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More training needed for agents as sales market slows - claim

The property market is heading for around 23% fewer sales this year and some agents may need better training to deal with the different market, agency content creator Christopher Watkin has suggested.

Watkin, a regular industry interviewer and commentator on market statistics, has suggested there will have been around 855,000 residential transactions this year.

Speaking to The Guild of Property Professionals’ chief executive Iain McKenzie on the network’s The Home Stretch podcast, said the exact nature of sales won’t be clear until May or June next year.


He said: “I believe that we'll end on 885,000 residential UK transactions. Fundamentally, we are approximately 23 percent below last year's figures in terms of the number of transactions. 

“Transactions, of course, are what we actually get paid on. 

“So estate agents are going to be paid on fewer properties this year than they did last year and they're still going to be paid around 10 percent less than 2017 / 18 /19. In 2022, for every 100 houses that an agent put on to the market, they would have exchanged contracts on 65 of the properties. This year it's 52, so that's a drop of 20 percent."

He predicts a slight dip in house prices, followed by a recovery, stating, "House prices are bumbling along quite nicely at plus or minus 1 or 2 percent."

Highlighting the need for comprehensive training and development, Watkin said: "I find it truly fascinating that away from the top 20 estate agents that have their own training departments, there's around 12,000 estate agency firms out there, and I challenge anyone to name me more than 10 estate agency trainers. We want to be a profession, we're an industry. Well, surely, if we want to be a profession, then we need to train and develop."

Watkin also addressed the adage about a Boxing Day bounce, often promoted by the portals at this time of year.

He said: "The simple thing is, it's a marketing ploy.”

McKenzie added: “An agent always has to be honourable and give their version of the truth, and so it isn't right to be misleading to people. 

“But if it helps a customer make a legitimate decision at a time that they don't make the decision, then that's good. My understanding has always been based upon data and feedback that I've received from the portals that there is an increase in activity, so therefore it is a good idea." 

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