those of us of a certain age will remember how that went.

    Plenty of jobs available with other agents in London.

  3. The Sussex Idler

    There’s nothing like a constructive, supportive, long term boss and he’s NOTHING like a constructive, supportive long term etc etc etc. Best avoided.


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