In the roll-call of unpopular trades there are few to compare with Real Estate Agents. These people profess to being good at marketing your home. But, all over the world, buyers and sellers alike regard them with ill-concealed contempt. Real Estate Agents are on a par with embezzlers and thieves and people who clamp your car. The truth is a complete stranger to them. They are slightly less popular than politicians. You get the general idea.
I live, for example, in a very old house made of stone with an ancient clay tiled roof – which leaks, slowly but incurably, pretty well whenever it rains. If you took a plumb line to my walls you would discover that they are not straight. If you looked too carefully at the woodwork you might find all manner of terrible afflictions.
But if I were to ask an English Real Estate Agent to act for me then all of a sudden this much loved wreck of a home would be described as "a charming and individual rural retreat with traditional decoration and original structural features." These people deal in fiction. And we hate 'em for it.
That is why I would like you to tell you about Mr Julian Bending. He is probably the most unusual Real Estate Agent on this earth. He tells it like it is. Mr Bending's business is based in the old West of England town of Glastonbury. And when he composes advertising literature it is different.
He recently described a small house in the town as "having all the charm and poise of a Church of England vicar on crack." On the other hand when trying to sell a converted stable block, another ad read: "might suit an archbishop with a serious fetish." Mr Bending's original approach to marketing doesn't stop there.
If you sign him up, the contract gives him complete control over all descriptions. In other words you can't stop him calling your house a hovel. But you probably wouldn't want to, because the technique works. He's actually doing rather well. Honesty is proving to be the very best policy.
by Ed Boyle
Copyright 2007 CBS. All rights reserved.