Agent Provocateur: And on the seventh day do you rest – or get on with business?

Fourteen per cent more time in exchange for a 45% increase in turnover, anyone?

Agents have had tried and tested ways of doing things for a long time, pretty much the same since I started in the late 70s in fact.

Pressure on the bottom line has never been greater with increased competition, stalling volumes, more legislation, more memberships to pay for, more tools, portal expense, staff costs, business rents and rates, taxes – the list is endless.

Hundreds of agents across the country now employ Saturday staff, not to man offices – but to get out and open doors.

This is commonplace and practised by many of the biggest and most successful agents in all price sectors.

Those who don’t employ such staff will have a competitor that does – just look at indeed.co.uk to see how many. But no one ever seems to mention Sundays.

Yes, our Christian heritage may mean many people (and I include agents in that) still hanker after a quiet day.

But, equally, Sunday can be the only day of the week to get things done – for example, major shopping expeditions.

For others, it is now often just another working day.

So why the blind spot in estate agency about Sundays?

After all, it represents 14% of time available to get deals done – and deals aren’t done unless someone has seen the inside of whatever they’re trying to buy or rent.

One company in London tried the unthinkable – they actually emailed their database of buyers and tenants to tell them they could view properties on Sundays.

They were knocked over in the rush.

Those emailed were impressed with such a service commitment, clients were equally impressed, those thinking about selling or letting who’d received the email were impressed – and most importantly their turnover increased by 45% over three months.

I’m honestly not sure there’s much more to say.

There are so many wins, none of them small, in that paragraph, that for anyone looking to stay in business and make more money, to ignore possibly the most productive 14% of their week would be unthinkable in any other business.

Does anyone think it’s a coincidence that many like IKEA and Homebase do their best business on a Sunday?

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous Coward

    Agent of 25 years.

    I bought my house after a viewing during the week.

    My daughter bought her flat after a viewing during the week.

    My sister bought her house after a viewing during the week.

    My dad sold his last two flats after viewings during the week.

    (I know because they have all asked my advice).

    I will agree (as an agent) Saturdays do represent “viewing day” but do not account for all the sales that an agency does.

    I’ve tried Sundays, once in London and once in the South-East.   Neither were particularly successful, I found them useful for catching up on paperwork, which was nice.

    Given that you’re not allowed to slave drive your staff any more, and you need at least one full time employee on site, you are likely to dent your strength during the week.   Unless, of course, you have enough money to have that many staff.

     

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  2. Z197741

    Perhaps it’s because no one wants strangers coming to their house on a Sunday they work 6 days a week as an agent and want to spend time with their family.

    Or perhaps their a tenant and want one day a week with out viewings and sit in their pants in front of the TV.

    The F word in London have stopped them so guessing they don’t work…..

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  3. NotLikeTheTrolls86

    Jeez, two more thinking the public will for evermore continue to do things when estate agents want, you’ve had it too easy for too long guys. How difficult is it to stagger staff, or make other arrangements. Having tried to buy a place myself recently I was embarrassed by how difficult it was to get in to see things on a Sunday, the only day I get off. @AnonymousCoward sounds like he or she simply opened their office [what’s the point?]. I have started to experiment with letting customers know about viewing hours and not opening hours, and perhaps will try harder. In the meantime I am staggered by some of the backward and out of date thinking I read on here – what happened to customer first?

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    1. qwerty76567

      What happened to having a family life ? Agents too, like people from other sectors … have families… kids… thought about that? Or tenants or vendors wanting a day to themselves as mentioned by someone else in another comment.

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