Analysis by an online valuation and lead generation service shows that requests from prospective sellers and landlords are increasingly happening in the early morning.
Figures from The ValPal Network show that across January and February, the 7am to 8am period was the most popular hour for requests for online valuations, coming in to members of the network.
Last month some 8,416 of 69,752 total online valuations - equivalent to over 12 per cent - were requested between 7am and 8am. In January the figure was 11,953 out of 94,100 (or the equivalent of 12.5 per cent) were generated during the same hour.
The trend for pre-work online valuations stretches back to last autumn, with 7am to 8am being in the top two hours for the most online valuation requests for the previous five consecutive months.
Of the 313,809 online valuation leads generated by members of The ValPal Network between the start of October 2019 and the end of February 2020, more than one in 10 - specifically, 37,128 - were requested by consumers between 7am and 8am.
Meanwhile, the data shows that 3pm to 4pm is also a popular time for sellers and landlords to request online valuations from agents, accounting for the second highest number of leads in both January and February.
"We can see from this data that early mornings are a crucial time for agents when it comes to generating online valuation leads" says Craig Vile, Director of The ValPal Network.
"Vendors and landlords are clearly browsing their phones and considering their property transactions on their way to work or when they first get into the office."
He says that if agents want to take advantage of this activity and generate leads which they can convert into market appraisals, they must make sure they have an effective mobile website with prominent calls to action.
"Agents also need to utilise live chat tools so they can cope with out of hours enquiries. As we can see, many enquiries are coming in before agents traditionally start work" says Vile.
"There is an increasing shift towards flexible lifestyles and a need for agents to be able to service their clients at all hours of the day, even if their office is closed. That said, our data shows that there are also lots of requests for online valuations in the middle of the day when agents are more likely to be in the office" he adds.
"It's vital that when these leads come in the prospects are phoned as soon as possible for the agent to have the best chance of converting the online valuation into a market appraisal and ultimately an instruction" Vile concludes.
The ValPal Network is a product of Angels Media, publisher of Estate Agent Today and the other Today industry titles; it has 800 brands and some 4,000 agency offices amongst its members.