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Play the 'luxury' game! Startling advice to traditional estate agents

Traditional estate agencies should make their work appear more of a luxury and even showcase the prices of individual elements that go to create a sale to show customers what they are paying for and why it matters.

That’s the advice from a consultancy, Bray Leino CX, which describes itself as “an integrated communications group.” 

It has analysed the agency industry and has shared its findings with Estate Agent Today.

It says that while retailers can potentially become much more digitally-aware and have much greater online sales presence with little or no change to its income - in other words, the consumer pays roughly the same whether in-store or online. 

This means the internet can be a partner of the retailer, offering new sales opportunities at roughly the same price.

However, Bray Leino CX says that the rise of Purplebricks and other online agencies have created a budget brand for online: it claims it’s possible for sellers to market an average priced home for as little as £633 online or for as much as £4,300 through a traditional agency.

It suggests that the way for traditional agencies to respond to this is to recognise that their pricing makes them a luxury product.

“Traditional agencies are heading into the luxury game. Recognise the change. Work out why your services are worth it. Put a price on the components. Burberry can tell you how many stitches are in a collar. Apple lend you a charger if you’ve lost your own. Luxury is about the way it makes you feel” says the consultancy. 

“Alternatively, decide you’re not in the luxury game. Act like a budget airline or car insurer. Menu price all components and let the buyer create their package. Just don’t do nothing and expect the world to get better. Because it won’t.” 

In practical terms, the consultancy advises traditional agents to: 

- “Use technology to make your offices an experience, not just banks of desks and phones. You pay for the space, so be the local property destination, not just yet another estate agency”; 

- “Map every process, end to end. Critically evaluate where there are needless steps that others – not just from your sector – have removed. Every additional step represents a potential barrier. ... Your job is to minimise hassle. At least it is if you want to charge traditional rates”;

- “Use digital to prove you’re the experts. Experts make things easy. Brilliantly effective websites work by delivering simple functionality over busy screens”;

- “Use imagery that proves your local knowledge. Update it – and SEO driving content – regularly”;

- “Map and understand the interaction of online and offline so that clients experience seamless experiences”;

- “Don’t think websites are ‘once and done for three years’ They should evolve. Constantly”; 

- “Test digital content. Is it Funny? Useful? Beautiful? Inspirational? Or a combination? If not, it will be ignored.” 

You can see Bray Leino CX's research in full here.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Actually think this is pretty on the money- but depends what marketplace you operate in. In London I think this is definitely true. We have kept innovating and adding service elements to ensure we can still charge full market fees and, as a result, we still get 15% (yes, I know, 18%) to filly manage even when going up against agents offering it for 10-12%.

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