Fri 24 Aug 2018 View all news articles

People still like to meet estate agents face to face in the UK, survey suggests

More than half of consumers in the UK prefer to communicate with estate agents face to face, indicating that having a physical presence on the High Street is still important despite the rise in use of technology.

The survey of buyers and sellers found that 56% said they preferred to communicate with their estate agent in person with16% preferring to communicate over the phone, 15% via email, 5% via online chat, 2% via personal apps and 2% via text.

According to Dominic Agace, chief executive officer of Winkworth, which carried out the survey says it demonstrates that having a physical office is clearly a big draw for clients when choosing an estate agent.

‘We aren’t surprised by this, as buying or selling a property is one of the biggest transactions somebody will make and it’s reassuring to be able to pop into an estate agent’s office whenever we need to talk through things,’ he added.

However, the results seem to reflect generational differences, with the highest proportion of votes for using a personal app/dashboard coming from 16 to 24 year olds at 10%. Those aged 35 to 44 gave the highest proportion of responses to using online chat at 9.4%.

And 35 to 44 year olds along with 45 to 54 year olds had the highest proportion of votes for text communication, at 3.1% and 3.2% respectively.

‘This goes to show the importance of adapting to changing attitudes and offering a flexible service where clients can contact their agent in a way that suits them. It’s clear from this feedback that people’s preferences stem from lifestyle and familiarity with certain technologies,’ Agace pointed out.

‘It will be interesting to see how communication evolves when the younger generations start to join the property ladder in years to come,’ he added.

But he also pointed out that agents with offices must not neglect their online and digital presence. ‘At Winkworth, we’re focused on both building our High Street presence and evolving our digital offering,’ he explained.

The firm launched its Sellers Portal earlier this year which has already received positive feedback from clients.’ However, we are clear that this is an additional aspect of the full service that we offer, not a replacement for it. For us, it’s about providing a welcoming setting for clients to chat with us whenever they need to, while developing and embracing new ways of communicating with our clients and facilitating their transactions,’ Agace said.

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Source: Property Wire

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