The purpose of this chapter is to present a brief historical overview of the UK residential estate agency industry, the industry in which the current study was undertaken, centred on the major events that occurred over the 10–15 years leading up to the period in which the fieldwork took place. This is necessary for two reasons: (1) to establish that the context in which the fieldwork took place was an appropriate setting in which to address the substantive concerns of the study; and (2) to provide a backcloth against which we can evaluate the significance of the findings to be reported in later chapters.
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