As property ‘experts’, sector know-how and experience sits centrally to everything we do, right?
Of course, but it’s certainly not the only key component to growing a successful property business and without the right type of people at its heart, can success ever be enjoyed?
I have read with interest recent articles that have appeared here that have dealt with what the ‘right’ people are for the property industry, but feel there’s an element missing.
Yes, we do most certainly need to be ‘human’ to prosper in property – without this we’re unable to appropriately nurture and support our teams and endear ourselves to our clients and prospects.
The debate around whether to work in property you need to be a recognised estate agent or simply someone who is passionate about property – a ‘property guru’ – also raises some hugely valid points.
Without a doubt, a deep understanding of, and passion for, all things ‘property’ are must-have qualities to survive and thrive in the industry.
But what about the personal and collective attributes and beliefs of your property team?
Do the values that they hold dear; the causes that they’re passionate about; and the value they add to their local communities above and beyond just their relationships with clients, rate highly as you build your property business?
They certainly do here at Andrews where a social conscience is vital.
Built on a legacy of social philanthropy and owned by three charitable trusts, every member of our staff is encouraged to participate in activities that give something back to their communities; raise funds for local charities or simply contribute to the financial success of the business which in itself has a huge social impact through the annual dividend payment that we present to our three owners.
Andrews, of course, isn’t alone in placing high value on such attributes but we are unique in our ownership structure which means that every sale we complete; every lease agreed; and every management contract signed, directly impacts a wide variety of community projects via the funding we provide to the charitable trusts that we are owned by.
Consumers have a choice. They can opt for a no-frills, on-line agency to handle the sale of their property and for some this ticks the box.
However, in the same way that more and more people are concerned with local provenance opting for locally sourced fresh produce as opposed to cheaper supermarket goods, so too is there an increasing awareness that it’s possible to engage with an agent that won’t simply sell their home, but which will also actively contribute to making the local community a more cohesive, positive place to live.
This won’t be a consideration for all consumers and the variety of business models in the sector serves to meet all needs.
However, I hold very dear the Andrews model.
I believe many of our customers see real value in the way we run our business and I know for a fact that our team members benefit from and enjoy being part of a business that is committed to being more than ‘just’ an estate agency.
Perhaps, therefore, it’s time to ask what’s at the centre of your business?
What do your staff gain from being part of your team?
And what do your customers get from engaging with you?
*Michael Robson is Chief Executive of Andrews Estate Agents