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This programme contains some strong language
I'm comedian Rhod Gilbert and this is my work experience.
This week, I'm an estate agent.
When I was a kid, being an agent was supercool.
Secret agent, double agent, and the coolest of the lot, estate agent.
'As I headed to an agency in Cwmbran, I was living every child's dream.'
-How are you, Rhod? Are you all right?
-Good, good. Welcome to Peter Alan.
'New boss Gavin Shepherd and his team would train me up.'
As an estate agent,
I'd be joining the likes of nurses and lifeguards as one of the most loved
and valued sectors of society.
So, Rhod, what we're going to do, we're going to hit the road.
I'm going to show you a property that we have for sale.
-That is new to market.
-Are you ready?
Are you excited?
Let's sell some houses!
OK. Just one thing, happy people sell.
-Happy people sell.
Big smile, let's go.
What about grumpy people?
'This was my training day.
'By the end of the week, Gav had given me a challenge
'to sell an actual, real property,'
so I was curious to know what the current industry
perspective was on bullshitting.
What's the view these days of most estate agents on creatively describing...
embellishing, what do you want to call it...?
You can't. You've got to be honest, you know.
You've got to be creative with your wording, of course you have.
I think it's just got to be very real, very true.
'With 15 years' experience,
'Gav knew more about Victorian semis than Prince Albert's fluffer
'and he'd seen it all.'
I've walked in on people having sex.
I've gone upstairs, they've been well aware of the appointment,
and you walk in and the blanket's going like crazy.
You know exactly what's going on and you've got to quickly be able to turn
-the situation on its head.
-Does that help you sell a house or hinder it?
-It depends how good the sex is they're having, I suppose.
Here we go. This is the Cedars.
Look at the size of that.
'My training started at a typical Valleys mining cottage near Usk.
'A great little bargain doer-upper for a first-time buyer.'
This is on the market for £3,250,000.
OK. Into the games room.
-Now we're talking.
-Full-size snooker table.
-Can we have a game?
That's one thing, you can't touch nothing in this man cave.
What if you broke an antique or something, you know?
Who are they going to come and shout at?
-It's going to be us.
-How do bad do you think I am at snooker?
'Gav was trying to teach me stuff
'but the Valleys' answer to the Taj Mahal
'was blowing my mind and I was only half listening.
'That's right, I was semidetached.'
It's got four boilers.
I can't even imagine life with four boilers.
Nice, nice, nice...
Look at this!
Oh, my God!
'Part man, part Guess Who picture tile,
'Gav was worried that leaving me to sell this property would be like
'putting a beaver in charge of a log flume.'
Can you imagine if I walked in here and I was like...
"Oh, my God, Rhod, look at this!"
Amazing, I'd love one of these myself!
You're going to be like that... "Oh, my God, what's this idiot doing here?"
You're going to be concentrating on me, rather than looking at the room.
It's quite a back seat.
Definitely. You need to stand back, let them take it all in.
Let the property speak to them.
'Guess Who Gav was certainly letting this property speak to me.
'His job was a piece of piss.
'Just wander around doing nothing, let the house sell itself,
'and then steal the commission.'
So, again, exactly what I'm doing here, I'm standing back from you,
letting you explore.
Silence speaks volumes.
Silence speaks volumes.
So, if I'd walked in and I'd immediately be attracted to that, the view,
I'd walk up here, take the fountain, the gravel drive, the gardens,
the view, you'd just leave me...
Yeah, exactly. You're taking in the view there.
If I'm there and I'm nattering away and I'm taking you away
from the nicer parts of the property and what could sell it to you,
-so you've got to be careful.
So, yeah, definitely.
Let the surroundings do the work.
We've been through this, Gav.
I'm not telling you again.
This is a great job, isn't it?
Driving round, coming to stunning houses, gravel drives,
just looking at the pool, snooping around.
Whoa, whoa, calm down.
This is just a little tiny, tiny part of the job.
What can you say?
What... What's the story here?
This is where the property has been taken back into possession by the bank.
People have had to get evicted here from their home.
So for us as an estate agent, this is where it starts.
Whereas, you know, it's the end for them, you know?
