An analysis conducted by estate agency comparison website GetAgent has for the first time attempted to calculate how ‘local’ agencies' local property experts really are.
GetAgent says it works with 5,500 estate agents which allows it to look at the differences between high street and online agencies with some authority.
For the specific exercise in assessing how ‘local’ local property experts are, GetAgent analysed over 14,000 estate agency branches and all estate agent property listings - over a million in total - between January and July this year.
It assessed Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, Winkworth, Arun Estates, Leaders, Connells, LSL Property Services, Countrywide, Hunters, SpicerHaart and Sequence Homes - which all have physical branches - and found that their nearest experts to the properties they were listing were all between one and four kilometres.
The average distance was just over three kilometres for ‘physical’ agencies. The analysis then looks at one online agency, Purplebricks.
“On average the distance between two Purplebricks listings covered by the same LPE is 10 kilometres” says the GetAgent survey.
Using the analysis of listings between January and July this year, GetAgent says: “Research shows that each Purplebrick’s LPE has taken on substantially more properties than the average high street estate agent. So this means Purplebricks have further to travel between properties AND more properties to visit.”
It continues: “Purplebricks LPEs listed 90 properties on the main portals, compared to the average high street branch which was 45 listings.”
The analysis - which you can see in full on GetAgent here - says: “The research has made us question whether the Purplebricks Local Property Experts can really call themselves 'local'.”
This afternoon the agency responded with a spokesperson saying: “Purplebricks is a truly national brand with a local presence. As last reported in June 2017 we work with over 540 Local Property Experts across the UK, a number that is constantly rising as customer demand grows.
“It is encouraging the report has calculated that on average, each of our LPEs list twice as many properties as the average high street branch, while delivering a 9.5 out of 10 rating on Trustpilot from over 27,000 reviews.
“This is made possible through the effective use of technology and flexible working practises which allow LPEs to be more efficient than high street peers – we agree a sale every nine minutes, 24/7” the spokesperson says.
The agency concludes: “We have not seen the details or methodology behind the [GetAgent] research or been invited to contribute, so cannot comment on the accuracy and validity of the data and calculations. What we can comment on is the fact that our customers love our knowledge, service and expertise and continue to recommend us to their friends and family.”