Digital Disruption in Estate Agency is widespread. Some see it as progress; whatever your view it is not about to stop.
The past few years we have seen a number of attempts by estate agents to protect themselves from these changes. The more creative lateral thinkers instead embrace change. The most notable attempt at change was a national property portal which now resembles what agents disliked. Why did it happen? Perhaps the industry had forgotten the basics.
How Estate Agency used to work – well.
In 1940 if you wanted a property in a specific area you drove down there, and spoke with the agents. After a while they posted items to you and the process of buying a property had begun. In those days local agents had more local prominence and local authority. They networked with each other extensively. On completion welcome packs, cards and more were common place.
The Cocooned Consumer.
The digital economy created both cocooned consumers and a few suppliers happier to engage via a screen whenever possible. Convenience is a double edged sword as self service becomes easier so profits can fall. The potential loss of revenue can be offset in a local market place where costs are lower. Examples of skill and value are easier to highlight causing more listings to go to the more socially savvy agents.
The fact is Google loves local content. Our platform is all about promoting local agents and will raise their profile as engaging property professionals.
Growing the local market place
Low hanging fruit is a term used to describe that “ideal property”. There will always be demand for well presented properties in certain locations.
These properties will usually sell in a matter of days. Today owners can place their properties online almost immediately. If it sells in a couple of days they saved a significant amount, often enough to decorate the new home. If a property does not sell then at least a lot of the hard work has been done. They made the decision and started the process and they are visible to local agents.
Local independent Agents
A vendor realising that selling is not as easy as they thought can contact the local independent estate agent. This virtual watering hole brings agents together unlike some other portals which force division and listing chasing. The way forward is the develop a faster moving market with lower margins.
As more owners list their properties so more good news stories come to the surface. Agents who deliver their service with a passion will attract more business. This is more likely to happen with independent agents as they own their businesses.
Hybrid Estate agency
Self service, part service and just paying for professional advice is the way forward. The Financial Services act has been with us since 1986, this allowed consumers the choice of commission or flat fees. Solicitors and accountants offer the same choice to it follows will Estate Agents.
Whilst focused on the amazing technicolour national portals that some agents may have given up doing the basic local marketing. Networking with fellow professionals at the watering hole is actually work! no matter what the spouse says. The rewards for continuing the focus on the national portals include ever increasing fees and less control.
Some things have changed?
Today buyers engage with agents via the internet but little else has fundamentally progressed?
In 2000 the first (now leading) National Property Portal launched. Today almost every agent considers it’s the only place to sell a property. If the idea was that perfect then why did a bunch of agents start “On the Market”? And why are there now so many hybrid agencies ?
- Property prices are now freely available to consumers.
- Data submit to national portals can be used by other entities you had not intended access.
- Social media reaches more people in less time than emails and traditional advertising.
Today there are many online Portals. Most of them backed by estate agents so not a lot is new. Vendors often commit to paying almost 1,000 pounds on completion or after so many months even without a sale!
There is an alternative.
Consumers already understand selling online so encourage them and share the reward.
Benefits to Agents
- Create a lot more noise online locally at no cost.
- Promote your existing listings online at no cost.
- Owners will bring more properties to market sooner.
Our portal accepts the same data feed you already use to send to “the national portals”.
Most agencies find they can have the data sent to us without any additional cost. Five minutes is all it will take to send your data to the local portal.
We will not charge you for listing your properties on the local property portal.