Monday 13 October 2014

Facing my fears


Ive had a couple of nights of poor sleep and I think I know why. I'm formulating, cojitating, weighing up and thinking about setting up my own estate agency with every spare minute, and the parts I fear loss of control over are starting to get to me. I don't lie awake at night specifically thinking about these things, but I'm sure that the constant thought and planning must weigh on my mind most of the time. 

I always find looking over these issues and then talking them over quite cathartic, so I'll put them in print here, and then discuss them with my wife later today or early tomorrow, and look at how to tackle these issues. There are 2 main issues that are starting to bother me at the moment.

The Rightmove question
This one for me is the biggest question, and possibly the biggest monthly overhead. My intention at first is to either go without Rightmove from the beginning, or to offer it to customers as a pay-up-front additional extra. I do not believe that Rightmove is the be-all-and-end-all for estate agents, and I'm willing to back my judgement on that by not signing up with them.

However, I don't want to lose potential instructions by not offering it. I don't want to give the other agents in town a way to knocks service by stating that I'm missing a vital piece if the jigsaw.

Action : Speak to Rightmove and find out the cost of monthly listings. Also find out the possibility of pay-per-listing and the cost of this. From there I can see what a potential cost to my customer may be. I also need to provide a solid, reasoned argument as to why I won't be using Rightmove and have this ready to proactively address my customers concerns.

Industry resistance to online-only agents
I know that I shouldn't overly worry about what other people think of me, but it's not their thoughts, it's their potential actions. I read with interest, the following article last week-

And it regards estate agents in the North East of England coming together to all agree to remove themselves from Rightmove and Zoopla and all list their properties only in a new portal that specifically excludes online-only estate agents. Now this isn't my patch, but news can spread, and the ill feeling that estate agents with High Street offices have towards online-only agents is quite widespread. I don't want to end up
operating in a town with this level of animosity.

Action : To ensure that I know my own reasons and arguments for being an online-only estate agent. I will highlight my lower overheads, and explain that is why I am cheaper than the local agents with a High Street office and a team of staff they have to pay for whether bust or not. I thnk I'll push this as a selling point, rather than a weakness.

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