Agents: Are you under threat?

During the last few months, many online agents have started to grow in the current property industry. For example, agents such as Hatched.co.uk, Purplebricks and OpenRent have been in the media spotlight, as potential leading online estate agents. OpenRent recently launched its televised campaign on Channel 5, as well as holding campaigns in the Express newspaper. OpenRent advertises how they can save landlords money by not using a high street letting agent. This increased media coverage poses the question whether traditional agents are under threat from a potentially growing industry.

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However, traditional agents also pose a threat to online agents. Many traditional agents are expanding, for example Belvoir helped Key estate agents grow into a successful franchise, while Romans have expanded even further by purchasing two more letting and estate agent branches. Traditional agents are not just expanding, their area expertise and knowledge pose a much greater threat to online agents. Many agents will be able to give potential tenants, a fully rounded view of the property as well as the area. As well as their knowledge, many traditional agents will know the selling or letting process much better than an online agent. They’ll know what documentation needs signing and make sure that you’ve settled into your property, much more effectively than an online agent.

As well as this, security is a major issue that needs addressing, when it comes to using online agents. It’s important to consider being reluctant, when it comes to selling your property, as it’s being distributed to a wide range of audiences. Anyone at any time can access your property and know it’s up for sale, potentially putting you and the tenant at risk.

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Consequently, online agents can be said to offer cheaper prices than a traditional agent. OpenRent advertises its services for only £29 for landlords to advertise their properties, while it’s only £49 for online listings, plus referencing, contracts, deposit handling and first month rent collection. Pricing can be considered as a threat, but many tenants have to consider whether it’s worth it. The lack of paperwork, expertise knowledge and security could eventually lead to traditional agents becoming more of a threat.

Whether traditional agents are under threat from online agents, or online agents are under threat from traditional agents, it’s a debatable subject and it’s something we at VTUK have no answer too. We care about each and every one of our clients and through our solutions, we aim to grow them all to their full potential.

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