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Self-employed agent says it’s not about money (but has bought a Jag)

An estate agent who has now gone self-employed after working on the staff of Connells and Spicerhaart says her move is not all about earning extra money.

Two recent stories on EAT, relating to Keller Williams and Nested, have concerned agents working under those brands but in a self employed capacity claiming to earn sums well in excess of staff agents.

But now Anna Smith - who has moved to being self-employed, working under the brand of Hertfordshire-based agency David Lee - says it’s not about money, but about lifestyle.

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“I moved to David Lee as a supported, self-employed agent because I had a baby. There was no way that I was going to be afforded the flexibility and choice of working style at a corporate estate agency that my new circumstance as a mum required” explains Smith.

‘I now have a little girl, Isabella, that I fit my working life around rather than having to fit my family around my working life as is so often the case when employed. If my daughter is sick or I can’t get nursery care I simply work from home or not at all.” 

She adds: “I choose my hours and indeed my days and yet am still earning several fold what I was in corporate estate agency by listing and selling between 5 and 10 homes a month. My newfound flexibility and independence have literally been life changing for me.”

However, Smith also states: ”In the last year I’ve bought a Jaguar F-Pace and saved for a house. The extra deposit I’ve accumulated in just four months would have taken me years to put away previously despite me working when I like now. So yes, earnings are important, but I wouldn’t trade what I earn now for an employed role with all of its restrictions – no way".

Lee O’Brien, a director of David Lee, says “We all know that the estate agency business is about people and so David and I are taking this to its logical maximum by promoting the quality of life that our partner agents have rather than just shouting about cash. It’s how we’ll build a sustainable, quality proposition over many years with fantastic people like Anna”. 

You can see recent stories about self-employed agents here and here - they have raised substantial controversy.

Critics point out that the estimated earnings of the high fliers in the self-employed world exclude the costs that would be covered by employers in the traditional business model.

These costs include insurance, membership of professional organisations and some taxes; meanwhile being self-employed means not having sick pay, a company pension, company car nor other entitlements. In recent times, self-employment has also been an obstacle to securing a mortgage or other loans at favourable rates.

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    … leased a jag

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    My Jaguar isn’t leased :-) it’s a shame people have to be so bitter over other peoples success.

     
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    No, brought a Jag. Anna has worked incredibly hard to be able to afford the things she has. She has worked her way up in the industry since the age of just 18, and it absolutely baffles me why idiots such as your self feel the need to comment your incorrect and bitter opinions. Why can't you be happy for someone's success. So proud of you Anna.

     
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    Assuming the car wasn’t bought in a straight cash deal, surely the financing of such a car would count against her when getting a mortgage. Thus meaning that any extra deposit that might have been acrrued is only making up for the shortfall in borrowing due to the car finance.

    This is worse than local journo news reporting.

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    Not that it’s any of your bussiness but my car is not leased I bought it outright so no, it hasn’t affected my mortgage and even if it did - so what?

    All my savings went into the deposit for my house; and I have worked incredibly hard for it. It’s a shame people have to be so unkind and bitter over other peoples success, it’s so unnecessary.

     
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    Well it was just an assumption and certainly not a dig or a display of bitterness. But I agree with other comments made regarding humility. I guess that’s where different people measure success in different ways. I wish you continued success and a fleet of Jaguars.

     
  • Algarve  Investor

    The self-employed model is really not helping itself with all these bold claims, setting itself up for a grand old fall. What happened to humility and a sense of humbleness? Boastfulness is never a good trait.

    I agree with Anna that being self-employed has its perks, as she lays out above, but it has its downsides and risks, too - and won't be for everyone. It would be nice to hear these stories or stories about people who didn't make it.

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    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for your comments. All the other self employed agents I work with are all successful but most of all, love their job and the work life balance it has to offer. A lot of us faced initial struggles like any new bussiness owners would, but we all pushed through it and are now seeing the rewards.

    It is always a huge risk going self employed but for me, and most of my partner agents, a risk that was worth taking.

    Thanks,

    Anna

     
  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    Anyones successes should be celebrated, not mocked or ridiculed. Well done to Anna for being brave enough to go it alone and for taking the leap of faith to make a career work for her life. It takes courage. I am sure that there are significant financial upsides to the model given the lack of overheads.
    I wish her every success and hope that she is a progressive agent delivering all the solutions that she can to her clients. My business would be delighted to support her in any way we can.

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    Thank you Daniel for the kind comments.

     
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    Hi Matt,

    Thank you for your comments. All the other self employed agents I work with are all successful but most of all, love their job and the work life balance it has to offer. A lot of us faced initial struggles like any new bussiness owners would, but we all pushed through it and are now seeing the rewards.

    It is always a huge risk going self employed but for me, and most of my partner agents, a risk that was worth taking.

    Thanks,

    Anna

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    Anna everyone who cares about you knows just how hard you work to be able to afford the things you have and how much your words have been twisted in the article. Keep your head high and keep working hard to BUY yourself another Jag xo

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    well done, Anna,for finding a way to juggle work and motherhood.

  • Samantha Sullivan

    Well done Anna, I wish you all the success in the world. Unfortunately the High Street agents still out number the self employed as well as earn half the income so they will always remain this bitter reading about someone else's success.
    Massive congratulations

  • Sean Newman

    Congratulations Anna,
    Well done on making the decision to become your own boss and be in control of your own destiny.
    This is a familiar story, many Partner Agents say the same thing, they love the flexibility of their working day and the financial rewards for their efforts.
    Thanks for sharing your story, it's great to hear and will hopefully inspire others.
    Keep up the great work and all the best for the future.

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