Do estate agents still need a physical high street presence?

15 April 2021

Why I Don’t Need A High Street Office

 

The last 12 months have seen the way we buy homes shift further to being a digital process rather than a physical one. And with half of homebuyers revealing that they never visit their estate agent’s office – is there any need for a high street office?

New research from property platform, WiggyWam, has highlighted that although some customers still want their estate agents to have a physical location, many homebuyers aren’t bothered either way.

In fact, 53% state that, throughout their most recent purchasing journey, they did not step inside their estate agent’s branch or office at all. 38% state that they had cause to visit a branch once or twice, while just 9% visited often’.

Here are some more interesting stats for you. 6% of homebuyers say they discovered the home they eventually bought via the window of an estate agent branch, and 5% discovered it via a For Sale board. This leaves 70% finding their future homes online and 18% responding with ‘other’. Examples of the latter will be word of mouth, auction, and buying directly from the seller.

One particularly striking element of WiggyWam’s research tells that 75% of homebuyers, when thinking about eventually selling to fund onward purchases, would happily get rid of physical branches if it meant agents had fewer overheads to cover and could, therefore, reduce their fees.

Silas J. Lees MRICS, WiggyWam CEO, says: “Because of lockdown, many agents have been operating an appointment-only system, so it is no surprise that many recent buyers have not made much use of the branch.

“However, we also know that the entire high street retail sector was struggling before Covid and has been truly battered since. Even the biggest names in retail are retreating from physical operations.

So why am I telling you this?

Because I think it matters. Although there is still a split in opinion on whether your estate agent needs a high street location or not, the one thing that can be agreed upon is this. Fewer overheads for the estate agent results in better value and a much greater experience for homebuyers and sellers. 

As you may or may not know, I am an independent estate agent, and I don’t have a physical high street location. All my marketing and work is done either online or through my active involvement within the community. And because I don’t have to cover costs such as office rental, bills and staff, I don’t need to take on 10, 20, 40 properties at any one time – just to make a living. I can look after a handful of clients and their properties. Meaning their property and its marketing needs gets my full attention.  

This is one of the main reasons why I started up my own independent estate agency business. I wanted to work closely with my local community and offer a different style of estate agency service to the people who reside here. 

 

For more information or help, please contact me using my contact details below.

Daniel Treasure – Your Local Property Expert

daniel.treasure@exp.uk.com

0203 488 7782