Last year it was ‘disruptor’ and before that came ‘exclusive’ - now, according to one estate agency at least, the over-used industry buzzword of the moment is ‘innovative.’
A league table of commonly used words and phrases has been drawn up by the hybrid Agent & Homes agency that uses the increasingly-popular ‘hub’ concept (it’s new - you could almost call it ‘innovative’).
"We can see from our research that although many estate agents are trying to be different, much of what they say on their websites is largely the same" says Rollo Miles, founder of Agent & Homes.
He’s looked at over 40 London estate agency websites to draw up a league table of buzzwords which will be all too familiar to journalists as well as agents.
The top five most commonly used - as well as 'innovative' - include claiming to have an 'in-depth knowledge', working to ensure a 'smooth process' and providing a 'tailored service' as well as using 'cutting-edge technology'.
Other words and phrases which appear across many agencies’ websites are 'bespoke’ and ‘integrity', claiming to know something like the 'back of a hand' and promising to 'go the extra mile' for clients.
Miles says: ”Of course, many of these long-established firms may well be innovative or offer in-depth knowledge. However, we believe that true innovation in estate agency comes from adopting an alternative business model which is designed to cater to the needs of the modern consumer.”
Agent & Homes’ agents - the firm calls them ‘consultants’ - are self-employed estate agents operating across London from a central hub in Notting Hill.
"We grew tired of seeing agents continually describe themselves as gurus and experts when in reality they were merely acting as door-openers," says Bob Crowley, who co-founded the agency with Miles in June of this year.
"All of our agents have experience of their patch and aim to foster genuine lasting relationships with clients," he says.
The agency currently has 12 agents “with more consultants joining shortly” according to an update from the company.
So far it’s taken over 40 sales instructions and over 200 lettings instructions and claims to be “already competing well” against long-established firms.