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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Clients overwhelmingly want face-to-face contact with agents - survey

A new survey suggests that face-to-face contact is still valued by buyers and sellers.

Research by Winkworth, questioning over 1,000 people who have either bought or sold a house, revealed that 56 per cent said they preferred to communicate with their estate agent face-to-face. 

Other methods of communication were much less popular, with 16 per cent preferring to communicate over the phone, 15 per cent via email, five per cent via online chat, two per cent via an app or dashboard and another two per cent via SMS text. 

“Having a physical office is clearly a big draw for clients when choosing an estate agent. The respondents also said that our offices are the main way they have come into contact with the Winkworth brand and, as an estate agency that’s committed to providing our clients with a strong network of high street offices, that’s really positive” says Dominic Agace, Winkworth’s chief executive. 

However, there are clear generational differences.

The highest proportion of votes for using a personal app/dashboard comes from 16 to 24 year olds on 10 per cent, while amongst 35 to 44s there was the highest proportion of responses to using online chat - 9.4 per cent. 

“This goes to show the importance of adapting to changing attitudes and offering a flexible service where clients can contact their agent in a way that suits them. It’s clear from this feedback that people’s preferences stem from lifestyle and familiarity with certain technologies, so it’ll be interesting to see how communication evolves when the younger generations start to join the property ladder in years to come” Agace adds.

  • Christian Woodhouse

    Were the surveyed people solely buyers or sellers that had used Winkworths in the past? If so, I would have thought the results are going to be skewed slightly in their favour from the outset.

    Hybrid estate agents visit clients too, in their home, at the clients convenience. No need to make that journey into town.

    I personally think there is room for all, the high street, the hybrids and the pure online estate agents. I also think that everyone just needs to stop fighting about it and get on with winning more business, which ever camp you fall under.

  • Mike Lewis

    It's pretty obvious really. Face-to-face meetings are the only way to really understand a client/applicant's requirements.
    Phone calls are fine of course (apart from god-awful conference calls and don't get me started on Skype....fantastic until the system crashes!!) and email is great for getting brochures/heads of terms etc. quickly to the parties involved in a deal. However, those who mostly rely on communicating remotely will never be able to build up the kind of client base and strong reputation like those of us who work our respective patches day-in-day out.

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