Dexters chairman Jeff Doble has taken a well-aimed swipe at his agency’s online estate agency competitors.
He says that many of the marketing claims of these online and hybrid firms, including Purplebricks, fail to inform potential vendors that significant chunks of the service offered by high street agents are missing from their service.
“If anyone asks us to sell their home then we’ll have a team of people in their area who will work their socks off for however long it takes to get that vendor the best deal,” he says.
“We can see the number of viewings requests for a property and where they come from – and only three out of every 20 are via the portals. The rest are created within the branch.”
He says that ‘passive marketing’ as many agents call online estate agency and hybrid models, only gets a certain response and although vendors can get lucky, they tend to attract chancers and tyre kickers.
“The skill of the traditional estate agent is to persuade people to look at properties they might not have otherwise considered, but might end up buying,” he says.
“It’s hard work getting the best buyer and best price – something the online agents struggle with.
“Whatever they try and tell potential vendors, they’re not providing the advice and hard work that a really good traditional agency team can deliver.
“If you want to access a passively-marketed service, then that’s fine, but vendors need to be told it’s a different animal to a well-executed high street sale.”
Doble also says the portals should stop allowing online-only agents, which he considers to be mere brokers, to list properties for sale.
“I’m constantly telling Miles Shipside at Rightmove to tackle these online ads, which are FSBO in everything but name.
“It’s like a trader selling underwear in the foyer of Marks and Spencer for free – M&S wouldn’t put up with it for long, but agents have.”
The full interview with Jeff Doble of Dexters will be published next week in The Negotiator magazine.