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Why do so few sellers go back to the agent they bought through?

Only one in eight sellers use the estate agent through which they purchased their home to begin with.

That’s a staggering loss of potential business according to one of the industry’s leading consultants, Chris Watkin. 

He says agents in the UK tend to be focussed on immediate income through instructions, rather than looking at the longer term and working with customers after a transaction. Nurturing the customer between transactions will pay dividends, he insists. 


Watkin - also well known as one of the country’s foremost agency trainers and content writers for agent websites and other material - makes his remarks in a hard-hitting video interview with Angels Media chief executive Nat Daniels. 

It’s eight minutes of an agent’s time well-spent to hear Watkin’s distinctive and no-holds-barred views - the video is below.

  • Chris Arnold

    Picking up the phone every month to "just say hi" doesn't build relationships. It might be considered intrusive if there's no explicit permission. Which might be why the likes of Keller Wiliams are trained in their 8x8 campaign to ask "Is it OK for us to stay in touch?" What ensues allegedly is "meaningful contact of 8 touches over 8 weeks through a combination of email, calls, text and items of value."
    Overkill, over time they call it!
    If that's what any homeowner signs, up to, I have no trouble with that, but I do with agents calling without permission, just to stay in touch.
    How about putting out content that is so interesting that the agency creates an audience that actually anticipates hearing from them? I subscribe to various email newsletters, podcasts and video because I'm fascinated or curious about the author and what they have to say. They don't have to ring me up just to say Hi and soft-sell me anything.
    That content doesn't have to be informative. It can be emotive, imaginative and radically different. That is what causes people to remember what you said - not, that homes in your area are reaching record highs.
    That only one in eight buyers eventually go on to sell with that agency is irrelevant. There's very little relationship with an agency when buying a home because they work for the seller and if they are doing their job properly, they're not making the purchase easy. Relationships start because people find affinity with other people, not because they are brought together in a transaction.

    Richard Rawlings

    100% with you on this Chris. Relevant, interesting, meaningful, timely, engaging material from the heart.

  • martin moston

    quick google search...
    Recent research indicates that, on average, Britons move once every 23 years, which is a statistic that will no doubt be quite surprising to many.13 Mar 2019, obviously not to Chris.

    we all want repeat business and we certainly look after our buyers and sellers but there are so many factors why someone chooses one agent over another.


    Yet half of the sales in the UK in the last 18 months have only been in their house for 6 years and 18 weeks or less ... its not as simple as dividing the number of houses against the number of house sales ... there eis a two tier market .. those that move every 5/6 years in the 30's and 40's ... and this that stop in their home for 30yrs +

  • icon

    It mostly comes down to price and fee


    Good to see your absolutely horrendous reply to Richard Rawlings taken down.

  • Richard Rawlings

    Absolutely not Jan. I’m sorry but if you think it all comes down to price and fee you clearly, with the greatest respect, have not been well-trained in the art of estate agency, especially persuasive listening skills that do not focus on asking price and also help secure you a much higher fee than your competitors.

  • Daniel Hamilton-Charlton

    The best thing any agent can do at the moment is distribute dynamic digital logbooks that contain your branding and contact details. These provide an engaging environment for property owners to keep their property asset well organised (whether thinking of selling now or not), making it easier to sell when the time comes. Your details remain central to the delivery of information contained in the logbook and you stand a chance of being their first port of call when they do decide to sell. A dynamic Digital Logbook delivered by a progressive agent will provide long lasting nurturing with property owners in your regions and amass a huge database of opportunity.

  • icon

    So many factors to this, but probably the biggest factor in my view is that people build relationships with people not brands.

    So when the onetime buyers become vendors and look for the negotiator who sold them the house, chances are that over a 7-10-15-23yr period, that individual has either left, moved offices or been promoted and increasingly now a days set up on their own.

    Staff retention today within our sector is appalling, as corporates willingly sacrifice experience and longevity of service for cheaper, younger staff.

    It shouldn’t then come as a massive shock that if you can’t keep the staff that sold your past clients their houses, then you’re unlikely to keep the client.


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