Roy Cropper leads me to a guilty admission.
I like “Coronation Street.”
Okay, slight understatement – I actually love the programme.
I’ve watched it avidly for about 40 years and it’s one of the few things with Series Link on the Sky Box, but last night, catching up with a batch of recorded episodes, I was alarmed.
Alarmed not by Pat Phelan surviving a brick attack on his skull, but alarmed and stunned by Royston Cropper.
If you don’t know anything about Roy Cropper, I’ll fill you in.
His character suffers from a form of autism, Asperger’s Syndrome, to be precise, and this affects his social interactions and behaviours day to day, as one would expect.
Roy Cropper called off his wedding to Cathy and then did something remarkably un-Roy like, he put Roy’s Rolls, his Weatherfield café and flat above, up for sale.
Now this caught my attention as a property blogger and former estate agent.
The first anyone knew, including us, the audience, was when a Mini pulled up on the cobbles.
We’d not seen Roy Cropper search online for an estate agent, trudge a high street, make a call or send an email.
Just a Mini pulling up told us that Roy’s Rolls was going on the market.
Minis you see are associated with estate agencies.
Foxtons have liveried ones, and many property companies in my part of the country – East Anglia – have them.
I can see why – Minis have a certain panache, they’re ideal for urban areas and scream “Trust me” when estate agents are not often associated with trust.
A Mini outside a house tells anyone passing by that you’re going, like an ambulance suggests illness and death.
The estate agent himself was fairly stereotypical too: shiny suit and shoes and with all the social skills of a jellyfish. They are not really like this, in my experience, but this one was.
He didn’t sit Roy Cropper down, talk about fees, contracts, social media marketing, he looked instead at ceilings and made notes, without any phatic communication or social niceties.
I’d have shown him the door.
But what got me was not only that the For Sale board (the silent salesman) was up the very same day (incredible) but that Roy Cropper didn’t consider other estate agents.
He could have gone for Purple Bricks, but given his linguistic precision and their linguistic imprecision (none of the Local Property Experts seem able to spell), I could see why he ignored them.
What about the other online giants?
Roy Cropper didn’t give them a second thought.
He chose one estate agent and one valuation alone.
Gemma meanwhile in Dev’s kebab shop, showed social media savviness.
Mary, another oddly endearing social misfit, is trying to find her lost son, Jude, in Newton-Le-Willows and despite her door knocking with Norris, she has drawn a blank.
Gemma though is harnessing the power of the smartphone and has issued an appeal online in the form of a video, looking for Jude.
I approve heartily of her strategy.
Now what interests me, as a social media marketer, writer, property blogger, is whether Roy has chosen wisely.
Selling a property is not just about plonking it on a portal, using the publish and pray approach.
People do business with people they like – and the man in the Mini left me cold.
There’s other factors too:
- Has the property been valued accurately to sell?
- Or just to hit a listing target back at the Weatherfield office?
- Have the estate agents embraced social media? Hashtags like #roycropper #roysrolls #coronationstreet surely would whip up an Instagram and Twitter frenzy? That estate agent I saw looked incapable of social media marketing.
In fact as a local property expert on Weatherfield, I reckon I could sell Roy’s Rolls without Rightmove and Zoopla.
I’d say the property and business is worth £100,000 and with some astute content marketing from me – tales of the late Hayley, some blogs about the area’s gentrification with Nick’s Bistro, the murders on the street, Gail Platt’s ill-fated marriages, and with some shots of new flats, we’d nail that sale.
I could sell that on social media alone.
And the clincher?
Roy, I have a Mini too, a former passion for trainspotting back in the day, and share your grammatical fastidiousness.
Pick me, pick me.