The Internet & Estate Agents

Many estate agents will remember the pre-internet era when selling a house involved sticking a three inch photograph onto a type written page, while describing the living room as ‘25’ x 13’, twin aspect, triple power points, double radiator.’

 

Now, it’s all about using phrases like ‘a slice of English history’ and ‘oozing charm and character’ to ensure our properties stand out from the hundreds fighting for an increased click-through rate online.

 

As estate agents, we haven’t been trained in marketing, copy writing or photography – it’s something we’ve had to learn on the job, motivated by the urgency to have our properties seen online and to inspire people to click onto our client’s home.

 

Before the internet was just a glint in Tim Berners-Lee’s eye, marketing a property and your agency involved an advert in the local paper, or a conversation at the nineteenth hole – life was simple. Nowadays marketing has so many different channels; it’s not just social media but website conversion, emails, blogging and more.

 

We need to remember that things are never going to go back to the way they were. Most agents barely use print advertising at all now. And, although direct mail is still effective response rates have not been above 1% for some years, making it expensive and time-consuming.

 

On top of that, when you get the instruction, vendors usually won’t accept the same property details that five years ago would have been the ‘bee’s knees’.  Now, because of the age we are in, they prefer to have glossy, multi-page, designed ‘brochures’ – simply put, something that makes them go wow.

 

What most of us still possess, is the ability to talk to people, understand their needs and concerns and provide the best solutions for them.

 

Many of us have chosen this profession because we want to help people through an experience that can be one of the most stressful events in their life.

 

As estate agents, not only do we enjoy and value being part of the community but we’re fascinated by human nature and have a detailed knowledge of every property transaction in our area since we first uttered the phrase ‘perfect for a first time buyer’.

 

The agent that utilises their pre-existing skills, harnessing them alongside the marketing power of the internet will have an unbeatable recipe for success.

Renting or buying – which do you choose?

There’s always a big debate about which is better – renting or buying and, really when it comes down to the final decision, it’s about personal preference and ultimately what you can afford.

 

A big chuck of your monthly mortgage payments are to cover the interest on the loan itself, which is why it takes a long time to pay off – meaning most people tend to stay in the same house for a number of years. Renting, on the other hand, does give you the extra flexibility if your circumstances were to change and you needed to move.

 

If you have a specific area in mind, then buying a home there may be unaffordable at the present time – so renting may make more sense. Although, paying rent every month doesn’t give you anything back for your investment but if it works for you, then that’s the main thing.

 

However, depending on where you want to live monthly mortgage payments could be cheaper than rent costs in the same area.

 

Over the past few years, house prices and average rent costs have both risen significantly while the cost of mortgages has fallen. The best thing to do would be look at the costs for both options, and then decide what is best for you.