The UK came together as one last night, ignoring the growing North-South divide on property prices, to applaud the ‘selfless heroes’ returning to their work as estate agents, letting agents and valuation managers and bravely driving their branded Minis to viewings where they might have to put up with any number of dimwits and timewasters. The PM and Royal Family joined in the first nationwide tribute, bashing a number of kitchen implements, borrowed from kitchen staff.
The full-throated and good-humoured tribute lasted the full three minutes between Coronation Street and Traffic Cops on Five, with others continuing longer to drown out the accordion player at number 26. However the accolade hasn’t been without controversy.
‘This sort of show of support is a mere smokescreen for the chronic underfunding of the estate agency sector,’ said Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Work & Pensions Secretary. ‘A median wage of £42k, rising to £50-100k isn’t ‘valuing’ these key workers. We’re expecting them to visit spacious three bedroom semi-detached with roomy en suite bedrooms, without proper protective equipment? It’s a joke!”
However, the estate agents themselves are putting a brave face on the return to work: ‘We may not have formal PPE, but we’re doing what we can,’ reflected Shane Widdecombe of Aspecting Estate Agents in Colchester. ‘My shiny suit repels all dirt, germs and incredulity. Anyway, we find most people want to stand at least six or seven feet away from us, so it’s all good.’
Meanwhile Gwyneth Paltrow and Captain Tom Moore are among the big names producing all-star musical tribute ‘Imagine (There’s no Estate Agents)’. ‘It’s such a touching gesture,’ said Karen Fleet, of Aitken, Aitken & Galloway Estate Agents (est. 1986), ‘though I’m not sure it’s the kind of thought experiment we’d want to encourage’.