Customers are least likely to offer word-of-mouth recommendations of estate agents than any other property firms.
Twenty property-related services were put by pollsters to 1,000 members of the public.
They were asked which they had used, and whether they would recommend the company.
Although more people had used estate agents than anyone other than solicitors – 63.9% had used agents and 65% had used solicitors – only 48% of users would recommend their agents, whereas 59% would recommend their solicitor.
A high proportion of those quizzed (63%) had used plumbers. Out of these customers, 71% would recommend the plumbing firm.
Painters, builders, decorators, mortgage brokers, double-glazing fitters and pest controllers all did better in the word-of-mouth stakes than agents, which came bottom.
The poll was carried out on behalf of online estate agency comparison website SellingUp.
Oliver Lewis, director of SellingUp, which features prices and reviews of online agents and also offers money-off vouchers, said that while some of those polled will have used online agents, the proportion would have been very low, and the large majority would have been high street firms.
He said: “The discovery that the majority of people who have used an estate agent would not recommend them to family and friends is a new low for traditional high street firms already struggling with their industry’s reputation.
“This result will provide fresh ammunition for the new wave of online estate agents that claim to be able to deliver as good or better service levels at a fraction of the fees.
“What will be hard for high street agents to take is that this finding is not simply rhetoric from online rivals, it’s independent customers providing genuine feedback on their experiences.
“The precise reasons why estate agents performed so poorly in this poll is not certain, however. It could be dissatisfaction with the service provided, or a resentment of paying a large commission, or a maybe a combination.
“Either way, this survey should be a wake-up call to traditional estate agents if they want to survive in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”
The SellingUp website’s reviews of online agents are overwhelmingly positive, with all of them automatically fed on the site by Trustpilot.
They include the 9.5% out of 10 ratings for YOPA and Purplebricks, 9.4 for eMoov, and 8.3 for easyProperty.