Online Letting Agents: Are They Performing As They Should?
It would be fair to say that online agents have changed the property and lettings market in recent years. The emergence of online property portals has had a significant impact on the market, providing people with a whole new way to look for property. It is believed that over 85% of potential buyers look for property online first, which means that being online is an integral part of the buying and selling process.
However, online estate agents have benefitted because they mainly offer a lower cost experience. These agents have fewer overheads and by offering a fixed-range of services, they can cut costs while still helping clients. For some people looking to buy or sell property, a fixed fee service is perfect, but it is important that clients understand what they get from an online estate agent. Not all online estate agents are the same and not all online estate agents provide the same level of services. A low cost doesn’t necessarily mean value for money, and therefore, many people decide that online estate or online letting agents are not the professional they should be dealing with.
What do people expect from an online agent?
As long as people take the time to review agents, know what they will get from them and then decide if they want to use their services, there shouldn’t be a problem. However, a recent story suggests that not all online agents are offering the service that they claim, and this means people looking for services in the lettings and property market may think twice before opting for the cheapest option.
Purplebricks is a name that many people will recognise as the company has spent a lot of money on advertising in recent times. Promising to save people money is always going to be a good way to grab attention and a fixed fee service will appeal to many people. However, a report by Anthony Codling and Robert May suggests that Purplebricks have been inflating their figures with respect to selling property for tenants. The company claims that they manage to sell 88% of the properties that they list while a study suggested that the figure was 51.6%. With respect to the market, selling 51.6% of homes in a ten-month period is standard for the market, but when a company claims that they are performing so much better than the market average, people will be upset when they hear that this isn’t true.
People need to know what they will get from an online agent
Purplebricks have countered against these allegations, and the claims that their share prices are overpriced, but for now many people will review the company in closer detail. This is no bad thing as it can be easy for companies to create a positive image online, even if the truth is not quite as impressive.
If you are confident about the services provided by an online letting agent, they may be ideal for you. However, when it comes to confidence, peace of mind and results, there is a lot to be said for trusting a letting agent with considerable experience and a strong local reputation. At Villabela, we are pleased to say that we have helped many Landlords and tenants, and we are well-known in the north east. If you can’t be confident about the services provided by an online letting agent, come and speak to an agent you can trust.
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