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The Pring Perspective

July 2009 And then there were ducks….!

Stephen Pring I was at Backwell Lake the other day and I saw the Mallards and the Moorhen, the Coots and the Swans. The ducks were squabbling away, fighting over scraps of bread, posturing and fighting amongst themselves… then preening away, trying to smooth ruffled feathers. It made me think about all the time and energy that is wasted unproductively. Egos and status can get in the way, toes are trodden on and things are done without thought because “That’s just the way it’s always been”.

It has now been several years since I ventured forth with Pring & Co and what a revelation that’s been. After selling property in Nailsea for 3 decades, I may have thought that I’d got things down to a fine art but the world moves on and what was once good practice or what was previously state of the art technology, quickly becomes superseded. I came across some property details that I produced for a superb property I was marketing in 1991 and I remembered being really proud of them. Indeed, my client even wrote to my Managing Director and commented on how good they were because they had a photograph of the garden as well as the house! How times have changed!! Nowadays, my presentation of the property information would knock spots off those details – literally dozens of photographs, colour and interactive floor plans, photographic aerial and street views and map searches. There are links to as much local information you could possibly imagine… and all this information is available to you from your own living room at any time of the day or night; you don’t even have to leave your armchair and trudge down the High Street!

Nowadays, everyone expects and demands that you are available when they want you to be.

The “9 to 5” mentality (if it ever really existed in estate agency) is certainly a thing of the past and being available and responsive 24/7 is what is expected. People need to be able to get in touch with you evenings and weekends, when they are free from their own work commitments and can relax and use the latest tools at their disposal to search for their next home.

“Working smarter”, as my Managing Director used to say, “is the real key Stephen”!

I had the enforced luxury of being able to take a step back, re-think my working practices and be able to ask the questions “Is that REALLY the most efficient way to do things”? and “Is that REALLY what my clients want”?

It seems to me that there are times when you just haven’t been able to see the wood for the trees, there are times when you choose not to and there are times when you are so tied in with commitments that even when you do suddenly see the light, you just can’t do anything about it!

So now I find myself leaner and working much more efficiently - with no time wasted on office politics or Head Office to keep happy with memos, statistics and figures. I simply have more time to do what I love doing and what I’m best at: matching the right buyer with the right house – efficiently and professionally, with honesty and good humour.

Quietly, and perhaps seemingly serenely, I go about my business of selling houses without interruptions, distractions or silly games getting in the way. There is however, one trait that I do share with those ducks on Backwell Lake; and that is that no matter how calm I may appear above the surface, I’m working jolly hard below it!