Prominent buying agent, TV housing market commentator and hard-core tweeter Henry Pryor has accused traditional estate agents of becoming “fat and lazy.”
His comment, made on Twitter, follows two earlier tweets made by Antony Payne, managing director of respected London property data company LonRes.
Payne tweeted: “Recently tried to view some houses in West Sussex on a Saturday. Told by one agent they were too busy and the other still hasn’t called back.”
In a follow up tweet Payne wrote: ”I am a defender of traditional estate agency but they will have a limited lifespan against online if this is the service they offer.”
The tweets were followed up quickly by Russell Quirk, chief executive of eMoov, who tweeted back to Payne: “And they worry about the ‘new enemy’ of online disruption when the low hanging fruit of success is staring them in the face.”
Henry Pryor, who has 21,300 followers on Twitter, joined the party by retweeting one of Payne’s comments with the additional remark of his own, echoing comments made some weeks ago about British businesses by Trade Secretary Liam Fox.
“Traditional agents have become fat and lazy. Many will go under as the market hardens - and they deserve to! This is a classic example” wrote Pryor.
Although such Twitter-spats are dismissed by some in the industry, they are nonetheless routinely spotted by journalists and opinion formers - that conversation on Twitter was spotted by the property correspondent of the Financial Times, Judith Evans, who herself tweeted ‘Ouch!’ after spotting Pryor’s description of traditional agents.
The ball was then picked up by long-standing financial journalist Annie Shaw who recounted her own experience of agents allegedly telling her, as a prospective buyers, of properties new to the market but which had actually been posted on portals two weeks earlier.