Why we will never offer an online Estate Agent option

Why we will never offer an online Estate Agent option

Today we were approached by yet another company offering us the chance to “exclusively” offer an online option to our services in the Faversham area.  This service was pitched to sell as an additional service for “tech savvy” vendors, with the option to convert to our traditional no sell, no fee, service at any time in the future (minus upfront fee). It sounds in theory a good idea, but we wont be taking this service up. Any here’s why:

1. Be One Thing or Another

The online “fixed fee” estate agency model versus the traditional “no sale, no fee” debate is one that is set to rumble on for a while.  Many Estate Agents will consider offering both services but the brave ones will nail their colours to the mast and say “this is who we are and we are proud of it”

We are proud to say, we will only ever offer a no sale, no fee service.

2. The Current Online Model Is Struggling

With the introduction of online, fixed fee agents there was a big shake up in the estate agency industry.  Several of the large corporates rushed to replicate this model only to find it wasn’t financially viable and abandon it within just a few months.  

Even Sarah Beaney’s online company Tepilo have recently launched a “no sale, no fee” option along with many of the other online agents

3. Vendors don’t save money

At first glance it would appear they do, but you need to look deeper before you sign up with any fixed fee agent.  As standard you are generally paying around £1,000 to list your home on the portals such as Right Move and Zoopla, and to get a board installed. That’s it. Viewings, professional photography, negotiations and sales progression are all “extras”.

Basically that’s around £1000 for listing on a website and a sale board, that doesn’t seem like such a good deal as there is no incentive to sell your property as you have already paid.

4. Rightmove isn’t the only way to sell a house

It would be naive to say houses don’t sell via Rightmove, but there are many other ways to attract buyers.  Firstly, when a property is listed on Right Move it is just one of tens (or maybe hundreds) of properties listed in a similar criteria.  A home has to really stand out.  There is only one way to do this, and that is quality photography.  As buyers scroll through dozens of properties a professional image will stand out giving the property a much higher click through rate (where buyers view the full property details and going on to book a viewing)

5. We Proactively Market

There are other ways to sell a property, these often involve a more proactive approach which probably wouldn’t be included as part of an online package.  Proactive marketing includes ringing out with the property details to everyone applicable in the estate agency’s database before the property goes live. 

There is also the small matter of social media, this is often overlooked by estate agents as it can be very labour intensive, but they are missing a trick.  Houses can be bought or sold via social media, and houses that have benefitted from social media marketing both in terms of interest and viewings.

6. Our Vendors are already “tech savvy”

We are struggling with this “tech savvy” term, there is nothing technical about paying a fee upfront.  The term should perhaps be “fee sensitive”? Saxon Shore offer the very latest in technical innovation and marketing approaches as standard in our fees.  We offer professional photography, video tours, distinctive artist designed For Sale boards, social media marketing and for the really technically savvy we also offer the option of a new online auction method.

All of this, plus a personalised one-to-one service.

7. Service Matters

We strive to keep our customer service outstanding. The majority of our business comes from recommendations, if we weren’t top of our game in terms of customer service the business wouldn’t come.

Though we take pride in offering an outstanding service the motivation of only getting paid once you have completed the job you agreed to do does keep you focused.

Every offer we have is driven through by us personally, we have years of expertise in negotiating sales, we can draw on this to navigate the property buying process. It’s at this stage that we really earn our money, very few house sales/purchases are straight forward, you need some expert advice to keep things on track.

We believe that we offer really good value for our fees, and many others agree, we have recently been awarded the title of Best Estate Agent In Faversham 2018 by the British Property Awards and our 5 Star reviews show that our customers are more than happy with the value they got for money.