And how tough is it to see what was once your home up for sale and you
have no control over it?
You're not going to go long in this job before you have a reality check.
This is happening all over the country, you know?
It does put things into perspective.
How do you turn this into a positive?
It's hard to see it as a happy home for some potential new chapter of
-somebody's life, isn't it?
-That's a process it has to go through before it
becomes exciting, I suppose.
Believe it or not, this will be super popular.
-It's hard to look at it like that right now though, isn't it?
Forget it. Let's go.
'I had no idea estate agents were involved in these
'desperately sad situations.
'I wasn't sure I'd be tough enough for this job.
'But Gav was keen to stress how rewarding it could be.'
You're matching people to the right property.
That's what you're going to be doing this week.
Once you get a match, you'll want to scream from the rooftops.
-Brilliant, do you?
Yeah, yeah. Listen what the criteria is, look for it on our books,
match them up, book a viewing, sell the house.
I've got really mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand,
I think the same about estate agents as everybody does.
Exaggerating the positive aspects of properties -
I'm a bit worried about that.
On the other hand,
I'm quite excited because I can imagine it's really rewarding,
handing over the keys to somebody to their new house, a big deal.
It's the biggest thing you will ever buy and it's a really exciting moment
in people's lives and you're part of that.
So I've got mixed feelings.
'I was feeling ambivalent, but there was no time for navel-gazing nonsense
'because Gav had big, big plans for me.'
As much as you are part of the team,
you're also standing on your own two feet and you are in charge of your destiny.
So therefore, I do not want you walking over that door
any later than 8:45 tomorrow, do you hear me?
I'll be here.
'Next day, I took charge of my own destiny and turned up at 10am.
'If I could match some people to properties,
'I'd be buzzing like a sticky doorbell.'
-What do you think?
-Yes, I can see you've made an effort.
Fantastic. Brilliant stuff.
Yeah, great. You look like an estate agent.
Is that a compliment?
'A sales environment isn't me at all, but at least Gav
'wasn't into all that cringey team-building "let's play a game" shit.'
Rhod, every day we have a bit of a game, just to lift everyone's spirits,
wake the brain up, so...
-Yeah. To keep the fun side of the job...
-You've heard of a game...
-You don't play a game...?
-In this meeting?
HE LAUGHS AND WOMEN JOIN IN
-But if you've heard of a game called "boy, girl, fruit, flower",
you will be familiar with how this goes.
So he says, A, and you've got to go B, C, D, do the alphabet in his head,
-In his head? Yeah. And that's the game?
You've got to say stop the bus.
Have you not played stop the bus before, Rhod?
-I haven't played stop the bus.
-And if he lands on...
Did you not have a childhood?
If he says D in his head, you've got to use D, so D for animal,
D for car, D for place.
If three-year-olds can play this game, we should be able to, OK?
If three-year-olds can play this game, maybe we shouldn't be playing it.
-Stop the bus.
-'Gav's sales team was pumped to the max,
'but I felt as uncomfortable as Donald Trump in a sombrero.'
-I've got nothing at all.
Very good, yes. Place.
-Have you got Turkey for all of yours?
Let's smash it today.
Have fun, enjoy.
Remember, if the ship doesn't sail in, swim out and meet it.
Let's create some business.
Go for it.
I'm feeling a really weird mix of pumped up and confident,
sell, sell, sell,
and the other part of me is thinking
I've got absolutely no chance of selling anything.
If the ship doesn't come in, which it almost certainly won't,
I imagine I will drown swimming out to meet it.
'But before I could sell a house,
'Guess Who Gav wanted me to get a potential new property onto his books.'
Photos are absolutely paramount.
They have to be spot-on,
so it's really important that you get the angle right
and as much of the room in as possible.
'Rock up and snap the joint.
'It was sounding like a piece of pizzle until Gav got serious
'and the bizzle went all shizzle.'
Always ask the people to go in front of you.
What if you're walking up the stairs and somebody is behind you and they
had a knife or a gun...?
Who the fuck have you set me up viewings with?!
They could be armed?!
You just don't know who you're viewing with.
I mean, we do our best to vet people.
