Nested, the modern estate agent, has highlighted how working in today’s property industry is far from a nine to five affair, with estate agents regularly working outside of traditional hours to deal with enquiries, host viewings and update clients.
The survey of UK estate agents commissioned by Nested asked how often they had to work outside of the traditional nine to five during their working week?
28% said they did so every single day of the working week, while 23% stated they also worked weekends in order to keep on top of their workload.
20% worked overtime just one day of the week, while 12% worked additional hours three times a week, with 10% doing so twice a week and 7% four times a week.
The reason for these additional working hours is clear, with Nested finding that 91% of agents stated they would receive buyer and seller enquiries outside of the regular nine to five, as well as over weekends.
64% stated they received them very often, with 27% seeing them somewhat often.
What’s more, 74% are required to carry out viewings outside of regular office hours – 44% somewhat often and 31% very often.
Finally, 82% also received update requests from buyers and sellers outside of the regular nine to five.
Head of Commercial at Nested, Alice Bullard, commented: “The digital disruption of the property sector has been great in many ways and it’s allowed buyers and sellers, in particular, 24-hour access to the market, whether it be searching property listings or checking up on their own sale or purchase.
However, this has put a great degree of pressure on estate agents to be accessible around the clock in order to deal with any questions or enquiries and failure to do so can often see them come under fire for providing poor customer service.
Of course, this degree of flexible working is something that many big corporates have struggled to adapt to, with many agents within these businesses expected to maintain a regimented office work schedule while also going the extra mile outside of office hours.
This is certainly one area where the self-employed model comes into its own, as self-employed agents are able to manage their own schedule and set their own hours. So not only can they react to buyer or seller needs to best suit their customers, but they can also ensure they keep the appropriate work-life balance when doing so.
This was an essential consideration when we started Nested and so we also provide additional support in the form of customer success agents, who are there to make sure our partner agents don’t miss a call should they be tied up at a viewing, a valuation or simply just doing the school run.”