High Street estate agents should re-define themselves in today’s competitive market by becoming Residential Property Experts offering a wide range of services.
Sava - the education, technology and compliances services provider - says agents should provide a holistic range of services aimed at anyone buying, selling, adapting, improving or managing residential property.
Austin Baggett, managing director of Sava, says the industry is feeling the squeeze thanks to lower average commission fees and initiatives such as the Tenant Fees Act - as a result, additional revenue generation ideas are needed.
On top of that, people move home far less frequently - on average only once every 23 years according to the latest Zoopla analysis.
He says that currently the competitive marketplace is packed with agencies offering broadly similar services, making it difficult for one to gain an advantage. Therefore, providing a more comprehensive range of property services could help agencies to grab the attention of potential clients and win more instructions.
Sava suggests that using additional in-depth knowledge gained through qualifications, agents can build new revenue-generating services, such as condition surveys or valuation reports, into their product offering.
"By providing valuable advice on anything to do with property, from traditional buying and selling to key structural or building information, agents can create more opportunities for themselves, making the market seem less crowded” adds Baggett.
"Having a certificate on the wall or letters after your name can be beneficial, but the real value from taking qualifications comes in knowing what you're talking about and becoming a real industry expert. Property sales and the moving process can be complex and you're often dealing with people's most valuable asset; therefore, consumers need reassurance and advice from someone they can trust.”
Sava cites Tim Crowe, owner of Crowes Estate Agents, saying: "Sava’s surveying qualifications have certainly helped to increase confidence among our existing clientele. For something they would usually instruct a surveyor to do, they can now ask us to do it, which they prefer. This also helps to maintain our long-term client relationships.
"Moreover, being able to offer surveys has created an income stream for our business and when it comes to valuations, having RICS accreditation distinguishes us and can help win instructions."