Take your phone, so you've got all necessary cautions
to prevent any of this happening.
I've always wondered why, when I've been to view a property,
why the estate agent is always behind me and I'm always walking in front.
It's because they are worried I'd shoot them.
'On the popularity scale,
'estate agent comes between traffic warden and death squad,
'so in case things turned nasty, I'd need a safe word.'
Today, how about your safe word being David Dickinson?
If you feel a bit unnerved from the start, you phone the office...
I say, "where is David Dickinson?"
What you need to do is slip it into a sentence.
For instance, you could say,
could you please call David Dickinson and let him know
I'm going to be running late for my next viewing appointment?
'Armed with my safe word, I headed off to bring my first house to market,
'haunted by images of Dickinson in a gimp outfit.'
Hiya, love. All right?
-Am I at the right place?
-Come on in.
'As Charmaine pointed out her home's best features,
'I was on red alert.
'Any sign of trouble, I'd call the office
'and drop the mahoganied marvel casually into a sentence.'
Beautiful. It is that my phone?
Sorry, I was told to bring a mobile phone in case you tried to kill me.
-You walk in front of me.
I've been told, that's what I do.
It's a nice breeze.
-On a hot day like this.
-Yeah, it's like a wind tunnel through here.
I won't put "wind tunnel", I'll put "bright and breezy".
Yeah. This is the big bedroom.
I don't go to bed in the night, I watch supernatural things.
-All about ghosts.
-You don't use this bedroom?
Yeah, I come to bed about four.
Why do you come to bed at four?
Because I like watching ghost things, like Ghost Inside My Child,
My Haunted House, Paranormal Activities.
-My ideal job would be an undertaker.
-Yeah, I'm not scared of the dark, love.
You've got to be scared of the living, not the dead.
'Too right. Charmaine was living and she was starting to scare the shit out of me,
'but I needed to get as much detail as I could about the property
'before she killed me.'
Candles, picture it, candles...
You go out first.
'Charmaine was batshit crazy,
'Norman Bates trapped in Velma-from-Scooby-Doo's body.'
Get a coffin, buy a coffin, have niblets, wine and what-have-you,
and take photos to see what you look like when you're dead.
'What was my bloody safe word?
'Daniel O'Donnell? No, David Dimbleby?
'Alarm bells were really ringing.'
ICE CREAM VAN CHIMES PLAY
-On ice cream route. That's a selling point, isn't it?
If you ain't got no money and your kid's screaming for an ice cream,
-Cross that out.
'Before I ran for my life,
'I had to get photos of Batshit Bates' three-bed kill pad,
'carefully noting any escape routes.
'Because happy people sell, but dead ones don't.
'My work done, I wanted to scarper, but I was determined to sell a house
'and Charmaine was a potential buyer.'
Obviously, I'm here to try and sell this one.
-And you don't mind if I sign you up as a new customer and try and
-find you somewhere...?
-Yeah. It's got to be done up.
-It's got to be done up?
-Yeah, so it got to be...
-You don't want any work to do.
Rundown. No, I don't... I want loads of work to do.
I've got to do it up.
You're looking for somewhere really rundown that you can put your own stamp on
and do it up from scratch?
-You want it to be derelict.
-Not like derelict, so there's no like walls.
It got to have a roof, but the inside can be as bogging
as it comes. Right? We can wipe our feet walking out.
Can I just jot that down? "Inside can be as bogging as it comes."
Because I'd like one of those Georgian houses.
Bogging Georgian shithole, yeah.
'I'd got the property onto our books and signed up a potential new buyer.
'But something told me that Batshit wouldn't be easy to please.'
-You don't like my shoes?
-I hate them, love.
They're vile. Trousers are nice, but the shoes...
So I can keep the trousers on, can I?
First thing you look at a man were the shoes and I look at you and
-straightaway I think, "Twat".
-Twat. You've got twatty shoes on.
'I headed back to base as fast as my twat shoes would carry me,
'confident my arty photos would hit the spot.'
Please be vocal, give as much feedback as you can.
So, what have we got?
-You've taken the focus away from the bathroom.
Makes the bath look quite small, as well, doesn't it,
considering the size of the candle?
