A new survey recently commissioned by Winkworth* suggests that there is still real value in estate agents having a high street presence.
The survey of over 1,000 people who have either bought or sold a house revealed that more than half (56%) said they preferred to communicate with their estate agent face-to-face. Other methods of communication were much less popular, with 16% preferring to communicate over the phone, 15% via email, 5% via online chat, 2% via personal app/dashboard and 2% via text.
Dominic Agace, CEO of Winkworth, comments: “This survey demonstrates that having a physical office is clearly a big draw for clients when choosing an estate agent. We aren’t surprised by this, as buying or selling a property is one of the biggest transactions somebody will make and it’s reassuring to be able to pop into an estate agent’s office whenever we need to talk through things.
“The respondents also said that our offices are the main way they have come into contact with the Winkworth brand and, as an estate agency that’s committed to providing our clients with a strong network of high street offices, that’s really positive for us.”
Broken down by age group, the results seem to reflect generational differences, with the highest proportion of votes for using a personal app/dashboard coming from 16-24 year olds (10%). 35-44s gave the highest proportion of responses to using online chat (9.4%), and 35-44s and 45-54s had the highest proportion of votes for text communication, albeit at just 3.1% and 3.2%.
Dominic continues: “This goes to show the importance of adapting to changing attitudes and offering a flexible service where clients can contact their agent in a way that suits them. It’s clear from this feedback that people’s preferences stem from lifestyle and familiarity with certain technologies, so it’ll be interesting to see how communication evolves when the younger generations start to join the property ladder in years to come.
“At Winkworth, we’re focused on both building our high street presence and evolving our digital offering. We launched our ‘Sellers Portal’ earlier this year which has already received some really positive feedback from clients. However, we are clear that this is an additional aspect of the full service that we offer, not a replacement for it. For us, it’s about providing a welcoming setting for clients to chat with us whenever they need to, while developing and embracing new ways of communicating with our clients and facilitating their transactions.”
*Source: survey carried out in June 2018 by Censuswide on 1,022 respondents who have either bought or sold a house