‘Online-only estate agents have failed to disrupt the property industry’

19th August 2019

‘Online-only estate agents have failed to disrupt the property industry’

But their technology and approach to customer service have changed vendor perceptions for good and agents must adapt, says senior industry figure Richard Rawlings.

Nigel Lewis
19th August 2019 

Online-only estate agents have largely failed in their bid to disrupt the property industry but have radically changed what the public now expect of estate agents.

This claim is made by high-profile industry training guru Richard Rawlings, who says online agents have failed to flourish in the increasingly tough property market because their models are designed to work well in high turnover, ‘hot’ markets where homes are easier to sell.

He also claims that agents who have dropped their fees in a bid to compete with online agents have ended up offering lower standards instead, and that those agents which concentrate on better service have the keys to success.

“Vendors have decided that paying an agent is well worth while, but they want a great service for that money. It was never actually about price,” Rawlings has told The Negotiator.

“In terms of on-line benefits, there is a perception that the public likes to be in control, as they are with their online shopping and social media. “But I would argue that this is not necessarily the case. They do like to be connected. Control is not so good once you realise how little you know… that’s why people go back to travel agents when trying to book inter-connecting flights and hotels.

“They want to pay someone else to take all the hassle and responsibility away from them.”

He also claims that estate agents in the past have not been good enough at telling the public about their knowledge, skills and experience and why they are worth the fees they charge.

Richard Rawlings is about to set out on a 17-venue roadshow around the UK exploring these and other issues.