What do estate agents love and hate most about their profession?

The CEO of fast-growing hybrid agency Agent & Homes has revealed a list of pet hates of being a corporate estate agent which encouraged the formation of his hybrid firm.

Rollo Miles (pictured right), a highly successful London agent who formerly worked for John D. Wood and Marsh & Parsons, says that ahead of starting his new venture alongside Bob and Ed Crowley, lists of ‘loves’ and ‘hates’ about previous roles in traditional agencies were drawn up.

“The ‘love list’ was very simple: helping people find a new home, getting great prices for our clients, going beyond the call of duty and seeing how people live,” says Miles.

“What’s more, the social aspect of being an estate agent, the great comradeship which exists in offices and companies, being out and about.”

He says the hate list included ‘being treated like an idiot by middle management’, ‘being forced to work in a non-productive way’, ‘endless meetings’ and ‘wearing a suit and tie’.

“We also disliked office politics, only being able to work in sales or lettings, morning meetings, telephone meetings, targets, being stuck in an office, the boredom of the 9 to 5, having to work Saturdays and between Christmas and New Year, the dreary list goes on and on.”

Following this process, Agent & Homes was formed with the aim of changing the way estate agency is perceived by the public, while providing agents with the freedom to follow their ambition.

The agency is now celebrating its three-year anniversary, but Miles says UK agents are still often seen as ‘second-hand car dealers’ and rank highly on the list of most hated professions.

“Although the UK is one of the only countries in the world in which anyone can be an estate agent, the public perception of agents is not the reality,” he explains.

“In many places, agents are professionals on a par with solicitors, accountants and financial advisors. This significant issue is part of the inspiration behind Agent & Homes and our quest to turn the agency model on its head.”

Since launching in summer 2018, the agency – which is a pioneer of the self-employed estate agency model – has gone from strength to strength and recently announced that it is opening a share offer to investors to accelerate future growth.

Miles says that another frustration with the traditional model related to fees. “Why did we have to give these corporate companies 90% of fees that were often generated by us, our networks and our following?”

With this in mind, Agent & Homes allows its agents to retain the vast majority of the fees they generate. They also benefit from minimal startup and running costs, access to all major property portals, help with marketing and advertising, as well as support from experienced administrative staff.

“We had all watched the decline of the high street, banks closing, travel companies going online and customers getting more and more confused about estate agents and what they actually do,” adds Miles.

“We thought wouldn’t it be great to be our client’s agent for life and be that person they come to for any of their property needs from sales, lettings, investments and retirement, to second homes, children’s first buys and probate matters?”

Agent & Homes, which is based in Notting Hill, has a team of over 30 property professionals operating across London, Essex and the Home Counties. It recently reported impressive revenue growth of more than 560% in 2019/20, despite the challenges posed by Brexit and the recent Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are leading the new direction in estate agency. We think big and challenge convention,” says Miles. “Work when you want, how you want and where you want.”

“Because of our background in agency, we really get the frustration of the high street models and the downfall of the onliners. We are an organisation which can offer that experience of service and attract that calibre of great agent,” he concludes.