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‘The Google of Estate Agency’ - firm recruits 100 for call centre

An estate agency is setting up a call centre employing some 100 people in a bid to become “a one stop shop for anyone looking to buy or sell a property.”

The call centre, to be based in Burnley, will handle enquiries not just for buying or selling but also for mortgage, insurance, valuation and lettings. 

It’s the brainchild of Petty Real, which says it received over 200 applications to work at the centre in the first two days of the posts being advertised.  


A statement from the company says the property market and industry have been very traditional and, in the past, slow to change. But Petty Real chairperson Charlotte Hagen says she wants to shake up the image by placing the customer at the heart of the business.

"We want to be like the Google of Burnley, and that means helping our clients at every stage of the journey. For instance, we've got our sister company Real Financial Advice that can search hundreds of different mortgages rather than just pushing one product with few different variations" says Hogan.

"Times are changing for the property sector" she explains, "and only by embracing new ways of doing business can we achieve our mission of taking the stress out of moving house."

Petty Real says that as part of its PropTech offer to clients, it’s going to offer drone imagery to provide better images, and interactive 3d tours of properties “so people don't waste their time and money on making unnecessary viewings.”

  • Phil Hathway

    Good luck applying to a license for every drone photo you take, assuming you also have the relevant qualifications to offer drone photography in a commercial venture. Flying a drone in a street is illegal - unless you are only going to be selling properties with land and no neighbours to consult, out of Burnley?

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    unnecessary viewings... who else did that just make laugh out loud!?

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    So the cunning plan is to MINIMISE viewings... well yep that's a USP.
    As Phil said you can't be flying drones over or near roads or neighbours property, so only of use to a very low percentage of vendors.

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    How can a call centre of 100 people take the stress out of moving house? How is this putting the customer at the heart of the business? By offering a one stop shop? Don't we all recommend a decent mortgage adviser? Solicitor? Surveyor? Removals?

    Times are indeed changing for the property sector but people want a personal service, they don't want to be a number. They want to be kept in the loop and be assured that you'll let them know when that 4 bed detached, with at least 3 double bedrooms (they'll have family visit often), a large garden (they've got 2 dogs) and parking for 3 cars (their daughter just passed her driving test) is about to come up for sale! How can that be done with a call centre of 100?? It'd be easier getting an update on a related sale from Purple Bricks.

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    Oh and we're still going to cut our fees to make sure we get the business. The Google of Burnley! Heard it all now.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    It is a catchy tune 'digital transformation of real estate' the 'automation' of many parts of the industry and using new tech to solve both new and old questions. The problem with estate agency is that like many industries it is a legacy proposition.

    We always do it a certain way, and better to keep the status quo - wrong - the new status quo is re-imagining how things can be done better and new efficiencies achieved.

    I am not sure call centres and lots of humans are a better alternative to AI and machine learning, though I do like the idea of putting the customer first.


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