High Street, Call Centre & Hybrid – Costs and Values
Some local High Street Agents are calling themselves “Hybrid” Estate Agents….? Let me explain what is wrong with this statement.
There are various different types of Estate /Letting Agent the main being:
1 High Street Estate Agents i.e. they have offices on the high street, they get paid upon completion of a successful sale, accompany viewings and have local staff in offices available for you to call in and see for a face to face chat with people who are often local and know your area very well. Traditional High Street Agents often contribute, as we do, significant sums of money back into the LOCAL community via sponsorship, supporting local charities etc.
2 Call Centre/Online Estate Agents - you only deal with them over the phone or internet and you never meet one of their employees and you will often find that you only get hold of them when they are taking your credit card details over the phone for them to take your up front non refundable fee.
3 Hybrid Estate Agents - these are the ones who have no high street offices but you may meet one of their staff when you pay them the non-refundable up front fee to list your property and/or when you pay them to carry out viewings for you!!? (yes thats right they charge you to do viewings!?)
Some local Agents think that because they have decided to offer cheap fees, like the call centre agent, they call themselves hybrid, perhaps in a attempt to sound more modern or interesting, who knows. What they actually are is High Street Agents (by definition) offering low fees (that will go up in the future) to try and win a share of the market as they cannot compete on service or experience.
There is nothing wrong with any of the above, however you need to decide what you are. If you have a high street presence and employ local knowledgable staff who are available for your clients until 6pm most days and on the weekends, then there is a cost to this. But this higher cost WILL PROVIDE A BETTER SERVICE. These ASSETS to your business cost money, but the client will get a better experience, and often a better price when selling their property.
If a seller wants to try and save some money, aren't concerned about strangers turning up at your door unaccompanied, and you don't want to pay someone ON RESULTS then perhaps option 2 or 3 is for you - but be aware, due to house prices in this area the advertised savings of thousands of pounds IS FALSE. In the vast majority of the NP postal code area there are very few locations where the fees run into thousands and thousands of pounds so the advertised fee savings are basically untrue.
I will leave you with this cautionary tale I heard at a meeting towards the end of last year. An investor bought a semi detached house for approximately £200,000 from a High Street Estate Agent, a few months later the adjoining property came onto the market at a similar asking price to the previous property. It was with an Online Only Agent, the very same investor managed to buy the similar adjoining house for approximately £185,000 as the DIY sellers had no-one in their corner negotiating the best price!! The money the sellers thought they were saving COST them significantly more as they had no experience in negotiating after the survey was carried out. EVERY house sale is different for many different reasons and can't be factory farmed as some people will have you believe.
We would rather be seen as a Thoroughbred than a Hybrid (see what I did there!) offering a great service, remember don't think of the COST, think of the VALUE of a good service, as with many things in life the CHEAPEST QUOTE will often COST YOU THE MOST!!
If you would like to discuss fees, products and services please contact us, we are your LOCAL, MODERN HIGH STREET AGENT with TRADITIONAL values. We would love to help!