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Is BIGGER really better?

24/07/2016
 

Is bigger really better?

 

So today, having been turned down by a potential Landlord because he felt a larger company would be more beneficial, I felt the need to put pen to paper and give my response to the time honoured question – is bigger REALLY better?

 

Yes, estate agents are up there with the best of them; full of unfilled promises and heavy on the hair gel.

 

My intention is to change that perception.

 

There was a time when large estate agents were the people to go to with their majority market share and high street offices.  But times have changed.  Pressure to sell during the credit crunch meant clients became numbers, it no longer mattered how you sold people’s homes and if you were helping them along in their journey of life. It was a numbers game, list more houses you will sell more, staff would be targeted on instructions not sales, competition got tough, so the agents would over value just to list the house and work on reducing the price later. What did this do? This brought lack of trust and respect to the industry, vendors felt cheated, they had a dream to move to a bigger house, better lifestyle, investing in their future.  When they then couldn’t sell they no longer had faith in the agent who had promised them the extra value in their property.

 

WWW. The internet is such a massive part of our lives today.  Property searchers no longer rush to grab the property guide the day it comes out, or drive around for hours looking for ‘For Sale’ boards.  Smart phones are where it’s at.  You can receive property alerts without having to leave the house, you can sit there with your cup of coffee in the morning and scroll through properties matching your criteria on your phone, you can take a live video tour of the property.  You simply send an email to request a viewing and the agent calls you. And this is where the personal approach is paramount – getting to know your clients and listening to them, providing them with all the information they need to make decisions, keeping them regularly updated with their property’s progress. 

 

Let me tell you a little about me and my company.  I have been there, done that and got the corporate T shirt, 11 years with corporate estate agents to be precise. I do not mean to cause offence as I have met some truly great estate agents throughout my time in the corporate world and I have learned a lot from them.  I am passionate about property, I am passionate about making people happy. It gives me great satisfaction to see my clients happy when they get the keys to their new home, knowing that I have helped them with one of the most important decisions of their lives.  There is more to being just an estate agent; I am a friend, a listener, an  agony aunt, an interior designer, a chauffeur with built in sat nav, I have been a shoulder to cry on , a person to hug.  I have had landlords tell me they love me.

 

I am real.

 

Those of you out there who already know the real me, know that I care. I set up Forte Properties as I felt the corporate structure no longer reflected my ethical approach to selling and letting property.  There was no allowance for the personal touch and that made me unhappy. Yesterday some tenants who had moved to a new property, actually took the time to come to the office and tell me they missed me and although they love their new house, their agents lack the personal touch and it just wasn’t the same.

 

I put my heart and soul into my work. I took a worthwhile risk to set up my own business and I am back doing what I know best – engaging with my clients and listening to what they want, going that extra mile to make sure they are 100% happy and treating everyone according to my principles. 

 

So when deciding on whether to use an independent or corporate remember these things:

 

Forte is run by the people who own the business – its 3 directors.

 

We genuinely care about our clients and our business.

 

You are not just a number – you are a valued client.

 

We are real.

 

We advertise on Rightmove, Zoopla and Primelocation.

 

There are no hidden fees.

 

We do not take commission on maintenance call outs (Landlords be careful on this one, check your contract).

 

No call centres, we are local and accessible (just round the corner from John Lewis).

 

We will go the extra mile to achieve that goal.

 

We will not try and sell you a mortgage, conveyancing or insurance.

 

Less is more, we may not have hundreds of properties to sell but this means we have more time for you!

 

Kimberley Forte

Forte Properties- Exeter, Devon

 


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