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PropTech Today - What 1,000 homeowners want from their next estate agent

From Google to Uber, convenience is embedded into contemporary culture.

As a society, we’re propelled by on-demand living, with instant solutions for everything from the weather forecast to our evening meal - all in the palm of our hands.

How readily available digital culture has become just shows how many industries have swiftly adapted their service offerings to better suit the lifestyles of busy consumers and appeal to the masses.


For example, the retail industry underwent the Amazon Effect which caused businesses to transform the way they operate overnight at the risk of becoming obsolete.

Estate agency, however, hasn’t evolved quite as quickly, with many businesses still working in the same way as they did 10-15 years ago.

With that in mind, Street.co.uk conducted a survey that asked 1,000 homeowners in England and Wales who had moved house in the last three years to find out, once and for all, if customers actually want a digital experience for property.

What do your clients really want?

Communication appears to be a driving factor for this on-demand hunger, with high calls for integrations like WhatsApp or opportunities to text agents. While email remained the highest preference for agent-vendor communication at 48% across the board, newer forms such as WhatsApp crept up to fourth place at 20%.

But it isn’t just convenience vendors are after, the ability to self-serve is highly desirable as it brings with it the promise of more transparency and accessibility to information regarding what is possibly the largest transaction of their lives.

Anyone who has moved house will know that, regardless of your agent’s abilities, it’s likely that you’ll be kept waiting for phone calls and emails to track the sales progression and receive updates. In fact, these apprehensive feelings resonate with anyone who has ever waited to hear how a viewing went or if it even went ahead, which is exactly why the right technology will revolutionise every client’s experience.

Apps in particular appear to be one of the most desirable features for this self-service revolution with an average of 94% of people across the entire age range agreeing they’d find an app useful when managing a house move. While it may be expected that the younger, more tech-savvy generation would be driving this figure, there was actually 84% in favour from the 55+ category which only further accentuates the widespread demand.

Such technology can be found within Street.co.uk which provides agents with a Vendor app for their clients to manage their move. The Vendor App includes push notifications that always keep clients in the loop, instant feedback after every viewing, and even the ability to self-serve by accepting or rejecting viewing requests, meaning they feel more in control.

On-demand culture is coming to estate agency.

Whether agents like it or not, the industry is on the cusp of a digital overhaul. Like in retail’s Amazon Effect, traditional approaches will need to be transformed to cater for consumer demands.

For most, a property is the largest purchase they’ll ever make, so why wouldn’t it be - like other industries - on demand? At this point, the gap for agents who use such technology is vast, meaning that any agent who dares to be different will no doubt stand out from the crowd.

In fact, the Street.co.uk survey presented property apps as the second least used app, landing just above Home Automation at 23%. However, not only did 94% of people say they would find an app for property useful, but a further 80% said they would be more likely to instruct an agent if they offered an app or similar online service.

These figures not only show a giant gap in the market, they also highlight the demand, suggesting that those forward-thinking agents who already offer a multitude of modern communication will soon usurp those competitors solely relying on calls and emails.

Adapting to the technological age won’t just bring you more business, but it will also bring huge efficiency benefits to your agents. Self-service tools and convenient communication are transforming the process of buying, selling, renting and letting. With WhatsApp integrations, text messaging, and multiple apps, technology like Street.co.uk is an ideal option for agents looking to enhance their client experience. Agents who do embrace such technology could gain a USP and competitive advantage over those that don’t.

It can’t be denied that we’re likely heading to a time where digital moving experiences will become the norm, meaning agencies who don’t adapt may risk getting left behind.

If you would like to further explore how Street.co.uk’s solutions could enhance your agency, please email me at heather@street.co.uk and I would be happy to answer any questions.

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