A pushback against technology among estate agents is under way as companies seek to get back to traditional face-to-face customer service and local networking, it has been claimed.
Business to business trading platform Lonres founders William Carrington and Anthony Payne have told The Negotiator that many estate agents who embraced technology during the noughties are now realising that tech has been killing off traditional estate agency skills and making agents lazy.
“We do see agents talking to one another again instead of texting or emailing each other across a room, but what we’d really like to see is agents relaying on tech less,” says Payne.
The duo say the industry, particularly in prime central London, needs to return to the days when estate agents knew their patch inside out, had local contacts within the industry and met their clients face-to-face and listened to what they needed.
“I think there are a lot of companies both large and small who have over embraced technology and it’s cost them instructions so they’ve had to row back and reintroduce some experience into the market place and retrain staff,” says Carrington.
Payne says that when he was learning his trade with leading estate agent Gary Hershall, he was told to ‘really listen’ to what buyers were saying.
“Often they won’t tell you directly what they want; you’ve got to show them the properties to get to know them and then match their real desires with the properties available,” he says.
Rightmove or Zoopla
“The problem with the internet is that the ability of an agent to do that is taken away because buyers think they can just look on Rightmove or Zoopla and think they know what they want and need.
“So I think we will go back to a more traditional approach because there is a need for it – an estate agent has to have a point of difference.
“If you are just a call taker and a door opener then you might as well go and work with Purplebricks. A good agent will, yes, sell your home but also offer a service to the buyer and therefore have lists of people who want to buy properties.
“I think agents have to relearn how to cooperate and network in order to get properties sold. It’s an art which has gone.
“The problem with technology is that it makes you lazy – because you don’t have to put the effort in – but property is something special and needs effort.”