An opinion poll of over 2,000 people conducted for The House Shop shows that a majority of people would use a portal displaying listings from agents plus private sellers and landlords, than would use traditional agent-only portals.
The YouGov poll, conducted last week and questioning 2,028 adults - a standard sample for many polls - asked the question:
“Thinking about searching for a property online (either to rent or buy)…which ONE, if either, of the following statements BEST applies to you?
I would prefer to use a website that only displays properties available for estate agents...
I would prefer to use a website that displays properties available from estate agents, private landlords, private sellers and auction houses...
Neither of these...”
The overall result was that 57 per cent of respondents say they would use the ‘whole market’ portal including private sellers and landlords as well as agents.
Some 25 per cent preferred the agent-only portal, while 18 per cent would chose neither.
Most interesting, perhaps, is the age breakdown and preference of respondents.
Of those questioned aged from 18 to 24 a total of 70 per cent said they would use the ‘whole market’ portal and only 22 per cent backed the ‘agents-only’ portal. Only nine per cent said Neither.
For those respondents aged 25 to 34 there was a roughly similar result: 68 per cent for the whole market portal and 24 per cent for the agents-only portal. Just eight per cent said Neither.
When the questioning was broken down for the over-55s (so for those much more used to having dealt with agents, possibly on several occasions over their history of renting/letting and selling/buying) the detailed results shifted somewhat although the in-principle result was the same.
So for the over-55s some 44 per cent said they would use the whole-market portal and 27 per cent said they would use the agents-only portal. No fewer than 20 per cent said they would use neither, presumably indicating they would use either known ‘favoured’ estate agents or use another source of advertising aside from portals.
Nick Marr, director of The House Shop, told Estate Agent Today: "The survey clearly shows that there is a change on the way and that Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket are not giving the public what they want. The younger generation don't want agent-only sites and that a whole market approach is more desirable”
He says the current reduction in available stock and the need for buyers and tenants to find all available properties means that they need portals that feature listings from every source including online and High Street agents and those selling or letting privately.
He says The House Shop, which has been operating for 15 years, operates what he calls an “Auto Trader approach to property listings from professionals and private individuals alike.
“This has created a unique database of listings and a place where agents generate business from those who are considering a direct sale or let. A few years ago this model would have been impossible to achieve, The House Shop work with a brand new generation of estate agents that are accessing vendors, buyers and tenants all from one place" says Marr.