Last week I was honoured to be asked to attend Estate Agency All-Stars training to give a consumer perspective. But what was Estate Agency All-Stars?
As I sat on the train reading their brochure I really wasn’t sure what to expect, I had a sense that this was something special but how?
I was met at the station by Joshua Rayner, the mastermind behind All-Stars. I asked him where did the concept of Estate Agency All-Stars come from?
“One of my clients asked me to look at starting an academy. There is no qualification assigned to estate agency like there is in America. We want people to go into the industry and know what they’re doing, talk the right language and give the customers the best customer service.”
As a consumer, a homeowner and someone who has bought and sold a number of properties it still amazes me that an estate agent handling my biggest asset isn’t required to hold a professional qualification. I am not denying there aren’t some amazing estate agents out there but surely having a minimum training requirement can only help raise the overall standard of service we as home buyers, sellers and tenants receive?
Walking into the room, I was met by a group of young people so engaged with the training, they soaked up every word eager to take advantage of the amazing opportunity ahead of them. To be selected for the training they have to go through a very scary four stage screening process, which would put the fear of dread in me.
- They send their CV
- Sit an psychometric test
- Send a 60 second video ‘elevator pitch’ about why they would like a career in estate agency and aspirations.
- Telephone interview
Candidates that are successful are then put forward to interested estate agents as potential All-Stars. The client then decides whether to progress to a face to face interview.
“I’ve been trying to get into estate agency for the last two years, and I wasn’t getting anywhere, everyone was asking for experience. I was told I needed sales experience, but they also wanted experience it was a vicious circle“ Marco Moloudi tells me and this story is not uncommon with many industries selecting an experienced candidate over someone at entry level.
The renowned estate agent trainer Julian O’Dell, from TM Training, devised and delivers the training. I asked him why he decided to come on board with Estate Agency All-Stars:
“My role is to train the guys and I have to say it has probably been the most inspirational and motivational two weeks of my recent career.”
Looking round the room you can understand Julian’s statement. These young people, hungry for a career in property, never lacked energy. First there was a pop quiz from the day before, the questions were challenging and I found myself at a loss for the answers.
We listened to a range of mystery calls, which both amazed me and saddened me, as these were real agents, real calls and unbelievably bad service.
At times the subjects were heavy, but their focus never swayed.
During my day there the group covered these topics are many more:
- First rule of estate agency
- Identifying your companies USPs and how to turn them into a sales pitch
- The 4 Ps of estate agency
- Golden rules of handling fee enquiries
- How to spot a valuation opportunity
I was graciously given some time to talk to them about estate agency from an consumer angle. As I looked at these young people ready to start their careers it struck me, they are going to make a difference. I told them a few stories of good and bad experiences they listened so intently that it was slightly unnerving in a positive way! Here I was talking to the next generation of estate agents! They vigorously took notes, asked questions and we shared ideas.
So what makes this programme so special? To me it’s the well thought out structure, that takes them from application, interview, comprehensive training and finally into a job – a complete package. So surely this is expensive for an estate agent to undertake? Well no! I was shocked to find out that it only costs £1500 – that is a fantastic return on investment.
Being such a new concept how has it been received by estate agents? Joshua tells me:
“We’ve received interesed by both corporates who have there own internal recruitment teams and training as well as leading independents. We have also got had a lot of interest from companies who already have staff in their business but they want them to go through the all-stars training.”
The training doesn’t stop, there is an impressive personal development plan which helps guide the All-Star and the employer through the next stages of their training. I asked Julian why this was important:
“Because of the overspill of content that we couldn’t cover in the training course it had to be handled in some way. It takes them through their first four weeks.”
On the train back from Cambridgeshire on that cold Thursday evening I reflected on the day. I was truly inspired, I went with an open mind really unsure what to expect – I found passion, determination and people making a difference.
Everyone in the room knew what we, the consumers, think about estate agents -did that matter? – No! Not because they were arrogant, not because they didn’t want to listen, but because they want to prove us wrong. One thing I am certain about – that Estate Agency All-Stars has a future and a place in the industry.
Knowing that this training opens doors to young people trying to get into the profession is fantastic. Will the industry support it? That’s something only time can tell.
From the All-Stars themselves, do they think it has been worth while?:
“Now I feel much more confident.”
– Lorenzo, joining City West Homes
“I can only speak highly of the course. The course is the best training I’ve ever had.”
– Naveen, joining Streets Ahead
“I would definitely recommend it. If someone is interested in coming into the business this is the best way.”
– Marco Moloudi
Andrea Morgan has always had a passion for homes and interiors and strives to share a consumer viewpoint on the Industry. Co-founder of the recently launched A Passion for Homes -a unique business combining a lifestyle property website together with digital marketing services, she also has a popular twitter account @RightmoveAddict together with a successful blog www.tryingtobalancethemadness.com which is celebrating its first year. Andrea has been featured in Show Home magazine, written a number of guest blogs and will be presenting on the interiors stage at Grand Designs Live in May.
Email: Andrea@apassionforhomes.com Mobile: 07872329151
Estate Agency All-Stars
Joshua Rayner – www.estateagencyallstars.co.uk