Keith Maslin: Life as an Estate Agent

In this month’s blog post Keith Maslin, owner of Blount & Maslin Estate Agents, tells us a little bit about his career in the property industry!

“I started my Estate Agency career quite by chance really. I was working for an Insurance Company based in Bath and had a bet with one of the girls in the office at the time, now my wife of 27 years, that I could get another job tomorrow if I wanted one.

Hence on 1 September 1987 I started at Hamptons in Malmesbury as a trainee negotiator. It was rather a posh title for the office junior and gofer, but I spent several years dealing with people and liked the interaction that it created, giving a detailed insight into people’s lives.

Buying and selling homes is sometimes done for pleasure, there are first time buyers, up-sizers and down-sizers, but the three D’s, death, debt and divorce are the backbone of the property market.

As I write this, I am rapidly approaching the end of 32 years continuous work in this amazing little town that I am honoured to call home.

Every day is different. It is quite staggering how the industry has changed over the last 30 or so years. From the early days of particulars with one black and white dot-screen photo, to today’s myriad of images, floor plans, street view and the like, alas not everything has changed for the better.

With much price data now available to anyone with a modicum of internet intelligence, lots of buyers have become ‘experts’ at valuing homes, often based on data that is incorrect or at the least very misleading. A price index can only ever be an indication, and despite videos and all the tech, nothing will ever match a physical visit where you stand in a room and either “get that feeling”, or not as the case maybe.

Nevertheless, it is the primary function of fulfilling people’s aspirations by matching them with a suitable property that still gives me a buzz. The skill of negotiating the best price is immensely satisfying and most buyers and sellers are, overall, nice people. Naturally the stress of moving can sometimes bring out the best and worst in people, but one needs some awkward clients to help appreciate the good ones even more.

You would think after more than 30 years I would have seen it all by now, but I can assure you I haven’t. Almost every week, we experience a new situation that is a first. A few recent examples include a prospective buyer who asked if they could take a water sample to get it analysed, and a vendor with asthmatic cats that can’t be let out of doors.

Top of the list perhaps, and some years ago now, was a buyer who prior to exchanging asking if they could bury their recently deceased dog in the garden of what was to become their new home. The owner, also a dog lover agreed, the ceremony was completed and subsequently the buyer pulled out! You can imagine how challenging it was to break that news to the seller.”

Find out more about the rest of the Blount & Maslin team here