by Bob Scarff

Traditional or Self Service

So, all agreed then - people who work in estate agency branches up and down the Country don’t travel to work each day dreaming up new ways of disappointing their customers.

So why do so many people feel let down by “traditional” estate agents and why do a (fast growing) number feel that they’re no worse off by using a self service agent instead. As I said last week, there’s an ironic honesty in the fact that a self service agent doesn’t promise the vendor very much, but delivers it every time.

In the estate agency where I used to work, I was responsible for up to 6,000 people. I know a thing or two about how to get the best out of people. I know even more about how to get it wrong. The single most important thing I learnt is that if you don’t have anyone following you, then you’re not a leader!!

In our world, a Leader is someone who can communicate in simple language a clear, straightforward, easy to remember plan of action for their “customer facing” Followers to follow. It is a plan that only changes when it undeniably has to and not on this week’s whim. When it does have to change then the new plan and the need for the change are meticulously communicated in simple language. When the plan isn’t followed, a Leader jumps to the conclusion that it is because of something that he or she has got wrong rather than blaming others.

Leaders Give Credit, Bosses Take Credit

You may have heard the adage - Leaders give credit, Bosses take credit - it’s as true today as ever.

With the challenges of shifting customer expectations staring us all in the face, estate agencies up and down the country need Leaders not Bosses. Whatever your size of business, wherever you sit on the “Online” debate, whatever segment of the market you operate in, independent or corporate - you need your people to follow you.

Only then will your customer experience be as you promised it would be.

Bob Scarff

Written by
Bob Scarff

Bob Scarff ran the UK’s largest and most successful firm of estate agents, having worked his way up from a trainee negotiator in 1978. Now bringing his passion for customer service and organisational discipline to other companies and sectors, he saw quickly the benefits that Callwell can provide and co-founded PropTech Solutions in 2016 to relaunch it into the market.


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Ian Fraser

20 Apr 2017 11:27:29

Enjoyed your comment Bob-spot on. Business great in Exeter area for this “traditional” firm-much of it though comes from recommendations from happy customers. Proves your point really.
Best wishes

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