Pursuing a positive change agenda throughout the industry, facing the future together and not in isolation
Agents Together, a new foundation, launches today with the mission of bringing the industry together to collectively steer its way through the unique challenges of today and to take full advantage of the opportunities for the future, that will create and preserve a healthier, well run and respected industry.
The foundation has been set up by leading industry figures, including Integra Property Services Managing Director Michael Day, who believe that the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic will prove a turning point for estate agency, creating a unique opportunity for agents to come together with a new way of thinking and a new approach for the future.
Agents Together was founded and funded by Michael Bruce, who has been in the industry for more than two decades as former Chief Executive and Chairman of Burchell Edwards Estate Agency Group and former Co-founder and Group CEO of Purplebricks.
Through its two founding pillars of Healthy Business and Healthy Mind, Agents Together will provide expert advice, mentoring and coaching to estate agents who are keen to grow their business, develop their people and steer their way through the inevitable challenges they might face. It will promote the wellbeing of estate agents and encourage a culture of open communication and collective support.
The immediate focus for the foundation will be support for those navigating the difficult obstacles presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. It will provide a place to learn, and a place to teach, through a series of initiatives including:
- A free to join mentor programme, giving business owners access to some of the UK’s most successful businessmen and women
- A speed mentoring series, offering 30 minutes of focused mentoring with business and industry leaders
- A unique Winning Ways skills video series, led by thought leaders from the industry and beyond
- A healthy mind information hub to promote the wellbeing of estate agents
- A video content series, giving practical tips and advice to promote positive mental wellbeing
The long term focus of the foundation will be to help people to collectively support their industry and together change minds and perceptions to bring about a brighter future for everyone. The foundation will build on its founding pillars through engagement with the industry, with the vision to create a more attractive and financially rewarding environment for the current and next generation of estate agents.
The guiding principle of Agents Together is that the industry will have a brighter future if it faces challenges together, not in isolation. It has established a close connection with the work of Agents Giving and although the specific purposes are different, the collective passion for positive industry change and support are aligned.
The board of esteemed Trustees including former Head of Communications for Virgin Group Will Whitehorn, CEO of Mortgage Advice Bureau Peter Brodnicki, CEO of Ellipsis Entertainment Andrew McGuinness and Head of Field Sales at Moneypenny Samantha Jones and Founder Members, Michael Day, Stephen Brown, Chris Watkin and Kenny Bruce have played an integral role in the development of the foundation, bringing both industry and broader business expertise. Along with the input of these individuals, an industry survey was commissioned to garner opinion on how best to provide support and encourage greater collaboration.
Uncertainty (50%), growth in transaction numbers (43%) and adapting to new ways of working due to social distancing (30%) were cited as the biggest challenges facing the industry, demonstrating the very immediate need for collaboration and specific support. Over 65% of respondents stated they would access a free mentoring scheme for advice and training and when asked about mental wellbeing, 48% of respondents stated that supporting mental wellbeing was a key issue for the industry.
Despite the unprecedented two-month industry shutdown, 64% of agents were ‘optimistic’ or ‘very optimistic’ about the future supporting the view that the coming months offer a unique opportunity for the industry to come together and flourish.
Sarah Edmundson, chief executive of Agents Together, said:
“Our ambition is to help estate agents, to support our industry and together change minds to bring about a brighter future for everyone. Our vision is for a healthier industry – and we know that healthy minds and healthy businesses will create a healthy industry. Our Founder Members, Kenny Bruce, Stephen Brown, Michael Day and Christopher Watkin have played an integral role in shaping the focuses of Agents Together, and I would urge anyone who shares our vision to get involved and help change estate agency for the better”.
Michael Bruce, Founder and Trustee of Agents Together, said:
“Agents Together is a Foundation born out of hope that the impact of Covid-19 has presented a collective opportunity to come together to change the narrative for estate agency. Our mission is to ensure we do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to support each other through the difficult times ahead, embracing the power and energy of the industry to build towards a better future, raise professional standards and change perceptions to unlock a greater understanding of the role and worth of a professional agent”.
Michael Day, Founder member of Agents Together said:
"The industry has served me well for 45 years and I hope I have served it well in return. I have always believed that I can achieve whatever I want if I just help enough other people achieve what they want. Agents Together is an opportunity to ensure that I have.
The covid19 crisis has been unprecedented in its immediate effect on the sector, businesses and individuals working within it but its true impact will be much greater and longer term.
The need to provide practical and pragmatic support to enable the industry, businesses and individuals to both survive and thrive in the future is both an immediate an ongoing priority and our two foundation pillars of healthy mind and healthy business are mutually supportive.
A great business needs great people. These, in turn, will lead to a third pillar of a healthy industry. I hope that Agents Together will be a catalyst for such positive change."