Why the perception of online estate agents is changing

Why the perception of online estate agents is changing

Being an online estate agency ourselves, here at Tepilo we've been pretty confident in this method of selling property for a while now.

So, too, have our clients.


What's more, a study into consumer preferences and expectations recently released shows that more members of the public are coming around to the idea of selling their home 'online'.


What is an online estate agent?

Well, there are various different models and types of online estate agency. But in its simplest form, online agency refers to a firm which doesn't have the overheads associated with having a high street premises, operates on a national scale and charges sellers up front, rather than a commission fee charged as a percentage of the sale.


A show of confidence in online estate agents

The study we referred to earlier, carried out by netanagent.com, surveyed 1,000 homeowners to find out their perceptions and requirements of estate agents.


It found that 85% of those surveyed said they would be willing to consider using the services of an online estate agent, with 96% of participants confirming that they would like to be able to compare all estate agents' fees online.


These findings are backed up by some Rightmove data that was revealed at the FUTURE: PropTech conference in May. The property website determined that the market share of national online estate agents has increased from 2.5% to 5% since 2014.


It also claimed that 31% of thousands of homeowners it surveyed would be prepared to use an online agency, with 5% saying they already have.


What do sellers expect from their estate agent?

netanagent.com's study also looked into consumers' expectations when it comes to property transactions.  


A quarter of participants said they'd expect to pay between 0.5% and 1% of their sale fee to their estate agent when selling a property. From this fee, respondents expected agents to provide:


- Photography (52%)

- Listing on property portals like Rightmove (49%)

- Support and guidance from valuation to completion (38%)

- Running of open days (10%)

- Virtual tours (10%)

- Video marketing services (6%)


A bright and digital future

The growth of confidence in online estate agents reflects some consumers' wish to carry out the majority of the sales process over the internet, during all hours of the day.


The netanagent study found that 38% of respondents commonly conduct property and estate agency research between 6pm and 9pm, a time when the majority of traditional firms are closed.


Many online estate agents offer some form of 24/7 service, something which is clearly becoming more appealing to consumers.


There is also, perhaps, a proportion of consumers who have become disillusioned with the traditional sales process and intrigued by what online estate agents have to offer.


Only 18% of homeowners surveyed said they considered estate agents to be 'helpful', and only 20% considered them to be 'knowledgeable'.


Meanwhile, 35% said they think estate agents are 'pushy' and 30% said they thought they represented 'poor value for money'.


At a time when technology is revolutionising many industries, it seems that the tide is starting to turn when it comes to estate agency.


There's a growing number of property sellers who have worked with online estate agents in a bid to save money and streamline the selling process, could you be next?