Thursday, June 2nd, 2016
More than half (58%) of the British public want an estate agent for life!
Independent research reveals some surprising findings..
We wanted you to be the first to hear of our research into the perception and expectations UK home buyers have towards ‘bricks and mortar’ estate agents and online tools. Not everything we found was unexpected but there were a few surprises. Notably, 82% of the great British public insist on having a ‘personal’ agent to manage the sale of their property. And, more than half (58%) want an estate agent for life.
Now that is food for thought. OK, the research bore out much of what we know; most of us search for our home online. But it also showed that we as a nation rely on agents for key parts of the buying process. These include conveyancing (72%), arranging viewings and inspecting properties (62%), making an offer (53%), and financial negotiations (42%).
So at least for the moment, online only services aren’t going to replace traditional agents and the bells of doom won’t chime anytime soon. We Brits still value the expertise estate agents bring to the table and want a personal touch when it comes to buying a home. The over-riding message is that good quality customer service and local knowledge cannot be replaced – they carry too much weight.
Of course, modern agents will thrive in a competitive environment if they marry the power of their brands with the power of digital tools to drive better service. But they must retain their local flavour. In practice that means combining personal service with digital convenience. And, we should point out there is marked frustration with any brand that is slow to adopt. 67% of consumers feel local agents don’t use technology well and 44% think they need to embrace it to survive in the future.
So what type of innovations are they talking about? Imagine a workflow that recognises and registers a ‘tweet’ from someone house hunting in Reading. Without even lifting a finger your software registers it and automatically replies, ‘how you can help’? That’s a potential lead and truly sublime service. Or how about building a relationship for life with automated e-cards to say congratulations on one year and five year moving date anniversaries, for example?
You can find these and many more innovative workflows here
And, we’ll update you with more stand-out highlights from our research next month. They’ll still be relevant as we commissioned an independent market research agency, Loudhouse, in May 2016. The results derive from a sample of 1,000 consumers from across the UK and are split evenly across men and women and age range (18-65).