A survey compiled by ValPal, an online valuation tool, has revealed the surprising statistic that just one in nine vendors believe that face-to-face contact with an estate agent is essential in securing a sale for their property.
The survey involved asking over 1000 people who were looking to sell their homes about their expectations of the sales process. When asked about the role of the estate agent, just 11% identified personal contact and face-to-face meetings as a key element in the process.
Other results from the survey revealed that:
- 75% looked online before speaking to an agent
- 60% chose an estate agent or were influenced in their decision by the quality of the agent’s website
- 31% reported being unimpressed by the quality of an agency’s website
Important lessons for agencies
For estate agents to win their share of new business, this survey suggests that they need to be working harder – on both their websites and their customer service. As ValPal director Craig Vile puts it:
“Websites are an agent’s shop window 24/7 and should capture interest as well as provide the information your customer is looking for”
“If your website is not engaging or easy to navigate, consumers are the click of a mouse away to finding a competitor and when 75 per cent of people are online before even speaking to anyone, this is an all-important market”
A proactive approach and dedication to great customer service also further personal contact and could lead to a boost in personal recommendations.
A separate survey, which analysed data gathered by the online agent eMoov, found that nearly 80% of sellers who signed up with a particular online estate agent looked the firm up on a review site first. A third cited word of mouth when asked how they had heard about the company, while 62% of people said they trust friends’ recommendations when it comes to high value purchase decisions.