Failure to innovate: Why traditional estate agencies are dying
For centuries, estate agencies have existed in one form or another – but in an increasingly digital world, more and more house selling professionals are finding themselves superfluous to requirements in the housing market.
And it’s not just a failure to innovate that is forcing the demise of these once-immoveable industry powerhouses, as government policies, higher taxes and bans on lettings fees have slowly come into force. So why are estate agencies failing whereas online portals are booming?
“They can’t rely on the old model,” says Ishaan Malhi, founder and chief executive of award-winning online mortgage broker Trussle.
“The average age of someone operating in the property sector is typically older, and I feel like they have defended themselves with traditional ways of doing things as a reason for not innovating.”
Despite suffering huge losses in terms of share prices, many larger estate agencies such as Foxtons and Countrywide – who both suffered drops of around 50% over the last year – have the facilities and financial backing to move into the digital world and remodel their businesses. For the little guy on the high street, however, options are a lot more limited.
Many directors and owners of smaller agencies are close to retirement age, and numerous surveys have found that they lack the interest in adopting new technologies – mainly due to the need for further training.
This new technology, known as ‘Proptech’, is being used by a rising number of investors, customers and house selling experts to cover the administrative and clerical areas of the house-buying process, ensuring lower overheads and allowing for a smaller workforce in order to maintain a base level of face-to-face interactions for clients – a method that is currently undercutting many high-street agency names in terms of service fees.
For many smaller estate agents, the writing is sadly already on the wall. As larger companies invest in tech start-ups that hope to revolutionise the industry, smaller firms just cannot compete. So while this is bad news for long-term industry professionals, it is ultimately great news for sellers and buyers alike – although it does not necessarily ensure a fast house sale.
Luckily, sell house fast companies will offer to buy any house for cash in order for a house sale to be processed fast and efficiently without the fees generally associated with traditional agencies.
Tired of waiting for your house to sell? Why not ask National Homebuyers for advice, as we guarantee to buy any home. Call 08000 443 911 or request a call back to find out how much you could get for your property.