In this instalment of our State of the Property Nation report, we’re turning our attention to the growing omnipresence of online agents. Consumer awareness of online agents continues to grow all the time.
Compared to 2016 when 70% of consumers had heard of online agents, awareness today has risen to 91%. Amongst those actively in the property market, awareness stands even higher at 97%, while 42% said they were likely to use an online agent the next time they move.
For high street agents to keep competing successfully against this surge in popularity of online agents, they must continue to do well in those areas which set them apart from online agents, such as local area knowledge, offering high quality customer service, and being transparent about the sales process and costs.
Our report reveals that online agents are rated highly not just for their clear value proposition, but for being flexible in looking after the needs of their vendors and their landlords and offering a 24/7 service.
The use of technology to complete transactions has risen across many industries. As consumers, we’re now used to booking services such as flights, hotels and restaurant reservations online. The customer feedback in our report suggests that there is demand to see estate and letting agents offering these digital services too, such as booking viewings and valuations online.
Some high street agents have already been proactive in offering these types of services and widespread adoption is beginning to solidify this as the new ‘norm’ across the industry.
Agents who start to provide this kind of interaction sooner rather than later will be putting themselves in a strong position. Aside from tools like PropertyFile that enable agents to offer a truly 24/7 service, simply making sure that your website is well designed and responsive will go a long way. TechnicWeb can deliver your agency a website that does this and more, and it can be live within 20 working days.