Online Estate Agents are good for everyone.
This is maybe a bit brash, as i am neither an online estate agent nor an estate agent. But i do spend about a 100 hours a week reading, analyzing and deciphering the fountain of information that rushes across my screen on the topics of property, portals, online estate agents and all things related to those topics.
Amazon has really laid the boot into the High Street, i was back in the UK for Christmas just passed and it was really noticeable, for someone who has been out of the UK for nearly 3 years, how desolate it looked. Conversations on the presents we bought for the festive period were usually prefixed with “I ordered it online on…” and then some anecdote about the awkwardness of delivery.
HMV, Woolworths and Comet are gone, forever. They are never coming back because the brands saw the threat of the online retailer, but it either didn’t register or it wasn’t seen as a serious competitor. How wrong could they be.
Probably about as wrong as any estate agency who now sees online estate agents as no threat at all.
I had a brief spat with easyproperty.com on Twitter in the summer past, where i remarked that the process of buying a property is a little more involved than with buying a CD, so the comparison about HMV was mute. On reflection i was wrong, they were and are right.
The surge in success of PurpleBricks and Tepilo can’t be ignored. These businesses are organised, well resourced and are able to manoeuvre effortlessly out of the stereotypical estate agent cliche that all bricks and mortar agencies have to, that they are different from everyone else.
Since the online estate agent is here to stay it’s understandable that established brands will start looking to invest in online entities as a way to diversify their lead generation at least or to rush across there if the market of online property acquisitions grows. If there is evidence needed of this then surely Connells Group’s acquisition of Hatched is surely proof enough.
Smaller agencies need to be fully aware or be made to be fully aware of the competition around them and be ready to adapt to be able to remain in business as this disruption in the market flares up and settles down.
I reckon online agencies are good for everyone, they will disrupt the market, challenge old practices, create new ones and finally evolution will decide who stays relevant in the future and surely that’s the right way for things to develop.
I’m going back to make Buscadom now, we are going to be the biggest property portal in Spain in a few months.
There aren’t any successful online estate agencies in Spain….yet