by Bob Scarff


Some of you will have seen Rightmove’s Miles Shipside do a presentation in the last few months (I’ve seen it three times now, great every time Miles!!) in which he shows us how Rightmove interviewed over 3,000 actual and potential vendors. They were asked to decide how they would allocate a notional £100 of value (to them) between differing aspects of what they’d expect an estate agent to do for them.

In first place, the highest average value of £25 out of the £100 is given to “promoting the property on Rightmove”. Now, please don’t roll your eyes and switch off muttering “it’s all a fix”. Please keep with me, there’s an important point coming up. Besides are any of us really surprised that the average vendor thinks that Rightmove is that important?

The important point is that “Post Sale Agreed Service” comes in fifth out of six and only has an average value attributed to it of £8.

3 Steps to Survival

Going back to my 3 Steps to Survival from last week, I imagine that all Full Service agents would have Sales Progression on their list of differentiators. Yet, the average Vendor doesn’t see that it’s of that much importance - half as valuable as “Arranging and Conducting Viewings”.

Now, this week I’m not going to question whether or not a typical Full Service Agent does or does not offer a great customer experience Post Sale Agreed - mind you if Stephen Hayter of MyHomeMove is to be believed, if you get him on the topic of Pipeline Conversion rates and Sale Cancellation rates and how little they vary across the different ways in which Estate Agents approach the discipline, there is an awful lot of wasted huffing and puffing going on. Maybe that’s for another time.

No. My point this week is a simple one. If an average potential vendor only values this essential part of the Full Service offering at £8 out of £100 then that is your fault - or at least the fault of the person on the Valuation appointment. It warrants more than a casual mention, more than another bullet point on your list of features, certainly more than an assumption that the vendor will know all about it.

Features & Benefits

This topic is a classic for Features and Benefits selling. We all know the theory - sell the Benefits not the Features. If the customer could say “but what’s in it for me?” in response to anything you say, then you’re doing it wrong etc. But in this particular topic, even seasoned professionals fall into the trap of Telling the Feature, not Selling the Benefit. Maybe the less experienced ones have more of an excuse in as much as because they don’t deal with sales progression (and it’s much more complex than it used to be) they don’t even understand the Benefits themselves - there’s a thought !!

So, if a typical vendor thinks that After Sales Service is only worth £8 out of £100, then it’s the role of a Full Service agent to help them see that they’ve got it all wrong. Put the other way, if they only think it’s worth £8 then you can’t blame them if they conclude that they’ll not be missing out on much if they choose a Self Service Agent.

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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Reuben Barrett

25 May 2017 12:47:38

Thanks for this very interesting article. I’d be very interested in knowing the other items in the Rightmove survey and what amounts of money vendors said they would attribute to them. Would you be able to share these?


25 May 2017 13:22:45

Hi Reuben

I took a sneaky photo of Miles’ slide so yes. I’ll email it to you.

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