Digital Disruption in Estate Agency
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 we would anticipate profit margins should have fallen.
The reality is margins have not fallen as quickly as they could have.
The fact is Google and social media all love local content. Our platform is all about empowering owners to market their properties locally.
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 as such they sell quickly.
If your property is likely to fit this profile then save some money and get started, if you need a hand we can help you.
If your property sells in a couple of days the savings can be significant, 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. The decision to sell, the photography, your descriptions and EPC will all help you engage your local agents at a lower cost that would have been possible.
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, allowed consumers the choice of commission or flat fees. Solicitors and accountants offer the same choice so it follows will Estate Agents in the years to come.
In recent years the few national property portals that have bewitched some estate agents and some may have contributed toward them given up doing their local marketing altogether.
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.
Many of the new property portals are 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.