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Estate agents remain among least trusted professions

Estate agents remain among the least trusted professions, the latest Ipsos Veracity Index has revealed – but there is a silver lining.

The annual index, which reveals consumer views of certain professions, regularly puts agents near the bottom and this year is no different.

Estate agents were among the five least trusted professions in 2023, with just 28% of thousands of respondents trusting them to tell the truth.


However, they still fare better than journalists at 21%, advertising executives at 16%, government ministers at 10% and all politicians at 9%.

In some positive news, the level of trust in estate agents has remained the same, while the view of journalists, government ministers and politicians has declined.

Nurses and airline pilots were the most trusted professions, at 88% and 87% respectively, just ahead of librarians, engineers and doctors.

Former Fine & Country boss Simon Leadbetter, founder of consultancy unchained.marketing, suggested this could actually provide an opportunity for estate agents.

He highlights unchained.marketing’s own research showing individual estate and letting agents are doing okay, but the industry has a reputation issue.

It conducted a poll of 2,000 UK adults, which showed most UK adults exhibit much higher levels of trust towards agents if they have dealt with one, with 61% trusting them to a certain degree and 15% expressing high trust, while 28% of adults have never interacted with one.

Trust levels vary across age groups, with younger adults (18-34 years) displaying the highest trust at 75% and 25% trusting agents a lot' or 'completely.' This contrasts with the over 55 age group, where only 53% express some level of trust, and 13% trust agents a lot or completely. 

The South West and East of England are leading the way regionally, with 67% and 66% of respondents expressing trust, respectively, followed closely by London at 65%. On the city scale, Southampton, Norwich, and Leeds top the list with 73%, 71%, and 66% trust levels. In contrast, the North East has the lowest regional trust level at 52%. 

Brighton exhibits the least trust at 52%, with Newcastle and Sheffield also reflecting lower trust levels at 53% and 54%. 

Homeownership status further influences trust, the survey found, with 59% of outright owners and 73% of those with a mortgage trusting agents, compared with 65% of private tenants expressing trust in their letting agent. 

Leadbetter said: “The IPSOS Mori results are the annual occasion for the industry to flagellate itself for low trust. 

“But it is much more nuanced than that. Just as people dislike politicians collectively, they often trust their local MP if they have dealt with them. The same applies to estate and letting agents.” 


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