Time for high street agents to fight back
If the press or the markets are to be believed the high street estate agent has been on the ropes. The new kid on the block is Purplebricks, or Yopa, or Tepilo etc etc and they are comparable to Anthony Joshua apparently. But now it seems the high street agent has bounced back off the ropes and is coming out swinging.
The news this week that easyProperty is merging with The Guild and Fine & Country to offer a platform to high street agents to enable them to offer online sales is one of many signs that high street agents are willing to fight. And fight they must as online agents have changed our marketplace and those that stand still will get left behind.
Consumers are more cost sensitive than ever before and price discrimination is almost nigh on impossible now with the power of the internet making all our fees easily comparable. If your fee isn’t online, you might never get the phone call to ask how much you charge, and lets face it all agents dread that call, your staff might be expertly trained, but there will always be some clients that want to know the price and only the price.
I believe easyProperty have made a shrewd move, the high street agents can offer clients a set of skills the online agents are yet to master, the personal touch. I set up my company to offer just that, and to offer clients the best of both online and traditional agency skills and I think that appeals to the millennials and in fact appeals to everyone. People sometimes forget that selling your biggest asset is a huge, life changing decision. If you could offer someone a cheaper package, but still have the comfort blanket of a local office wouldn’t that be appealing?
It remains to be seen how The Guild members will react to their second offer of an online platform, but I expect many Guild members will react more favourably than The Fine & Country members who might struggle to see how a budget brand like ‘easy’ sits next to the fantastic premium brand that they have built over the years.
High street estate agents need to remember that supermarkets do it: basic, standard, premium. It can easily be done, but the branding needs to be different and most importantly it needs to work for your business.
But it’s not just us, there are now numerous companies offering hybrid options, now the high street agent is fighting back, how will the onlines react?
Written by firstname.lastname@example.org