“A person whose job involves selling and renting out buildings and land for clients.”
Or from University Job Website Prospects.ac.uk:
“Estate agents sell or let residential or commercial properties, businesses or land on behalf of their clients. They look at the property's condition and compare it with others in the area to value it and get the best price for the client. They also market the property and negotiate on deals.”
Really though, it’s 2016, what does a 2016 estate agent look like and what do they do. Or cutting right through it all, what is an estate agent? Or what are online estate agents? Are they the same? Are they different?
An estate agent’s job in my opinion is become the home selling arm of their client. To put the client at the heart of what they are doing. To try and gain a good understanding of their client and then deliver the service that they want and the results that they want. Whether that is selling a house quickly, or selling it for the highest value or selling it for a combination of the two. Every house sale is different, every client is different and so the service provided for every house sale has to be different.
At the core though, it is about understanding clients and then providing them with good advice tailored for their particular situation before ultimately selling their house in a timeline they are happy with and at the maximum price possible.
With all the technology at our disposal providing this tailored advice is now much easier and allows good estate agents to provide the very best advice using real information taken from various sources. We can see how many potentially buyers are searching for similar properties per week, per month, per year. We can observe how long a property has been on the market at its price. We can monitor the demographics of an area to suggest the likeliest target market for a property.
High Street Estate Agents in 2000 were worth the money but now…
All of the above has really only existed in the last five years. Traditional agents used to know all of this information themselves and used to deserve their commission as they had this valuable information all to themselves. Unfortunately for them this data is now widely available, almost free and means you don’t need to have lived in an area for twenty years to know the local area. With our partners Property Detective we can tell you how many planes will fly over head per day, locations of any local noise nuisances, how good the local schools are, your estimated commute to work, how long the butcher has been in operation etc etc
Technology in many ways has made life easier or more convenient and we think it’s about time that estate agency wakes up to that fact. An estate agent is nothing to do with being on the high street, it’s nothing to do with National Association of Estate Agent qualifications (although every one of our staff does have those) it’s about understanding a client and providing a service.
Remember a time when holidays were booked through the high street? Remember when renewing insurance used to entail calling up all the relevant insurers for quotes? Remember when people used to pay thousands to high street estate agents? Thankfully there is another way.