Bailey saw a ‘bigger batch of really good clients’ last year. He says the feedback from a lot of selling agents is that ‘we seem to have more ready, willing and able buying clients than the majority of our competitors, which is always good news for us.’
A former head of Knight Frank’s private office with over 31 years’ experience, he says the variety of services he is able to provide for clients — from relocating staff to buying for their children and acquiring trophy homes — fascinates him.
‘It’s not all about dealing at the top end of the market,’ he says. ‘It’s also about knowing what’s going on in other areas, such as the investment market and the development market, and it’s keeping a handle on all aspects of the business that makes it interesting, exciting and ever-changing for us.’
Bailey shares his concern about selling agents who are not only relying heavily on pushing the new-build market (which he thinks will be a struggle) but also opening shops within a mile of the head office. He doubts their sustainability: ‘A lot of them are opening offices covering a very small area, and transaction numbers have reduced. I think we could see a number of those offices close.’
Some buying agents, he says, are not safe unless they can ‘get a lot of tentacles out to people that can bring you new clients through a myriad of contacts’.