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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Estate agents' offices already improving to combat online rivals, says display guru

An estate agency display specialist is strongly refuting comments made by a digital marketing company that agents are doing too little to brighten up their offices with high-tech and ‘fun’ facilities for visitors.

Last week we published comments made in The Guardian by Peter Veash, chief executive of The BIO Agency, a digital business consultancy, who says traditional agents can only stay ahead of online rivals by improving the customer experience when they visit high street branches. 

“It’s astounding that the estate agent industry hasn’t jumped at the chance to breathe new life into its often dull in-store experience” said Vaesh.

But now Janice Fairfield, marketing director of Fairfield Displays & Lighting, says Vaesh’s analysis is inaccurate and that many agents are working hard already to dramatically improve their officers. 

“We’ve seen a tremendous change in the last two years. The go-ahead agents are no longer having meetings with clients behind desks. The new trend is to create attractive meeting areas at the front of the office” she has told Estate Agent Today. 

“All elements of office design is changing, combined with a totally new marketing approach, the goal is to show sellers how a bricks and mortar agency is far better placed to get the best deal and service levels for vendors” according to Fairfield.

“Agents are using colour, highly attractive wall graphics which promote strong marketing messages and a lot more. Time and time again I have interviewed agents, and the comment is when a client walks into an office the quality of the lead is far better than an online enquiry.”

Fairfield says that while “a lot of noise” may be generated by online agents, “if clients are making some of the biggest transactions in their lives they want to know that they are dealing with real people who will provide a solid local service” she said. 

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    Vested interest vs Vested interest always makes for a good read.

    There will always be some agents who blaze the trail - offering coffee and informal chit chat. And others who stick to the more formal way of doing things which they've known for years.

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