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“This is a rather sad indictment of ‘the office’ and based upon our survey this outdated institution must surely be numbered in its days especially given that appetites for working from home have been thoroughly whetted over the past two years and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.”