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Canvassing ‘does not work as well as it used to’ for agents claims expert

Colin Bradshaw says his firm TwentyCi has crunched the data to see where agents get the majority of their leads, with surprising results.

Nigel Lewis


Only six per cent of sales instructions come from vendors who are switching from one agency to another, down from 9.1% two years ago, new research has revealed.

Research firm TwencyCi’s MD Colin Bradshaw (pictured) reveals that 86% of instruction come from vendors who are fresh to the market, and that 70% of these were people who had not moved home for at least five years.

The remaining 8% of instructions are vendors who sell their home via a multi-agency arrangement.

TwencyCi’s research also reveals that conversion ratios – i.e. how many go on to sell – for both agent switchers and multi-agency deals are significantly lower than for other types.

After looking at the data, Bradshaw’s advice to agents is that if you are an agent who is struggling for new instructions then at least 86% of your budget for marketing should be directed towards people who are ‘off-market’ and not ‘on market’ – i.e. canvassing letters aren’t the best source of new instructions.


“There is a myriad of tools out there that enable estate agents to identify and communicate with people who already have their house on the market with another agent,” says Bradshaw.

“But let’s face it, you are only ever going to get 13% of all your instructions from this method … so you probably need [canvassing] like a hole in the head.

“Even in the best year – 2019 – agents only obtained 9.1% of all instructions by getting the person to switch from another agent.

“On market targeting might work a bit, but best case, you will get 10% of your business from it and it certainly does not work as well now as it used to.”

February 28, 2022

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