House of Cards Estate Agency?

Most people will be familiar with the award-winning Netflix blockbuster, House of Cards. But, it's the back-story that I find most fascinating and a great analogy on how to choose the right estate agency when time comes to move home.

When the team behind House of Cards was pitching the concept to the TV stations, every single network was interested. The simple reason that House of Cards ended up on Netflix and not on NBC, Sony, or Sky, was that EVERY network asked them for a pilot. Except One.


Producing a pilot requires an obligation to establish the characters and come up with arbitary cliifhangers. Netflix didn't ask them to try and squeeze all the key elements into a forced 45 minute presentation. Instead, they allowed them the creative freedom over time.

Very similar scenario to the ubiquitous estate agency Free Valuation market appraisal. Agencies forced into squeezing all the key elements into a 45 minute slot.

Ice-breaking conversation, couple of probing questions, quick tour of the home and a valuation. Not forgetting, the all important question of fee.

It's usually much more than that, but you get my drift.  Forty five minutes to pitch why their agency deserves the instruction.

Some agents even have a 'script'. Some have rehearsed their objection-handling. Some try to say as little as possible, hoping the vendor will be forthcoming on the answers to a multitude of questions. Some never stop talking.

It's never easy for a vendor to choose which agency to instruct.

Many times they can't decide.

So they go with the lowest fee. "We'll save money."

Or the highest valuation. "We'll make money."

Or the best known brand. "We'll be safe."

Let's be clear. The fee is irrelevent if the chosen agency doesn't achieve a premium price.

No good instructing an agency with a low fee, saving yourself £2,000, if they sell your home for £3,000 less than it could have achieved with another agency.

Same thing with a valuation. It's one thing to set the asking price high. It requires great negotiation to achieve it.

Recognisable branding can be achieved with a pocketful of change. It guarantees nothing.

Much of what agencies 'pitch' you in their pilot is gratuitous.

Focusing on their competence. Boasting, promising and manipulating without context.

Saying little, if anything, about their values and beliefs.

Is it so pressing that the valuation has to be 'today'?

Is the fee so important that it can't wait until a vendor decides if the agency is a good fit?

Oren Klaff refers to the fee as intellectual property. "We don't even know if we can work together yet."

The 45 minute Free Valuation is flawed.

It's not fair on the great agencies and it very often causes vendors to choose the wrong agency.

If you want a better working relationship with an agency, take the time to find out about them. Don't just pick three at random and invite them to 'pitch'.

Here at DM & Co. Homes, we have some remarkable people. Great at what they do and happy, first, for you to get to know them better.

It's a radically different concept from every other agency. Try it and find out.

Here's our number: 01564 777 314 (Dorridge Office)  0121 775 0101 (Solihull Office)