Why the property market must learn from retail

Property marketing companies and other PropTechs often promote very low headline fees to grab attention and encourage sign-up. But, as with low-cost airlines, the devil is in the detail, and a plethora of hidden extras mean that more often than not, you end up paying far more than you bargained for.

At Houseviz, we believe that the price you see should be the price you pay. Let’s face it, if you were buying a pair of shoes, you’d do your research to find the right pair, at the right price, from the right store, so why should the property industry be any different?

With large blue chip estate agents like Countrywide already adopting this retail model when it comes to servicing their clients – and potential vendors coming to expect this type of pricing – it’s inevitable that the rest of the industry will have to catch up. And that includes those companies that serve estate agents as well as those in the business of buying and selling homes.

Regardless of whether we’re making a personal or a business purchase, as customers we expect a price that matches our expectations, and we’re not afraid to shop around to find it. But it’s about more that bottom line cost; it’s also about value. So, over the next few years and beyond, the agents that succeed will be the ones that offer the best fee AND the best range of innovative services to help sell homes. Likewise, the PropTechs that succeed will be the ones that understand how to meet the evolving needs of estate agents, and do so with a transparent and straightforward pricing structure.

Take property portals for example. At the moment, estate agents are being forced to use these with no guarantee of results. But holding firms to ransom can’t continue, and it’s only a matter of time before an alternative solution is developed. One that matches the needs of agents at a much lower monthly fee.

In fact, at Houseviz, we’re currently building a next-generation, Google styled property search engine that will help the sector to grow and flourish for the benefit of all. Freeing estate agents from the costs and burden of placing their properties on external portals, the system will automatically link to their own listings via an intelligent and innovative search bot and display these using fully integrated API/iframes.

What’s more, our innovative new property portal will also allow potential vendors to find and select a local estate agent. Listing every agent across the UK, consumers will see what these firms charge, what they offer, and how other buyers have rated their service. But more than this, with a range of marketing services listed and available for purchase directly from the new site (e.g. virtual tours, immersive photography, etc.), at a set price, the portal also provides income generation for estate agents, with a percentage of revenue share offered to the agent who progresses the sale. It really is a win-win-win.

Delivering a better buying and selling experience all round, savvy agents must embrace this change if they want to attract vendors in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

At Houseviz we have a straightforward and transparent pricing structure, and all the tools estate agents need to win more business and sell more homes. To find out more about us, and our range of existing services go to houseviz.com. As well as providing service information, the website is regularly updated with insights on the latest developments in property technology, and how this can help estate agents to succeed.

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