Talking shop: forget ‘location, location, location’, it’s communication that counts!

  • Harrison James & Hardie, Moreton in Marsh

Martin Frost, the new branch manager at the Moreton in Marsh office of Harrison James & Hardie, on why 'old-style' communication still works a treat when creating a buzz around buying and selling properties

I have been an estate agent for well over twenty years and during that time I have worked in different agency environments, from the Cheltenham office where I was first trained (properly, at length) to owning my own independent business (selling up in 2006 to a local developer who wanted to cut out the middle man). It’s been a steep learning curve.

I have worked for different styles and sizes, from a sole practice on a shoestring to a huge corporate with different brands operating in separate sectors of the same marketplace, first in Chipping Campden and more recently in Broadway, and I have seen many ways of doing things - not all of them properly or well!

I have watched my industry change beyond recognition. There was a time, ah I remember it well, when we stuck photos to typed details and then stapled. BluTac and Post-It notes everywhere. We faxed for speed. We had stamp glue tongue. When the only tools I had but the post box were my hot list, a pen and a phone.

Computers? Internet? Que? My phone started ringing on a Thursday (when the Journal and Echo came out) and every Saturday there was a literal queue of people waiting to register. We flew from house to house, trying to fit in as many viewings as we could. Half the agents still closed at lunchtime, greeted by a redoubtable elderly lady with a wicked typing speed called Joy who was anything but.

There was a time when if you were good, really good at getting back to people, at picking up the phone, understanding needs not wants, energetic and passionate, communicating with your applicants by phone as soon as the right property came in – in those days when they couldn’t possibly know about it unless you told them and they really wanted to be your best friend for as long as it took - you were literally the best thing since sliced bread. 

Like a family doctor or your local bank manager, ah those were the days. Someone who people needed in their lives, who in return knew the names of your children and had a drink with you after work. Companies that commanded loyalty, adroitly steering their clients through every transaction from the purchase of their first new home to that final bungalow. And you were sad when they were gone. People mattered.

I had forgotten, almost, that this world ever existed. We all got lazy. Even though I worked for really reputable companies, household names that held sway across the country, the internet had taken pride of place. And just when I had almost fallen out of love with this cold new world, booking viewings via Rightmove and putting forward offers by e-mail, I came to work for Harrison James & Hardie.

It is so refreshing to be back in the good old days. So surprising. Here, phones are for dialling out on. Here, when someone rings for a market appraisal there’s a buzz of chatter about which applicant is most likely to buy. A place where, after hours of phone-outs, the Launch Day scores double-figure viewings and multiple offers are expected on a Monday.

I like this old new world. It’s fun again. Think I will stay.

Martin Frost is the new Branch Manager at the Moreton in Marsh office of Harrison James & Hardie Fine & Country North Cotswolds. With many years’ experience and detailed local knowledge particularly in the upper quartile sector of the North Cotswold marketplace, should you wish to talk to Martin about selling your property, please telephone him directly on 01608 653893 or email martin@harrisonjameshardie.co.uk