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Russell Quirk
Russell Quirk
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About Me

my expertise in the industry

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Russell Quirk

From: Russell Quirk 28 January 2019 09:00 AM

Russell Quirk
It is true that the customers of online agents are more likely to sell and that is as likely to be due to the targeted nature of online agency's proposition and their motivation to sell as to the fact that, ironically, they have paid in advance and therefore have 'skin in the game' and are bound not to be a 'tyre kicker' as some speculative sellers turn out to be, having listed, withdrawn and wasted a high street agent's money. And which is then passed on to successful 'no sale-no fee' sellers to subsidise. Such a model seems as 'unfair' on the consumer as the charge that is made in reverse of online agents' upfront charging model. 'I know an agent who was talking to a vendor who, in his view, nearly cost herself £40,000 by using Purplebricks - a lot more than any fee saved!' The danger in fishing around for such random examples, relied upon as a defence to the change happening in our industry and as protection to justify higher and higher fees, is that traditional agency players may actually begin to believe that there is such a difference in the performance of an online agent versus themselves. Such anecdotal aspersions are merely whimsical and convenient. A crutch. And with an absence of any data to stand such spurious claims up. To suggest that sellers sleep-walk into accepting lower offers via online agents is hugely insulting to the customers' intelligence. It also conveniently disregards the infinite comparable information available to us all via the internet. Frankly, of the thousands of homes that I have personally valued in my career I can think of none where the owner had not researched pricing themselves or where they had already decided on a price having had half a dozen agents round and, often, plumped for the highest price of all those quoted in order to 'see what happens'. No. To decry the online approach as being sub-standard simply does not hold any weight. Especially when you consider that many online agents advertise a 99% of asking price achievement where Hometrack states that the the UK traditional agent average is just 97%. It might just be, mightn't it, that high street agents are no better or worse on such performance than online agents and vice versa? Perhaps an agent is an agent is an agent? I wager that's what the public think, anyhow. Which leaves the other differentiators of fee and, importantly, customer service. The latter which, in general, the typical online agent excels at. So perhaps the message here is not to fight the new guys. But to learn from them and to focus on making estate agency better for the consumer rather than merely looking at what is 'best', most profitable, or 'fair' for incumbent industry participants themselves? Yet that is all I seem to hear. Ultimately, what the consumer wants will ensure the winning approach. And to attempt to pull the wool over their eyes on the basis of 'pay more and you'll get more' is an outdated commercial philosophy that evaporated the second that Amazon; Expedia; eBay; South West Air; Spotify; et al took their first dollar.

From: Russell Quirk 16 April 2017 14:09 PM

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From: Russell Quirk 11 December 2015 08:56 AM

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From: Russell Quirk 17 November 2015 07:16 AM

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From: Russell Quirk 03 November 2015 08:21 AM

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