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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

New agency comparison website bans online and hybrid agents

A new website that will allow vendors and landlords to compare the expertise and fees of estate and letting agents has banned online and hybrid firms.

Agentlocator.co.uk is a consumer-facing site which says it removes the need for customers to negotiate with agents over their sales commission or lettings charges. 

The Merseyside-based company behind it says only high street estate agents can register on the site, to showcase their expertise and fees online.

Kevin Ward, a spokesman for the site, has told Estate Agent Today that: “The strategy behind high street/traditional estate agents only is that online agents are already providing a transparent approach towards their fees and services. 

“We believe vendors and landlords who enjoy dealing with a traditional/high street should have the option to instantly compare fees and expertise for free as they can currently do with online agents only. ... The website will allow traditional/high street agents the opportunity to really compete against online agents” he says.

The website itself claims: “We take away all the hassle when it comes to searching for your next agent, saving you time and money. There’s no need to negotiate, estate agents will provide you with their best quotes, from fixed fees to low % commission.

“Whether selling or letting your property, we’ll find the best estate agent that is right for you. Quotes are provided instantly, so there’s no waiting around. Compare estate agents the easy way” it claims.

The site then sends leads directly to a potential customer’s selected agent's inbox. There is no sign-up fee for the agent, the leads are sent free of charge, and there is no fee for the potential vendor or landlord client. 

The site appears at an early stage and requires agents to register and be willing to provide quotes.  Kevin Ward says some 350 agents have joined since the site’s launch on Monday of this week, and he promises “a series of media campaigns” to recruit more.

However, a number of search enquiries entered into the site by Estate Agent Today for a range of postcodes around the UK produced a response of “Sorry, no results found.”

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    My own view is that agents shouldn't support businesses like these (and there are a few already out there). As with many other aspects of our business we are giving away more and more of our opportunities to influence and negotiate direct with the consumer.

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    YAWN YAWN - its not about the commission paid, its about getting the sale through to completion!

    This sentence is also idiotic: ''online agents are already providing a transparent approach'' as it suggests the 'street based'' agents do not - something their REDRESS body (ie: Property Ombudsman)will take a very dim view of.

    Their biggest problem, as OTM have found out - is 'how do we get ourselves in front of a potential seller'' - Nah.

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