Guy Leaning, a former high street agent who has now moved into working in the hybrid model of agency, outlines why he's made this shift.
The property sector is rapidly evolving with the times and the way we used to do things is becoming increasingly irrelevant. Maintaining a forward vision that gracefully adapts to the changing needs of clients has become more important than ever before.
I’ve been living and breathing property for 30 years and have seen how the industry is evolving in a really exciting way. Going hybrid introduces a whole new dimension of opportunities for both partners and clients alike.
As I’ve been working within the traditional high street model for most of my career, deciding to dive into the hybrid waters certainly took some courage, but I was encouraged by the fact that it’s where we can see the industry heading. It comes with its challenges, but it’s also fulfilling and rewarding in a unique way.
Where I was before house. Partnership and what inspired me to make the jump
I have worked within the Kingston and Wimbledon areas for 30 years and ran my own estate agency. I made the jump as I could see very clearly that the estate agency business was changing and I wanted to adapt so not to be left behind the curve. I felt that I could bring something different and exciting to my clients.
Priorities now vs when I was at a traditional high street agency…
You are able to concentrate more with your clients to deliver a highly-polished personal service where the buck stops with you. I, like many high street agents, had an office full of staff, many of which had little to no estate agency and property experience. It’s refreshing to not have to do all their work as well as your own and instead concentrate on the property and the client itself.
How my views on the industry as a whole have changed…
It has highlighted that the presentation we had previously was poor and out of date. It’s becoming more clear that providing a service that is up to date with the latest technology available to the industry is crucial in our efforts to stay ahead of competitors – it’s important to adapt to the shifting of values, but in a way that is always informed by extensive experience.
How I see the property sector evolving and what I think it might look like in a few years…
I see that sellers will want to receive more of a personal service where the communication with that agent can be quick and responsive – a strong foundational relationship between clients and agents can facilitate the rest of the journey.
Also, that properties are presented to an award-winning standard but by highly-experienced estate agents with exceptional local knowledge and expertise within the business – clients need to know that what lies behind a top-notch presentation are agents who have the experience to guide them in the right direction and whom they can therefore trust.
Advice I would give to others considering either setting up on their own or becoming a partner…
Don’t hesitate as clients don’t visit high street offices anymore – they look online to buy a property and arrange appointments. Having the freedom to focus time and energy on clients allows the key people of this business to operate with a free hand – it’s what you make of it.
*Guy Leaning is a former high street estate agency owner who is now Partner at house. Partnership covering South West London, Wimbledon and Coombe