The founder of OneDome says a likely housing market slowdown is the perfect time for agents to optimise revenue by investing in PropTech.
Babek Ismayil believes agencies should offset lower activity throughout the festive period and as the stamp duty holiday ends by maximising the revenue per property sold via complementary homebuying services such as mortgages and conveyancing.
The property market shows signs of slowing after a record-breaking summer, impacted by the second lockdown and fast-approaching end of the SDLT holiday. All these issues raise questions about the first half of 2021 and the steps to taken by estate agents, he says.
"After a very strong summer, during which some agents may have been overwhelmed by the workload, the question now is how can they get the most out of their pipelines as the market slows down?" asks Ismayil.
"Some of the big corporate agencies and larger independents make an additional 40p for every £1 earned in commission through additional services. Of course, it's easier for larger agencies as they have teams dedicated to additional revenue generation, but this is part of the moving process that all agencies should be targeting" he adds.
Some agents may consider hiring more staff to increase cross-selling but Ismayil says the current economic uncertainty makes that a high-risk strategy.
By contrast he urges the adoption of more technology to capture leads, qualifying and nurturing them, as well as streamlining the processes and automatically cross-selling various services.
Technology can assist estate agents in achieving higher margins per transaction, making deals faster. Importantly, this can also be achieved in a compliant manner with transparency about how those fees are generated he says.
The OneDome technology company - which operates two portals, OneDome and Nethouseprices - recently raised another £5m in funding which is says it will use to become an Amazon-style service offering consumers “an end to end homebuying experience” that will rival Rightmove.
The capital will also be used to launch OneDome’s new e-Homebuying platform later this year and substantially increase the marketing efforts of the platform to provide agents with a viable alternative to pay to list portals.