I have no idea so far what this house looks like.
'Like cats on a seesaw watching Wimbledon,
'the team lapped up my photos.'
Look at that. What do you think of that?
If I'm honest, I took that picture of the axe more for...
That was a David Dickinson moment.
I thought, just in case.
A little bit dark.
Out of ten, what would you give Rhod for these photos?
I think we'll go six for effort.
But four for quality.
Four for quality?
Don't give up your night job.
'Some pictures are worth a thousand words, but mine were only worth two -
'the second one was "off" - but maybe with a thousand words,
'I could paint one half-decent picture.'
My description of Charmaine's property...
-A spacious reception room
will soothe your weary limbs in winter
with a real fire.
While in summer, throw the windows open and let the gentle Valleys breeze caress your soul.
-This stunning property might be a semi,
but it will give you a full erection.
-You'll really love this mind-blowing opportunity
to enjoy the finest Cwmbran has to offer.
Come home to Cwmbran.
-I'm quite impressed with that.
Do you know what? I absolutely love it, but there's a few things in there we wouldn't be able to use.
Maybe take out the bit about the full election, I grant you.
I like the "come home to Cwmbran",
I might steal that from you and use it in a few of my own.
Brilliant, so we like that?
-Yeah, yeah. Not a bad job there, Rhod.
-Shall I type it up?
'I'd got Charmaine's house on the market.
'Now all I had to do was sift through the stinking Edwardian crap gaffs and
'minging Victorian dump joints
'to find the bogging Georgian shithole of her dreams.'
I've got my properties ready to show Charmaine
and I think I've got just the places.
I'm confident by the end of today, she'll have the keys to one of them.
If not two.
'Before I set off, I needed to get some last-minute tips from Guess Who Gav.'
Silence is golden,
happy faces sell, anything else?
-Talk. Open up, keep it real.
It's all very confusing.
Silence is golden, but talk, open up and keep it real?
Now, sometimes you need to talk to them to help them open up
and see what they're thinking and...
I can't teach you on when to talk.
You just need to read people's body language.
Happy faces sell, if the ship doesn't sail in,
swim out to meet it, and silence is golden, sometimes.
Go, do your best, impress,
and come back with a sale.
The closest I've come to finding someone their dream home
is giving my hamster a roll of toilet paper,
but I've done my homework and was convinced
'this place would be right up Charmaine's batshit street.'
-I'm always slightly late.
-Well, let's have a look at it, because you might love it.
Good start. Can't even get in!
I think I've got it.
Ah! Here we go!
-There we go.
-Small, isn't it?
-Well, this isn't the whole thing.
This is just a little porch area.
High ceilings. Artex, got to go.
That wall will have to go.
This would be knocked in the... Yeah, it's nice and big.
-Do you like the wallpaper?
-No, not really.
Not my style, love.
I'm trying to do what Gav taught me.
I'm trying to sit back, silence speaks volumes, whatever it was, sometimes.
I've done my research.
I think I'm doing quite well.
I know you said you like hosting parties that are a bit...
I like the dead. I like the dead, love.
-You like the dead.
Well, this place has got a basement.
I can feel the cold.
It's a little bit... Isn't it?
-I thought you might like this.
Perfect little space for your coffins.
This is under the street.
If she replaced the puppy wallpaper with pictures of her victims,
I thought I'd found a match
for some of Batshit Bates' twisted requirements. But I was wrong.
This ain't bogging. There's no ceilings falling down or anything,
-You want it worse than this?
-Time is precious, waste it wisely. Has this been a waste of time?
Sorry, Rhod, you done your best, but it wasn't good enough.
The wallpaper was right. Time WAS precious.
My ship wasn't coming in.
I only had one day left to sell a property.
Next morning, back at the office,
'Gav's unhappy face swam out to meet mine
'and our two faces bobbed about unhappily.'
We have got one final day and I think this could be it for you, Rhod.
We have got an open house booked.
We'll have a set time of the day
where the property can be viewed openly.
So, yeah, people can come and go as they please.
Do go out of your way to make an effort to sell this property today.
If that ship don't come in, Gav,
I'm going to be swimming out to meet it, mate.
