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What Does Agent X Do in a Challenging Market?

The following article was initially published in October 2022.

It was written when the UK was seemingly headed for a prolonged recession (it didn’t turn out like that, thankfully).

But it’s worth replacing the word recession with ‘challenging’, as we’re all working in a market where it’s tougher than it was post-lockdown.

When I originally published it, the reaction was fantastic.

I believe this is because it’s the shared experience of an agency owner who has been there, done that, is still doing it and is much more about being high-performance than high profile.

Here’s the article in full.

The Loch Ness Monster.


Donald Trump telling the truth.

The above may or may not be flights of fancy/fantasy.

Agent X isn’t. He’s real. And he keeps things real.

He is, in my opinion, the best estate agency mind I’ve been lucky enough to pick.

He runs a mega-successful agency. He is always thinking forward yet remaining humble, generous, curious and with no pretence.

I’ve been asked on several occasions who he is.

But it’s classified info, like an estate agency AREA 51, so let’s stick to the pseudonym (or AX for brevity).

When I spoke with him last week (he speaks, I listen, to be more accurate), I asked him what he does in a recession (he’s owned an agency since 2006).

He’s continuously emitting good energy, but the mere word ‘recession’ seemed to raise the enthusiasm and excitement levels in his voice.

Here are three things he shared with me.

1) Your response is a choice. Remember that dark day after Brexit (24 June 2016). AX told me about a text he received from a rival agent the day after the EU Referendum result was announced, and the property market froze in disbelief. The text was simple. It read, ‘We’re all fuc&£d!!’.

But that wasn’t AX’s thoughts. He showed the text to his team and told them: “Look, guys, this is how the competition thinks and feels. If we roll up our sleeves and aim to help more people move and stay positive, we will do very well out of this period.”

His Nostradamus-like prediction proved bang on as his agency kept its composure and seized the market share it continues to maintain. Lesson: When the brakes of many agents slammed, AX and his team floored the accelerator to go clear.

2) Every market makes a market. You’ve probably heard that phrase before, but AX expanded on it. “A recession doesn’t mean people stop buying and selling. But it does mean agents have to become deal makers rather than order takers. The past two years have been an easy time to be an agent. Now we will see who REALLY knows what they are doing.

We are going through our client list to see where opportunities to help them are. For example, if we know someone is coming towards the end of a cheap mortgage deal and may need some guidance, we’re making sure we call them to see if we can be of service. Perhaps the biggest market opportunity right now is people who are downsizing. We are focusing on this market section and other areas where we think the recession will create opportunities.”

Lesson: Banks are still lending, so people will still be moving. Laser focus your efforts on the markets the recession is making.

3) Don’t believe the hype. AX stressed the point that if all agents do is constantly consume the news, they’ll probably just hide away until the recession ends (if their business is still there afterwards, it is a different story). It’s exciting and enlightening to see what the best in the home selling and renting business thinks. AX’s team hold weekly, non-negotiable mindset meetings. To keep them all in a positive, enthusiastic and healthy state of mind.

I think this act alone shows the levels AX, his magnificent MD and his brilliant team are working at.

As one in-awe agent told me when I shared with him about the mindset meetings, ‘Shi7 man, we’re playing draughts, and they are playing chess.’ Lesson: Where focus goes, energy flows. And yep, I know some will read that and think, ‘What a load of claptrap’. Fair enough, but I’d lay a fiver on it their agencies could benefit from a more holistic approach when it comes to their team’s development, learning and success.

Thanks for reading.


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