I don’t really have strong beliefs about reincarnation either way, but today I’m going to take the stance that I do believe, and on this proviso, I dearly hope that in my next whirlwind trip of this green and blue flying rock, I come back as an estate agent.
As a long-term renter, I have had my fair share of experience in dealing with these beings and the time has come upon me to move from my single glazed, mould infested hamster cage. You may be wondering why one of such refinement as I would choose to live in such shabby lodgings, well, when you’ve just 2 days (long story short – life and a cruel twist of landlord greed got in the way) before you and your 60+ pairs of shoes are left begging for heel repairs and wine in the gutter, you tend to lower your standards like a whore does her knickers. Anyway, I’ve served my time and am searching for pastures warmer and less damaging to my shins, and so I must do battle once more with estate agents.
I know of no other profession that conjures up such passionate hatred and disdain in all I speak to than that of the agent of homes. Even the traffic warden and debt collectors get some allowance for “just doing their job”, but the estate agent is a whole other level of pond slime. They stand between you and the basic luxury of a roof over your head and all they demand in return for access to said roof is unfettered access to your pocket book, your first born and both kidneys. There is no way around them, no reasoning nor bargaining chip that you can wield in your defence. If you want to live within four walls, you must suffer at their greasy paws.
Some of you may be wondering why I do not simply buy a house and stay there until I rot into the carpet. I would dearly love to, but first I need someone disgustingly rich to fall in love with me and then kindly die. Pending such fortuitous events, I’m stuck in a level of Hell reserved for those affluent enough to afford food yet not affluent enough to own the larder to keep it in.
Based on my utter urine-boiling contempt for all estate agents, why then, would I like to come back as one in my hypothetical next life? As ever (I wouldn’t be me if I kept it to myself, would I?!) I shall tell you.
Imagine, all day you use creative language such as “cosy” (large enough to accommodate a mouse dropping), “needs a little cosmetic work” (don’t sneeze, the paint will fall off the walls) and “great transport links” (directly beneath a flight path) and people can’t argue with you. Well, they can try, but one of the key benefits to being an estate agent is that your ears are completely deaf to any and all protestations or declarations of need. In your head, all you hear is the sound of a particularly musical till kerchinging like a monetary orchestra.
Imagine, you’ve been told that someone needs to live in location X and they can only afford to spend amount Y. You have a property that has been languishing on your books for aeons that is 15 miles east of X, costs £300.00 per calendar month more than Y and isn’t actually available until 2 months after the crucial move date. This is what is known, in estate agent circles, as “the perfect property” and “must be seen” (at a time that fits round your social life and Eastenders). Little matter that the prospective customer is showing signs of hesitancy because you, as an estate agent, have an arsenal of mysterious “other people” who are perpetually interested in the place and if your target isn’t quick, they will be left with no other option than to rent a box from a tramp under London Bridge, sharing with a rabid pigeon who holds all night sex parties.
Are they still not interested in the place? Don’t worry, as an estate agent, your creative language is matched only by your half-arsed tenacity, so just keep inviting them to view other wildly inappropriate properties, using the pin-in-pile-of-dog-egg selection method, until they break and come sobbing to you to take the first place, just to make the intrusive 07:00 am calls and poorly written spam e-mails end.
It is one of the universe’s great mysteries that in spite of the urgent goading to put down a deposit on a urine-stained matchbox with windows, owing to the fact there’s “not much about at the moment”, all estate agents seem to scratch enough of a living from the housing market to have the latest road hogging, trollop snaring automobile, the cream-of-the-crop penthouse party pad and a designer wardrobe that would make Victoria Beckham weep into her celery stick. Not much about? Mysterious indeed.
I have to admit, not all estate agents are lying devious turds. I have in fact found one honest man who I believe is the exception that proves the rule. Before showing me my current abode, he declared that he didn’t want me to see it as it was basically a hamster cage with cellophane windows. On another showing, a couple meekly asked how much the landlord was asking and this particular letting agent roared with laughter, declaring that he couldn’t keep a straight face while uttering the overinflated figures. This, is a man who calls a squalid poxy hovel a squalid poxy hovel. With off-road parking.
So, having fooled a
desperate mug client into putting down a deposit on their dream flea infested (“great for nature lovers”) wallpapered gusset of a home, you, the estate agent then get to reap your reward, and what a reward it is. For all the hard work and effort you put in (driving to a house, opening the door, vomiting superlatives all over the worn carpets (“rustic charm”) and filling in a form), you get to delve into the bank account of your victim client and pilfer several hundreds/thousands of their hard earned pounds, nabbing a liver and a soul or two while you’re at it.
So yes, in my next life I want to come back as an estate agent. For the princely sum of a huge wage, you get to live a moral-free life full of nice clothes, fast cars and luxury home ownership, and all in exchange for opening a few front doors and talking a load of old toot. After that I’m going to get promoted to a cockroach.