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Some self-employed agency models act like cults - claim

Self-employed models have a place in estate agency but there is a risk of some becoming ‘cultish,’ a senior industry figure has claimed.

Speaking during a lively debate on agency business models on the latest Agents MVMT Pass The Syrup podcast, Steven Wayne, managing director of independent brand Benjamin

Stevens, said some self-employed brands seem more obsessed with recruiting than being estate agents.


Wayne said: “You get a lot of waffle from some self-employed agents about what is really happening in the market.

“There is a borderline of ‘cultishness’ with some of the models, you can see them banging their chests in the morning meetings.

“You have that team spirit and togetherness in an independent.”

Wayne said some self-employed models come across like pyramid selling due to an obsession with recruiting other agents.

He said: “The problem is when you stop becoming an estate agent and start becoming a recruiter.

“You can be so obsessed with recruiting that you end up with the wrong type of people.”

Wayne added that a lot of agents don’t realise how strong having a big brand can be when it comes to getting calls to the office rather than having to canvas.

Fellow guest Harry Middelton of Fine & Country, said self-employed agents need to be more resilient and active as their income is on the line and there is no salary to full back on .

He added: “I wouldn’t go straight into a self-employed role as you have to learn the skills first.”

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    Is it just me, or do these comments just sound like a high street agent who is fearful of losing staff to some of these self-employed models?

    And as for ‘banging their chests in morning meetings’ - self employed agents don’t have morning meetings! That’s one of the great things they love to leave behind!

    There’s a place for all manner of agency styles. It’s good for individuals who can choose the model they wish to work in, and it’s good for the client who has more choice as to which one they feel most comfortable with. It’s a win-win for everyone, surely.

    And if some self employed agents are passionate about how the model they work in has changed their life and made them happier, then who are you to chastise them for wanting to spread the news in case others are may be interested in doing the same?

    Ask yourself this question…Why don’t we see high street agents being quite so passionate about their role and company…?

    I’ll just leave that one there shall I?!

    mark graham

    To sum it up "The lady protest to much"

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    As a self employed agent in my second year it is hardwork and especially in this market. If I didn’t have previous experience then there is no way I would be in the position I am now. Dealing with high street agents large and small it is very apparent that there is a lack of experience or drive when progressing sales that combined with arrogance is not a great combination for sellers or buyers. The final point about pyramid selling/recruiting new agents I agree with there is a lot of focus on bringing new agents in to earn extra revenue from - an element of using the platform that I do which I despise.


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