People over portals – Relationships built on trust
Helpful advice |
June 30, 2021 | Liz
The business of estate agency has changed dramatically over the past couple of decades as has the way that buyers find their next home. Since the introduction of property portals such as Rightmove and Zoopla, many buyers are able to view houses from the comfort of their own homes, looking through the photographs, virtual tours, floor plans and property details before they physically view properties.
For some estate agents, this has cut their workload considerably, they react to leads coming in for from the properties they have listed. Meaning they do not need to rely so heavily on building relationships, being property experts in their local area or knowing which buyers are looking for what type of home. This, in turn, means that they can handle more properties, cover larger areas and sell houses to buyers that come to them rather than having to actively market the properties to their database of buyers and the public in general (if you are paying the portals to do this, why do you need to do it as well?).
It sounds like a win, win, for everyone at first, until you realise that one of the key requirements for your estate agent has been lost along the way, and that is trust. Trust is not just a given, it’s earned, and it comes from building a relationship and understanding each other’s position and requirements. Here at Harrisons Homes, we have been on a mission to change people’s perception of estate agency by delivering and outstanding service and excellent results for both our vendors and our buyers. The problem has always been with the industry (and the public’s perception of estate agents) being so heavily reliant on the portals it’s hard to demonstrate how different we are unless you have used our services already.
We have always believed that estate agency will change, we have always believed there will be less reliance on portals and the personal service will become more important. With the current boom in the housing market, we believe that change is coming soon.
Such is the demand for property buyers are finding that when they contact estate agents to view properties they have seen online they have either sold already or there are lots of other people already booked in for viewings. This puts potential buyers under pressure to put in an offer and, as we are finding at the moment, in many cases offers end up becoming a bidding frenzy and houses are selling well in excess of the asking price. This may sound like a great result for both the agent and the vendor (after all an agent’s main role is to get the best price for their client – and the higher the sale price the higher their fee for commission based agents), this isn’t always what the vendor wants.
Having tens of dozens of viewings can be quite stressful, especially for busy families that are still trying to work from home. Having lots of offers can be quite stressful too, do you hold out for the highest offer? or do you go with someone chain free? Do you trust your agent to give you the best impartial advice? Or are you thinking they are just interested in their fee?
And after the offer is accepted, the conveyancing process can be very stressful too and this is where many sales collapse, how do you prevent this happening? Will your agent work to push the sale over the line or will you be passed onto someone else to progress your sale?
We believe that moving can be a stressful time, but it doesn’t have to be. We spend time listening and getting to know our vendors and potential buyers, we build relationships and understand the individual requirements of each buyer and seller. We know that some people want the most people through the door and viewing their property and want the best achievable price. We also know that some people want the right buyer with the least hassle possible. We also know that for many people they do not know the ins and outs of property transactions and they will want to be informed of what we are doing, that we are here to answer questions and give advice when needed.
Our clients trust that we are doing our best to drive their sale forward with as little stress as possible, this isn’t because we are experts in estate agency, this is because we have taken the time to get to know them, build a relationship and proven they can put their trust in us.
This is why we are giving our clients a choice, they can have their property listed on the portals and hope for multiple viewings and offers. Or they can trust in us to understand which buyers would be interested in their home and only show it to motivated and buyers that are in a position to (and likely) to proceed, saving them time and hassle in respect of viewings and getting realistic offers. In this way 23% of all our sales this year have been agreed, and that’s without listing them online.
We really believe that we have achieved such fantastic results because of the relationships we have built with our clients and their trust in us that we will find the right buyer for their property.
We recently had an excellent result that highlights the requirements of the vendors and how we were able to deliver just the result they were looking for. Click here for more.