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Shock survey shows only one-third of agents want to resume normal working

Only 33 per cent of agents want to return to working the same way as before the Coronavirus crisis, according to a survey.

The study consisted of 6,500 agents who - in the words of those behind the survey - “interacted” with a poll run by property recruitment firm Rayner Personnel.

Nearly a quarter of the responses say that their experience of the industry’s handling of the Corona crisis made them question their future and their current role. Whilst pledging to return to work, they are set on a change in the medium term.  

Some 22 per cent say they have enjoyed working from home because of the freedom and flexibility it has afforded them.

Another 14 per cent are concerned about job security having had a position they thought was secure; for them a jump to self-employment and potentially bigger earnings is no longer a daunting prospect.

Six per cent say that they will leave the industry altogether while 33 per cent are happy to go back to work just as before and feel supported by their bosses.

“This has turned out to be a big reveal at a pivotal time for us all” says Rayner Personnel’s founder, Josh Rayner. 

“The question is, will agency bosses acknowledge that there’s an issue here and where so many staff feel insecure and concerned enough to want to move roles? Will they act on our findings?”

The survey will re-run again in two weeks - by which time there may be news on a possible relaxation of lockdown rules and agencies may be able to prepare to resume something like normal business.

The results from the survey, released last night, were accompanied by statements from what Rayner calls “influencers.”

One - PropTech consultant Jason Bushby, a former director of Rightmove - says: “There’s a mental health consideration. The shock of seeing your livelihood flash before you and in many cases with a family to feed, is bound to affect our colleagues in estate agency and this also needs to be accommodated.”

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    Where was this survey carried out?
    As an active member of estate agent forums the feedback is very different to the headline of the article.

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    Hi Michael
    I have enjoyed reading your article about Peter Long and his failing Countrywide Group.
    They have just sold an apartment for me and I now understand why you wrote what you did and why their stock price has lost close to 80% of its value.

    I dealt with the sales manager of the Entwistle branch I used. The amount of mistruths that emanated from the sales manager are beyond belief all of which are confirmed by emails and recorded conversations with the sales manager.

    The Executive Office Advised me that Paul Creffield was aware of the situation and that they would look at my concerns raised with the executive office. A slap dash review that took only forty eight hours was done and the findings sent to me on Friday evening.

    The conclusion arrived at by the executive office manager was an absolute disgrace as it completely ignored most of my material and relevant complaints and what they did respond to contradicted the evidence I have in my dealings with the sales manager.

    The response indicated that no further communication would be Entered into with me and that if I am unhappy I should approach the ombudsman.

    I am filing a complaint with the appropriate regulators as well as a civil claim for a substantial-five figure damages amount as well as filing criminal charges after speaking to an attorney.

    I have now raised my concerns over the inherently flawed review undertaken but Paul Creffield and Peter Long are not interested in resolving the many issues let alone even addressing them. Participation in a thing called cooperation could go a long way to resolving the matter.

    I wish to attend Countrywide’s next AGM as a stockholder owning a very small and insignificant amount of stock. I am sure you agree it is in the interest of stock holders to be made aware of the leadership of Peter Long as adverse publicity and any possible fines impact more on shareholders than on the directors.

    It is surprising that there has not yet been a shareholder revolt calling for replacement of the Board. I believe shareholders will change their attitudes after they learn of what I experienced.

    I will mention just one serious issue that occurred. My property On which we closed a couple of weeks ago was mortgage free. To speed up the sale I was prepared to offer vendor finance as a short term solution until a mortgage was approved and executed for the purchaser.

    The sales manager refused to present my vendor finance option to countrywide’s own in house mortgage advisor or to the buyers solicitor.

    The sales manager emailed me advising that she spoke to the mortgage advisor and that it is Countrywide’s CEOs policy to not allow vendor financing and in a conversation the sales manager advised that it is an illegal mortgage.I was also threatened that if I did not back down on the vendor finance issue they would get the buyer to withdraw the offer.

    Such behaviour is clearly unacceptable and warrants the filing of claims and charges with the authorities. I see you wrote about Peter Longs track record. Are you able to please advise of his track record or forward me links to articles on the subject in which you stated he would not make the cut elsewhere.

    It is mind boggling to read that when Long took over the share price was over £24 and that it is now under £1 not to mention the millions of pounds in shares they proposed awarding themselves.

    I think Long should rather be in the demolition business. It is unfair for shareholders to have to accept this many of whom are probably unaware of the crisis. Peter Long should have intervened after his staff implicated him by advising he does not allow vendor finance between a willing buyer and seller. I eventually made contact with the buyer who sent me a message advising he is happy to do a vendor finance contract.
    It was unfortunately to little to late as we ended up closing a couple of weeks later.

    I am going to spearhead a shareholder revolt as well as calling on shareholders to demand and campaign that regulatory authorities to take action against the leadership team. Please respond at your earliest convenient.



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