Do you think you need some armbands?
I think I may need armbands!
So I've got to get this place ready.
Several buyers coming to have a look round.
It'll be down to me to try and sell it. Am I feeling confident?
I don't know any more.
'I had to sell this bloody house.
'I had just an hour to Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen it into shape
'before my first appointments.
'By the time I'd finished with this place,
'I'd be standing by in a blood-splattered pinny
'while potential buyers fought to the death in the garden.'
Does that say open house?
Or does it look total shit?
'As the aroma of fresh, fresh instant coffee wafted through the house,
'I prepared myself to feel the warm, warm buzz of the sale.'
To sell any home,
the piece de resistance is the smell of freshly baked bread.
Hello. Rhod Gilbert.
Welcome to your new home.
After you. In case you're a killer.
-Rhod Gilbert, how are you?
-How are you, all right?
-Nice to meet you. Come in, Callum.
The house is now open.
-Hopefully, this is giving him a nice sort of first impression,
the balloons... Looks quite...
-Nice to meet you.
Hiya. Sorry, I put these up. I thought they'd be a fun welcoming addition
-but actually they're really annoying.
-A bit different.
'My happy face firmly on, I'd done my homework,
'and I knew this house inside out.'
Rhod, hi, Karen. Come on in.
What this is, is a good space, isn't it?
They are good-sized rooms, they're nice sort of square rooms.
You can see it with a proper kitchen in there,
French doors onto the patio, you can see what it could look like.
Easy commute to the vibrant Cwmbran shopping centre.
That's not far from the M4. 'I was being silent when talking wasn't needed,
'talking when silence wasn't needed, and using body language,
'sometimes silently, when talking and silence weren't needed.
'And any questions, I had the answers.'
What would you say the rental income would be?
I will have to find that out and get back to you.
-I don't know how long it's been empty.
-Is it a flat roof?
They're asking me lots of questions I don't know about.
So I'm slightly winging, I feel a bit guilty.
-Where's the sun now? It's there.
-I think the sun...
Some things, I've got no idea about because I haven't done enough
-How old is it?
-Do you know?
-Oh, how old is it, that's a good question.
That is a good question.
Yeah, I couldn't tell you that. I can find out. I'll find out.
I'll have to find that out. I will look into it.
'I tried to swim out to meet the ship,
'but my trunks had come down and my bottom was showing.
'It was time to call the coastguard.'
'No allocated parking.'
No allocated parking, garage is nothing to do with it.
Furniture not included.
'As my crack sales team filled in the massive gaps in my knowledge,
'I was reduced to being a glorified speakerphone.
'As redundant as an expert in Michael Gove's house.'
Thanks ever so much. Bye-bye.
Thanks for coming. Take it easy.
Give me a call if you've got any more questions.
-We'll give you a ring.
I think I did really, really well.
Either that or really, really badly.
'Gav knew more about getting clients to completion than a Soho masseuse.
'Back at the office, he assessed my performance.'
-How have you got on?
I don't think anybody...
-Was there any offers?
Anything for us to follow up while you go on and get on with your life?
I didn't ask them. Do you know what happened?
I got a little bit bamboozled with questions and I was ringing the office all the time.
When the time was up, they just sort of wandered off and I forgot to say...
"Does anybody want it?"
So, as easy as estate agency sounds, you know,
it's proven to be difficult for you to make a sale.
'Guess Who Gav wasn't impressed.
'I was now in desperate need of a montage to show me doing officey stuff,
'working with the team, pulling together some kind of rescue plan.
'My chances of feeling the buzz rested on one person - shoe-hating,
'coffin boffin Batshit Bates.
'I was determined to match Charmaine to her dream shithole.'
-Why don't you mark them up?
You're not allowed to mark them up because if we lose them all,
Not put the address on them.
Put a dot on there, you know them little sticky dots.
A code, I should have done that.
Yeah, yeah. Don't become a prison officer, love,
You know like the old brown velvet curtains your nan used to
have in her house? Vile, love, honestly.
They're not vile! Trendy, fashionable.
-There's nothing trendy about them. Bin 'em.
-Right, I'll take them off.
