As online estate agents, we are often accused of lacking local knowledge in the areas that we operate. It’s a fair comment and one we have been spending a lot of time working on from our side. Should we employ local experts to patrol areas like attack dogs let off their leash? If we were to do this, what would we consider local?
At the recent #PropTech event there was a discussion about what is "local" when people talk about local knowledge. One hybrid agency claimed that as long as you lived within 15 miles you could be considered local as that is what local has been defined as. For us that seems incredible when you consider that 15 miles can take us from our office in West London to Heathrow, Leatherhead, Barking, Barnet and Chislehurst or anywhere in between.
So with that option exposed as impractical we have turned to technology and are extremely proud to announce our partnership with Property Detective – a fantastic team who bring a steely determination to the problem of local knowledge. They are the market leaders in local area research and the collaboration will allow our vendors and buyers to alleviate any doubts before they start engaging solicitors.
A Property Detective report will tell you everything you need to know about any street in the country. From schools, crime rates, demographics, flight paths, broadband speeds and everything in between. These 40+ page reports have far more detail than any local agent could possibly provide and are presented in a format that makes them easy to understand and engaging to read.
Property Detective adds layers of information for buyers and vendors to make them better informed and to allow them to come to better and more confident decisions about where to live. Removing doubt and making the process more transparent can only help to achieve a reduction in drop out rates between an offer being accepted and keys changing hands.
Using Property Detective our valuation team will be able to really get under the skin of an area and determine street by street values. With so much information now so readily available the world is becoming a smaller and smaller place and leaving the high street agents alone in their refusal to accept the march of progress.
Doubt, confusion, fear, lack of knowledge – these are the drivers that allow traditional estate agents to charge their high fees as they befuddle their customers. Technology and companies like Property Detective are bringing transparency and opening up information to be readily accessible for all and without needing to take that leap of faith that your estate agent is being honest with you.
Online estate agents are leading the charge for transparency and higher standards within this unregulated industry. It is why we are proud to be the only MRICS (Member of Royal Institute of Charter Surveyors) company and why every one of our customer facing staff is either NAEA (National Association of Estate Agents) qualified or taking their exams at present - there can be no excuses when dealing with people’s homes.