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Property professionals; time to shed the vulture culture

23 January 2024 | Insights Team

Property agents suffer a poor reputation, with the blanket perception being that they’re only interested in securing sole mandates, maximising commissions, playing the buyer and the seller against each other and engaging in a cutthroat bun fight to close the deal,  likened to vultures, circling above, ready to swoop down on unsuspecting prey – the homeowner!

Grant Smee, Managing Director of online proptech company Leadhome, has been on a mission to change this notorious ‘vulture culture’ status for estate agents and is determined to convert opinion.  Estate agents rank very poorly in offering a professional service, with most criticism stemming from lack of communication, valuation tactics, pressure tactics, cut-and-paste agreement practice and hidden fees in terms and conditions.

According to Smee, “Transactions in the buying and selling of property come with (sometimes) hefty agent fees. Homeowners in the market should rightfully be receiving quality, professional assistance in the buying and selling of their property. We understand stereotypes associated with estate agents, and we are committed to changing that perception, by offering a transparent, authentic service.”   

Buying or selling a home is an emotional experience and clients should feel supported every step of the way,  from receiving honest evaluations of a property’s worth to navigating market dynamics and getting advice and guidance on home loans, rates and price points.  “Our goal is to demystify the process and make it as straightforward as possible,” says Smee.

Leadhome works on a fixed-fee pricing structure, utilising technology to streamline the process. The offering of competitive, transparent rates and a strong focus on user-friendly accessible services has been well received.

The role of an agent is not only bridging the gap between buyer and seller, but also understanding the current state of the property market and providing sound advice. “We strive to be a source of knowledge our clients can trust and put our success down to open, honest dialogue and attention, pre-, during and after the entire process,” he adds. 

“Yes, we are driven to succeed and have not dropped the cold call, but our clients can expect a different experience via a Leadhome sale. Think of us as more like homing pigeons – a lot less predatory, guiding our clients through the complex journey of buying or selling a home,” says Smee.

Insights Team

We're the "thinking arm" of Leadhome, combining expertise in data analysis, modelling, sociology, geography, and philosophy to interrogate current trends in the South African residential property market. Proudly contemplative since 2015.

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