The Acaboom survey of 500 UK residents and homeowners gives a snapshot into the perception of estate agents from vendors themselves, and clear opportunities to advance over the competition. Here are some of the key takeaways.
What is the most important factor when choosing an estate agent?
40% look for professionalism, 37% look for local knowledge and 13% want agents to be ‘tech savvy’. But that’s not the whole story.
It’s not just about a sharp suit – it’s about rich data. The study showed that 52% of vendors felt the agent didn’t understand the local property market and 60% felt they lacked general expertise. Agents must demonstrate they are more professional than their competitors by sharing professional, national and local knowledge with tech-savvy delivery.
- Are you giving local market trends?
- Are you giving an average price per square foot?
- Do you have details of planning permission on the road?
- What about local vs National trends for their property type?
- How are you delivering this information?
- Are you staying on top of news stories and happenings in property, finance and business?
- Are you discovering more about your vendor before you attend a valuation?
- Are you aware of the area’s political leanings?
What makes vendors choose an agent with a higher fee %?
Just 17% of people would choose the agent with the cheapest fees. So what are they looking for when they receive a valuation?
87% said they look for data and a fee breakdown and 80% of homeowners want an agent to demonstrate the ability to sell their property with a full marketing strategy or proposal. 56% expected their valuation given to be accompanied by property industry data and 39% wanted to see comparable properties to be presented.
The homeowner does not start out worried about fees and is simply looking to identify the agent that will meet their needs. If no one agent has stood out, it comes down to cost.
This is about delivery. The survey tells us again, vendors aren’t interested in a plan email or letter with a cost. They want to get more information and justify their decision. They also want information they can’t get anywhere else.
- Sending visual justification for the fee?
- Seeming impartial – and giving useful information?
- Giving an ‘instruct now’ message, or a thoughtfully considered strategy?
- Showcasing your awards, testimonials and reviews?
- Giving data to show your success rates?
How many people do they discuss a valuation with?
40% speak to 1 – 2 others, 60% to 3 or 4 others
It’s standard practice to try and ensure both/all decision-makers are present for the market appraisal but it’s simply not always possible to achieve. Those not present will have to rely on being provided with the information each valuer conveyed during their market appraisal. Needless to say, this is likely to be recommended asking price and fees.
- Leaving the person you meet with all the information?
- Following up regularly?
- Tracking their engagement with your post appraisal marketing?
- Relying on a ‘call back’ on chance to reach them?
- Believing that they will impart your USP’s back to other parties?
- Confident that they aren’t just comparing on price?
- Considering how they can ask more questions?
What makes vendors want to sell when not actively on the market?
The survey indicates that seeing comparable properties even when not actively on the market would convince 47% to actively sell, and would make 36% consider selling.
It is critical that agents are regularly nurturing their database and sending comparable properties – even to vendor’s they have marked as ‘uninterested’. Comparables are of interest to nearly all the respondents, and it seems that agents who struggle for communication points should absolutely be sharing relevant properties.
- How often do you nurture your database?
- Are you tracking engagement here or just open rates?
- What is your process for following up with parties who have clicked or shown an interest?
- How will the change to open rate tracking from Apple Mail affect your agency?