So the National Association of Estate Agents' decision to draft in property PR specialist The Wriglesworth Consultancy to buff up its image seems a canny move.
The brief - inherited from NAEA's former agency PR Support - involves the thorny challenge of 'enhancing public perception of estate agents as working to high ethical standards and codes of behaviour'.
NAEA president Julie Westby says: 'I think the main offenders are those estate agents who are not trained. The public doesn't seem to realise the difference between those who are untrained and those who have NAEA accreditation.'
Despite all this, many would no doubt view potential three-way meetings between estate agents, journalists and PROs as a particularly unsavoury menage a trois.