Updated: Apr 24
The UK property market is always evolving but never as quickly as it is now.
Traditional Estate Agents are seriously questioning the need for their swanky high street offices and the inevitable overheads. Home movers want instant answers, 24 hours a day, cheap fees and a personal service. In the wake of a worldwide pandemic and an unprecedented job retention scheme, these changes have been accelerated and we are now looking at a new industry dawn.
Technology is helping to drive change and to further fracture traditional Estate Agency models, many new entrants fail to make profits and some are almost drowning in debt. Hybrid models fall somewhere between the two camps providing a hub and spoke operation reducing costs but crucially providing a personal yet local service.
Regardless of the model you have adopted, winning new instructions is your life blood - without the constant churn of new properties, it's all over. It is really hard to differentiate your service and easy to think that your shiny new displays, branded cars and eloquent, welcoming staff are enough. Sellers are looking for what you do that separates you from the others so don’t spend too long explaining ‘common’ factors.
Having done a lot of mystery shopping the first impression is absolutely paramount, many score 0/10 at the very first hurdle. Answer phones promptly, open doors (assuming you have one), smile, look like you are delighted someone came in off the street! OK, assuming that you have a client in the office or have been invited on a market appraisal, what are you saying? What makes you special? Why should they instruct you?
We recommend getting sellers legally prepared and ahead of the curve, like our friends at Exquisite Home, because transactions that drag on run an ever-increasing chance of falling through. Since we all work for nothing until the job is done, why run the risk? There's a sweet spot - just after instruction when the board is about to go up in the garden - when a seller is full of doubt. Did I choose the right agent / price - what do I do now? Tell them to complete their Legal Protocol forms, find their boiler service plan and order their Searches. They will be sitting pretty when you tie up the offer and will be smug in the knowledge that they chose the right agent! They will recommend you, complete a glowing online review and you can rest assured that you are No 1 agent in Town and can go about your business carving your own unique niche.
What about Conveyancers?
There is a lot to do when you first encounter a new client, but how easy do you make it for them to e