Since the 2008 financial crisis and since the Brexit vote, the volume of estate agency business has reduced. Independent agencies now have to compete with the larger, corporate set-ups and online agents. This is a good market, however, for a small firm like McRae’s. We see ourselves as a cottage industry. There are bigger players out there, but they can’t always tailor their approach and they don’t have our level of local knowledge or local ties.
The review schemes help too. They make us want to serve our customers better. And they help us see where we might have gone wrong – and put it right. The hope is that ever more agencies across the sector will sign up, the aim being to raise standards across the board.
While some people prefer to conduct business online, more and more are returning to real people for real face-to-face business transactions. That’s where small, independent companies like McRae’s come in. While challenging, it is also an exciting opportunity.