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Corporates and onliners lose market share to local firms - claim

Independent agents are busier than they have ever been thanks to the post-lockdown surge but larger corporates are actually losing market share.

That’s the view of The Guild of Property Professionals which says a larger number of vendors are choosing locally-based agencies. 

Guild chief executive Iain McKenzie says his organisation’s members - all independent local operators - have been instructed on 58,435 new listings, which has resulted in an increase in the group’s year-on-year market share.  


“In terms of new instructions, The Guild’s market share has increased from 5.56 per cent in 2019 to 5.81 per cent this year, because of the high volumes of listing our members are taking on" he says.

Using data provided by property consultancy TwentyCI, McKenzie contends that the top 10 corporate and franchise estate agency groups have seen a collective decline in their new instruction year-on-year market share. 

“It seems that while the industry as a whole is seeing more activity this year than last, vendors are favouring independent local estate agents over larger corporate and online agencies.”

McKenzie says that it is not just a case of increased new instructions but also a rise in the number of properties Sold Subject to Contract. 

In June this year, SSTC figures had already surpassed the numbers seen last year and they have continued to surge forward. 

He adds that from January to August, within The Guild network, there were 42,679 properties SSTC, increasing its SSTC year-on-year market share from 5.97 per cent in 2019 to 6.22 per cent in 2020. 

“Much like the new instruction figures, when compared to other estate agency groups, The Guild holds the number one spot, with a large number of other groups seeing a decline in their market share” boasts McKenzie.  

“Based on the data, it seems that now more than ever, consumers want to work with a local property expert who they trust and who can guide them safely through the process of selling and buying a property.”

  • Hybrid Agent

    "top 10 corporate and franchise estate agency groups have seen a collective decline in their new instruction year-on-year market share."
    Where is the estate agency industry going? Large corporate chains, small local shops or another even more ‘local’ possibility. Is there room for all or will consumers decide which offering is most appropriate to them?.
    The next generation of evolved / hybrid agents work from their home office locally, use technology to receive enquiries for property viewings and buyer offers, embrace social media for marketing, charge a fraction of the usual corporate agent fee and is much closer to their clients.
    If you are a traditional estate agency of anywhere from 5 to 100 retail branches, you will have noticed the effect on market share over the past five years as the lower fee hybrid options have risen to put pressure on prices that can be charged. It has become harder for the corporate agents to make paying 1.5-2% fees to sell a property understandable to clients. This is now starting to show according to this article. There are already indications in some quarters that the offices of these corporate businesses will become administrative ‘Hubs’ for large geographic areas serviced by experienced local agents working flexibly from home. The further rise of the self-employed agent in the UK.
    A great opportunity for experienced local agents to work under these new style ‘big hybrid’ models. The freedom and flexibility of agents working like this will be felt by their buying and selling clients alike.
    Truly local service with an appropriate price for what the client actually receives.
    Read more about the direction of the industry and becoming the local 'Hybrid’ mix of technology and people in this book on Amazon “No.1 B*stard Estate Agent. (someone no longer in their original form) How to Evolve in Property Selling”

  • Matthew Gardiner Legge

    I agree with most of what you are saying Mr Bstard although I am one of the new self employed agents you refer to and we - the company I work with - do try hard not to compete by reducing our fees to undercut our competitors. In my humble opinion, agency fees in this couintry are as low as they can go especially when compared to other countries.

  • Simon Shinerock

    The hybrid model isn’t going to work, the fees are too low, we don’t multi list and our culture isn’t conducive, the traditional high st agent is evolving and if anything their hyperlocal presence and focus will become more important and more dominant

    Hybrid Agent

    Hi Simon. Read the book and you will see how the Hybrid model is proven to work, fees charged are a separate element outside the basic hybrid 'home based agent plus tech' model. This mix of local individual agents with the correct use of great technology is an inevitable outcome from the current uncertainty about what estate agency actual is in the 2020's. The correct use of the technology for the appropriate client means that clients get what they need more often than with a traditional model at a potentially fairer fee in the well executed hybrid designed model. The book is on Amazon “No.1 B*stard Estate Agent. (someone no longer in their original form) How to Evolve in Property Selling” Let me know what you think.


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