RICS research has published a report on changes to the residential estate agency profession over the last 25 years and the new business practices that have emerged. The RICS promotes and enforces the highest professional standards and qualifications within the real esate industry and takes lead on residential property market research and comment.
From the 1990s to the present date there have been significant changes in technology and communication within the residential transaction process which have impacted on the structure of the profession. The report identifies three categories of the residential estate agent that now operate in the market:
Remote Only - a website, email and phone service where the vendor provides the photos, descriptions and asking price; and also undertakes the viewings and negotiations.
Remote Plus - as for Remote Only but with some direct client contact and assistance with preparation of sales particulars, viewings and negotiations.
Service Plus - a higher level of service in the traditional mode of estate agency where there is extensive contact with the vendor who is provided with comprehensive professional advice and marketing services to include widespread internet exposure and the benefit of experienced negotiators working to achieve the best possible outcome for their vendor client.
The report acknowledges that communication between agents and their sellers and buyers has always been a key component of estate agency and continues to be so whichever typology of agent is employed. The big change over the last 25 years or so is that buyers are now most likely to commence their property search online and the RICS report indicates agents estimate that 67%-95% of new buyer enquiries comes from via the Internet and the main property portals – at least initially electronic communication is now it seems king!
Potential vendors are also most likely to initiate contact by phone or email, but where a Service Plus agent is instructed ongoing communication between agent and vendor tends then to include face-to-face meetings as well as phone calls and emails, indicating perhaps that viewings are now more likely to be agent accompanied and that prompt first hand feedback can be given.
Building sustainable brand awareness although depends on more than just a strong Internet presence and the best Service Plus agents have not abandoned their commitment to personal contact with both previous customers and potential new clients. This personal contact is the vehicle for providing informed professional advice on value, marketability and the best method of sale - all key ingredients for any vendor who might otherwise get lost in the property maze given the plethora of property information now available.
The RICS research concludes that there is no doubt that technological changes over the last 25 years have had, and continue to have a lasting impact on how the Residential Estate Agency industry operates. However by identifying three agency types, and distinguishing the varying service levels between them, the report offers both sellers and buyers the opportunity to make an informed choice as to which type of agent they would most like to work with.
At Drew Pearce we are a professional practice regulated by RICS and we are committed to being a Service Plus agent where personal contact and professional advice are backed up with widespread marketing through our own website at drewpearce.co.uk, and the ‘Rightmove’ and ‘OnTheMarket’ property portals, plus through printed media. To benefit from the Drew Pearce Service Plus Residential Estate Agency services contact Michael Henderson on 01392 201748 and make the move in 2017 with us.