Industry veteran Bob Scarff has warned that agents must offer a range of services.
Scarff, who believes that within the next five years 25% of all house sales will be by vendors opting for some form of self-service, said that agents of all sizes “have big decisions to make about where they’ll stand in the new world.
“An agent deciding to offer only full-service will be cutting themselves off from 25% of the market.
“An agent deciding to offer only self-service will be cutting themselves off from 75%. Big decisions!”
Scarff, who formerly ran estate agency services at Countrywide, said that there is a lot of muddled thinking in the market, with some agents refusing to believe there has been a permanent shift in vendor and landlord expectations.
Other agents recognise the need to change but cannot make a decision as to how to.
The biggest group, said Scarff, do see the need to change, and have a clear plan of action: they will have one foot in the full service camp and the other in self-service.
The question for them is whether the self-service proposition is offered under the same brand as the full-service one.
According to Scarff, agents like Countrywide have decided it is possible to offer both under the same brand and with the same people.
“I see the apparent economic attractions to this approach, but it sounds like trying to push water uphill to me.”
His comments are here