How Estate Agency has changed over the years
These days properties are on the market within a couple of days and can be seen by anyone with internet access, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day.
It wasn’t always thus.
Just 20 years ago photo’s had to be developed, collected and glued to the brochure and the only way you could see lots of properties in one go was to buy the newspaper or look in an agents window. Brochures were typed on typewriters and potential buyers were matched to properties by sifting through a box of applicant cards.
All of a sudden we had computers in the office, digital cameras and a wierd new service called the internet.
Rightmove was launched not long after and within a few months the industry was transformed. Photo’s were ready instantly, brochures were available the following day and people could email their enquiries from websites that showed thousands of properties from hundreds of estate agents.
Rightmove, the granddad of property portals, grew rapidly becoming the largest site of it’s kind within a very short space of time – and remains the number one site to this day.
This revolutionized the way properties were searched for and viewed with floor plans, virtual tours and even videos being available to the would be buyer. People were now able to gather so much information on a home they were interested in that they now only needed view houses that already ticked a lot of the boxes, saving time and hassle for themselves and homeowners alike.
In theory buyers no longer need to visit an Estate Agents office at all.
I personally beleive that social media will be the next major influence on Estate Agency. In general this has been something most Estate Agents have been slow to pick up on and the majority of those that do use it simply as another method of advertising properties, but really they’re missing the point.
Social media is a means of engaging and communicating with your customers and potential customers and is, in a way kind of going ‘old school’. It’s helping to bring a personal touch back to the industry, it allows Agents to break down some barriers and build relationships – which is beneficial to all parties as well as the profit/loss.