The role of the estate agent has been influenced somewhat by the increasing reliance on the internet by potential purchasers looking for property.
Once upon a time Mr & Mrs X, when looking to buy a property, would come in to the office, have a conversation about their budget and requirements, be matched to properties on our database, attend viewings and readily provide feedback. Now some applicants will only search online and only call the office if the property takes their fancy, once they have seen a property, if they are not interested they are less likely to respond to communications asking for feedback.
The value of physically visiting an office and registering with local agents is generally underestimated by the public, a big part of our service is offering advice, and having registered applicants increases our ability to match buyers to properties we are selling. Clients may think they aren’t getting as many viewings as they once would have done, the impact of online property searches must be considered; people are quick to rule out properties when searching online.
The search criteria following location is often price. Pricing of property should be a true reflection of value and also take into account the price bands at which potential buyers of the property would search at in order to be considered. Property portals are like a comparison site so if your property is overpriced it will stand out as low value for money in comparison to those listed alongside it.
Some applicants only register with Rightmove, whilst this can appear to save time, giving the details of your requirements to local agents could produce more fruitful results, and the best thing is we will get in touch with the applicant so they don’t need to keep checking online or calling in. Time is a precious commodity, and whilst using Rightmove or another portal can be convenient it could actually take a lot more work trawling through the properties as opposed to being directed to those which suit best by a professional. Online you can’t express your preference for a school catchment area or a type of garden for example.
We are doing our part to bridge the gap by increasing our online offering. We now have downloadable PDF details of all our properties that can be downloaded and saved to your home computer for quick reference. We have recently launched an i-phone application availble from the Apple app store, click this link to view it in the store, and have our brochure and magazine available as online page turners.
We have a blog with information on some special properties we have on the market, sponsorship we have been involved with and regular local market comments from all our branches and the MD. Although we can offer some general advice online it could never fully replace the value of a one on one conversation. We will continue to offer accurate pricing advice and to register applicants and match buyers as we have always done well.
So there are two key messages:
To potential purchasers;
Register with agents in the area you want to move to, by phone or in person, to get them to match you to your ideal property.
To people selling property;
Make sure your pricing is clear and accurate to ensure you stand out online and get the enquires you are looking for.
If you have any questions contact me at the Hook Office (01256 764666)