Friday, 1 April 2016

The London Connection

At Hus, we set out to be a modern, different type of agency. From the start, we wanted to provide something a bit different, but also to present properties in their best light and to help customers achieve the price they wanted.

We could see that most people were using one of the portals, say Zoopla or RightMove, to do their property research, especially if they were looking from out of county. So we paid particular attention to getting our website right and making sure our listings could be easily found on the portals.

A London office?
But we don’t have a London office and sometimes we are asked why not, particularly when there are some other local agents who do. The truth as we see it is that the modern estate agency has changed things for everyone and the internet has made this possible.

Technology is enabling agents to deliver meaningful information regardless of location.
In the past customers needed an office in London because they wanted a real clue of what to find after an 8-hour drive! So the best way to gather information was for a local agent in London to make a connection to their local West Country branch.

The traditionalist agents that persist with this old fashioned London connection approach still have a strong presence in the west country. But do they need it? Why would someone who sold a house in Chelsea get on a tube to Knightsbridge and ask someone about buying a house in Cornwall?

Changing market
The market is changing and agents need to change along with it.  Elaborate details might impress, but we find our discerning buyers are short on time and appreciate our clear website, and concise listings that are clear and easy to navigate.

Having a link with a London estate agent is exhausted now because the searches that come through organically and online are driven by images and short, succinct information. So the need for agents to understand this technology and how it works is key to success.

An interesting take on it is a fact that we do not have a London branch but we sell mid-range houses and 63% of those mid-range properties sold to out of county buyers. These are not second home purchases it is migration and people are doing serious research before they buy.

So now why would an agency put money into branches scattered around the country, when the money could be better spent SEO and all the things that keep your agency and the properties you sell at the top of search engines?