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Lessons from the Cheltenham Gold Cup

I was very lucky to be invited to the Cheltenham Gold Cup just recently.  It was a fantastic experience and not just for the horse racing.  I couldn’t believe how much organising goes into such event.  I also got to see AP McCoys final Cheltenham race.  The roar was fantastic when he came out and the crowd went wild.  Even the large TV Screens had a good wish message just for him!  Travelling back home, I thought about my experiences and how backing a winning horse isn’t actually that different from choosing the correct estate agent for you.

Wondering how this applies?  Read on.  You might be surprised!

What do

The Riders Experience

Winning horses have great jockeys riding them.  They know how to get that extra 10% out of a horse. Their dedication is beyond that of other riders.  They know how to work with others in the stables.  They know the competition.  They do their homework, getting to a course early, walking the track.  They have the experience which has been accumulated over years.

Winning estate agents have great branch valuers.  They know what is selling in an area.  They know how to get the best price for your home, the tweaks you might have to make to get that extra value.  They will share this knowledge with you.  They are consistent with selling results proved time and time again.  They do their homework, researching prices and buyers requests.  They too have the experience which has been gained over the years.

The Trainer

Willie Mullins is a superb trainer.  He’s regarded as one of the best in the world of horse racing.  And he proved it by having a record-breaking 8 wins at Cheltenham this year.  When you look at his history he’s won just about every major prize in Ireland and most of the big ones in England too.  Various articles I have read show various insights into the way he works.  Several quote how close-knit his crew are (http://www.irishpost.co.uk/sport/mullins-is-the-master).  He is a great leader.  He leads his team to success.

Much success of any estate agent comes down to the person leading the team. The leaders provide the motivation, the direction and keep their fingers on the pulse as to what is happening in the market. I looked at our own agency. We are led by John Gallagher. He is our trainer. We too are a close-knit team. Many of us have been at JDG for over 9 years. More importantly month on month, year on year our sales results and the prices we have achieved for our clients speak volumes. Look out for a consistent estate agent which sell houses like yours.

Appropriate Dress

It was interesting to observe how a winning teams dresses.  They really do dress for the job over the occasion.  Smart but practical is the best description.  This wasn’t just the jockeys but also the stable team and their supporting families.  Spectators however dressed very differently.  Some dressed appropriately for the weather.  Others dressed to be seen in attire more suited to a summer wedding!  I thought about the high heels worn and the wet muddy grass.  I then thought about an estate agents job. High heels are certainly a no go if you have wooden floors in your home!  We need to dress suitably for our job.

The Stable Team

A top stable team is essential.  You should never overlook what goes on behind the scenes.  A top jockey gets to ride the best horses.  The best horses are trained by the top trainers.  But behind all of that is the stable team.  They are the ones who care for the horses well-being.  Don’t underestimate their importance.  They help with the training in so many different ways.  Did you know AP Mcoy started out his career as a stable lad.  Look at him now!

In estate agency terms you need to consider the full team.  Look at it as the bigger picture.  Who is in the team?  What is their experience?  Are they full-time or part-time?  Do they employ Saturday viewers who don’t really know your home?  It really makes a huge difference.  Who looks after your property sale behind the scenes?  These are the people who are talking to your potential buyers.  It is the quality of your viewer.  It’s the person who is negotiating the sale ensuring you get the best price for your home. Any company or (winning stables) needs a great team around them!

How To Spot A Winner (the odds)

So after all of this how can you spot a winner?  If you were placing a bet where would you put your money?  Would go with a trusted favourite who has a proven history or do you choose to chance it and back an outsider?  I watched the bookies and the bets very closely.  Interesting much higher stakes were placed on the odds on favourites.  People enjoy a good bet but a when it came to a gamble, (backing the outsiders) the money risked was much lower hence the odds were so high, some 66-1!

In estate agent terms, my advice is look out for the sold boards in your area.  Ask people about their buying and selling experience.  Check out estate agents websites and see what percentage of homes are sold.  You can even see on Rightmove how quickly they are selling them.  Even their Facebook business page will tell you a lot.  It’s really easy to be tempted by cheap fees.  However this is your home you are gambling with.  It’s not a bit of fun at the racecourse or casino.  You could potentially lose out on thousands of pounds in the long run all by trying to save a few hundred.  It’s quite easy to spot the odds on favourites when you know where to look!

I left Cheltenham happy.  I had an amazing day in the company of some of the UK’s top agents (a number of us were invited by our software company).  I learnt lots.  I also came home better off.  That’s right.  I won at Cheltenham.  I doubled my money by following my own advice.

Do you want to chat about how we can help you move?  Our advice is free.  At JDG we are here to help.  My name is Michelle.  Call me on 01524 843322 or email me at michelle@jdg.co.uk

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