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Corporate agents miss out on their kids growing up, says hybrid rival

The head of a small hybrid firm that describes traditional agencies with offices as “antiquated” says property professionals working for corporates miss out on real life, such as supporting children with school activities. 

The David Lee agency covers Hertfordshire and Essex but does not have High Street offices. 

Instead it operates from what it calls “all-encompassing premises on the edge of Bishop’s Stortford that reflect the way the property market needs of the customer has changed.”


The firm is currently recruiting for what it describes as its associate program, so has gone on the offensive to criticise the traditional agency model.

It’s undertaken research, using an undisclosed number of agents, to say that 60 per cent of employees that work in a corporate environment feel undervalued. The majority believe that their hours are too long and that the financial rewards are inadequate for those hours invested.

More than one third of respondents say that they have missed out on a son or daughter’s sports day or parents’ evening because of work commitments in the corporate world that they could not remove themselves from.

And no fewer than 92 per cent of people say that they would move to a role if it offered both working flexibility of work/life balance and good earnings.

Lee O’Brien, one of the founders and directors at David Lee Estate Agents, comments: “The corporate grindstone seems to be taking its toll with the majority of corporate office workers feeling underpaid and undervalued and 36 per cent lamenting having missed out on supporting aspects of their child’s school activities’.

“This is a rather sad indictment of ‘the office’ and based upon our survey this outdated institution must surely be numbered in its days especially given that appetites for working from home have been thoroughly whetted over the past two years and with hundreds of thousands of capable and productive individuals not wanting to return to the pre-pandemic monotony of being chained to a pointless desk in a corporate goldfish bowl.”



The company’s website sets out its view of High Street agencies, saying: “The traditional model has needed to adapt to more current working methods and with the emergence of some fantastic prop tech now available in the market we feel there is a new hybrid model that can be adopted to create a dynamic flexible environment for entrepreneurial estate and letting agents to thrive in and create a business to be proud of and still provide the full service to our clients.

“We work within one of those industries where the best feel like they get stuck within good and bad businesses and almost have no choice other than to start their own agency. 

“This is an expensive and stressful experience and is no longer the only option to create financial freedom and work at your own pace in a growing brand.”

  • Lee James  Pendleton

    Seriously is this really news and not just another pitch for self employed agents. Who did they really ask, aka no one! When will the same old record stop playing. PB bashed high street agents for many years and now look. This kind of abuse is only damaging for the folk who write it. Good luck finding staff you earn sod all and can't take holidays without worrying. Shame on you David Lee for doing this poor story.


    I quite agree!

    Its nonsense

  • Carl Smales

    Totally agree with you Lee.

    If a parent can’t attend a sports day or school event, that’s down to the parent not the company they work for.
    Everyone has holiday days they can use, but in my experience most companies wouldn’t mind an employee nipping out to watch their child’s sports day, once a year.

    And the next issue is, if you think you’re hard done to as an employee, god help you when you’re working for yourself.

    I’ve done both and I can hand on heart say the times when I’ve come close to missing an event have been as self employed.
    Let’s not even get started on the fact that you can also feel like you’re working 25 hours a day, eight days a week! Lol

    Happy days!

  • icon

    I have been S/E for 31 years, and my God how I have had to sacrifice a lot. No 2 weeks holiday since 1989, no sick pay, fund your own pension and car, I could go on. If you are employed these days you don't know your born compared to when I started employment in 1974.

  • icon

    What a load of tosh. No High St offices = no High St advertising, enjoy like PB does spending vast sums of money on marketing.

  • icon

    Plumbing new depths right here.

  • Glenn Taylor

    It made me laugh


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