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MFPS: 'Agents risk losing our pre-technology personal skills'

Agents risk losing the personal communication element that drove transactions before the development of technology, an industry veteran has warned.

The claim comes as Michael Day, founder of Integra Property Serrvices, has looked back on his early days in agency back in the 1970s and queried how technology has both helped and hindered the sector.

Speaking to Estate Agent Today for our latest My First Property Sale interview, he revealed that his first commission was earned on a flat in Rayners Lane, London, for just £7,850 back in 1976.


Day said the commission structure was different in those days as it was on a sliding scale so was a higher fee as a percentage but the property values were lower.

He said: “This predates the internet. We didn’t even have photographs of property details. 

“There were no mobile phones, no computer systems, it was very much a face-to-face business, obviously we had telephones but technology has come forward immensely.”

Day said there are pluses and minuses when it comes to how the marketing of properties has changed more than 40 years later.

He said: “It is quicker to do a lot of things now and the quality of presentation is better.

“We only had a sheet of paper with no picture and just a blurb.

“The bit there is a risk of losing is this personal communication element.

“If you wanted to buy a property you got the local paper and probably visited the agent, they met the applicant and there was a lot more interaction.

“It is a lot more distanced now, with out of hours work and things done automatically.

“I’m not saying it was better then but its not necessarily better now.

“We still need that personal element, which we had to do at the time as it was the only way to do business.”

Day said he felt like a superhero on his first sale and never lost that buzz, which agents should always have on a deal.

You can watch the full video interview below:

  • Richard Copus

    The personal element and one to one communication is the one major thing most agents are still good at. We lose that at our peril. Might as well sell and buy privately without it.


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