Thu 02 Feb 2023
As an external appointment to the role of new Head of Residential last spring, Richard Cleaver embarked on a mission to revamp Shouler & Son’s sales offer to sellers & buyers in the estate agency’s own Melton & Vale of Belvoir patch.
Here, Richard files his initial mission report……
I knew Shouler & Son as an established family firm with a Melton heritage stretching back to 1846. But at interview, it was made clear to me by the Shoulers partners that they didn’t want the firm to rest on its laurels.
By way of reputation and longevity, resting on reputation would have been a comfortable enough route open to them for their estate agency business - even since it had closed its ‘shop front’ presence in Melton town centre in 2021.
But comfortable wouldn’t have suited me either.
I was celebrating my silver anniversary in the property sales profession and looking for a role in which I could bring to bear all I had learned & experienced.
The starting point was recruitment to reinforce the existing sales team.
At its heart, estate agency is a people-centric business. Albeit for a short time during the process, we become part of “Team Seller” or “Team Buyer” and are often privy to some very emotional times in people’s lives.
Sure, digital communication and technology have their place in the selling process but I’ve seen - and still see - too many estate agents hide behind screens of one sort or another.
Estate agency as a profession should never become impersonal.
A house is the biggest consumer purchase most of us will ever make. It’s an emotional and financial investment and estate agents should always respect that in giving considered advice to sellers and buyers.
Social media is an important tool of any commercial concern these days, of course. But when it comes to stepping inside somebody’s front door, the social media platform and what Shoulers does on it as an instructed agent will always be respectful.
This extends to photography too.
Professional photography always shines through in presenting the house for sale in its best light. Indeed photography and professionally produced floor plans can often be what prompt a potential buyer to set up a first viewing.
And when it comes to viewings, one of Shoulers’ residential sales professionals will always be present.
Back office processes and procedures have been re-engineered since my tenure in post to ensure our movers are market-ready.
Our sellers are primed, prepared and ready to proceed when it comes to the paperwork of the sale.
We emphasise to our buyers and sellers that we can, as good estate agents, influence the price as part of the sales process but our influence on the conveyancing & wider legal parts of the process can only extend so far.
All property parties must fulfil their professional role to achieve the sale - especially in the current housing market where estate agency experience is counting in a way it hasn’t so much in the hot markets of recent years.
The boom times where just anybody could list and sell a house with minimal input or expertise are no more.
Shoulers residential estate agency’s secret weapon is also coming out from the shadows to support our modern estate agency service.
The firm’s own, on-site County Auction Rooms with its regular online & public sales is an asset that none of our competitors have.
In my time in estate agency, I have so often been asked to recommend firms for house clearance or furniture or antiques & collectables dealers.
To be an estate agent that is, quite literally, under the same roof as an in-house auction resource at our Melton headquarters is something which helps to set Shoulers apart.
So in my time so far at Shouler & Son, I’ve sought to reflect the classic values of an established and successful property firm that is embedded in its locale in refreshing and re-presenting its residential estate agency offer to the area’s sellers & buyers.
My mission has not been impossible but neither is it over.
Watch this space……oh, and look out also for more of our ‘for sale’ and ‘sold’ in a neighbourhood near you.
To talk with Richard or his residential sales team about a marketing appraisal and a valuation of your home, contact Richard Cleaver, tel 01664 560181 or see shoulers.co.uk/pages/sell-with-us#/.