Right. Customer is king.
Customer is king. I'm going in in my bloody socks!
'Keyless, clueless and now shoeless,
'it was time for yet another SOS call to the office.'
Hi, guys. We're stuck in Capel Street, Pontypool.
I don't think we've got the right keys for this property.
It's not just me. Charmaine can't open them either and I'm standing here in my socks. So...
Are we at the right property?
David Dickinson wouldn't get into this mess, would he?
Can you imagine David Dickinson getting into this state, Charmaine?
Is that the one who does that antique thing?
-Yeah, that's him. David Dickinson.
-I'd smash him so hard in the face.
-I hate him with a venom.
-Worse than your shoes.
-I once said,
can I just go on the show so I can hit him in the face?
Call us back. Bye.
-Have you tried this one?
I don't know if I tried...
Your shithole awaits.
'Following Charmaine round at a safe distance,
'it was clear that my efforts with the team hadn't been wasted.
'The place was taking a lot of Batshit Bates' boxes.'
Is this bogging enough for you? Is it enough of a project?
-Enough work to do on it?
Look at the kitchen, love. You couldn't cope with that, could you?
-You can actually cook and wash up at the same time.
-That's a good thing, isn't it?
Small. But knock this through, massive kitchen/dining room here,
lounge in the front.
Could work, I suppose.
'Hang on, my ship was coming in.
'I could see its tattered sails on the horizon
'and hear its rum-soaked crew crying, "Land ahoy, land ahoy!"'
Have a look at there what's missing, right, you tell me.
Doing your estate agent bit, what's missing from that house?
There's a chimney stack missing.
Right. Even though it looks like it's got the fires.
Obviously, it hasn't.
No chimney, no house, end of.
-I've cocked up there.
-You've cocked right up.
-I really don't like this house.
-I really don't like it.
It's the chimney, that's what it all comes down to on this one.
It's the chimney. When I seen your shoes, I hated them,
when I seen this house didn't have a chimney, I hated it.
'I'd never feel Gav's buzz.
'Never match Batshit to her bogging dream dump,
'my face would never know what it was to be a happy selling face.
'My ship had sunk. Or had it?'
As your estate agent, I probably shouldn't say this, because...
..you are selling your place and you're doing it through us,
and I've brought you on as a new client to try and buy a place for you.
So I definitely shouldn't say this.
But I think you should stay where you are.
-Everything you want, you've got in your house.
If I took you to your own house now, you would buy it off me,
-shaking hands today.
-130, no questions asked.
-No questions asked.
Views of the mountains. You've got exactly what you want.
Deal. That's wicked.
Best estate agent ever!
The best estate agent... What a day.
What a day.
That is the buzz. Gav said it was a buzz.
It was a reward and it certainly is.
'It was a masterstroke.
'My sunken metaphorical ship had been salvaged.
'Next morning, I couldn't wait to break the good news.'
The big news is that Charmaine,
I landed her as a new client and this is the really genius bit,
I said, "What you are looking for is this, this, this,
"you've got it all already".
Light bulb moment, she went, "Yeah, I have, you're right".
I said, "stay in your own House".
Flogged her her own house for the price she was looking for.
She hasn't had to move, there's no solicitors, no surveyors.
I tell you what, I've never thought about that myself, Rhod.
She's never been happier.
She's over the moon. She's woken up today in her new house.
In her old house. She's realised what she's got.
What he said is he's lost a property for you. That's what he's saying.
Happy faces sell. I've sold.
'As Batshit Bates headed back to her own brand-new old kill pad,
'I looked forward to my employee of the decade award from Gav.'
How do you think I've got on?
Honestly? Well, for a start, you have cost us a lot of money.
You've lost us a buyer.
And yeah, I hate to say it to you,
Rhod, I would probably say...
You've said enough.
I don't think you need to say anything else.
I think I get the picture. Here's the door.
'It's been a funny old week.
'And I actually really enjoyed it.'
To put the keys into somebody's hands and wish them well
in a new chapter in their life must be really exciting.
I'm guessing, because I didn't actually experience it,
because I was hopeless.
There's a lot more to the job than I expected.
I was pretty bad.