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The biggest challenge facing estate agents today…

11 June 2018 4935 Views
The biggest challenge facing estate agents today…

What is the biggest challenge in estate agency today? At the risk of sounding flippant, selling houses! It’s a unique industry in many ways, so volatile to the whims of government policy. Not many sectors could see one of their core markets virtually wiped out overnight as we have seen with the buy-to-let and investment market following the implementation of the higher levy on Stamp Duty for second homes.

There are just so many barriers to the core objective.

From a business point of view there are more estate agents now than during the boom years in the early 2000s and there is less fluidity of housing stock. The statistics are stark. The average home owner now moves every c.16 years, up from 7 not so long ago. Just 4.5% of the UK’s housing stock changed hands last year.

There’s a generation of young people who largely can’t afford to get on the housing ladder and the aspirational “second-steppers” market has fallen through the floor as people opt to extend/do home improvements/go on holiday/buy a new car rather than stretch themselves and go for a bigger home because of the strain it puts on finances.

More competition for fewer listings simply means fewer houses for the average estate agent to sell.

But before it’s all doom and gloom, as with any industry, those that set themselves apart will win out.

Whatever you think of the model introduced by the like of Purple Bricks to start charging up front, it’s different and has won them a lot of new business.

One agent told me he decided to put all the listings in his shop window upside down for the day… just to see what reaction he would get. Even if he has won one new listing from that, it would have been worth the effort.

One agent gathered some online momentum with a Facebook Christmas Advent calendar with a little gift for all their current listings in the run up to Christmas

Review sites offer agents an unprecedented opportunity to back up their claims that they are the best in the area, with genuine customer reviews and ratings to boast.

Don’t just do the same as everyone else. Be bold, be different. Test and measure to understand more about what works for your business, your demographic, your location.  

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