Apr 21, 2016
Competition and therefore choice must be at the heart of estate agencies
Augusta Henning Augusta Henning

Agents need to offer personal service that protects data and adds value to the customer experience.

The move towards convergence across multiple industries combined with the ongoing portal wars in the property sector, means that yesterday’s announcement from Zoopla wasn’t totally unexpected.

There’s a lot to be said for providing an end to end service for consumers. Our recent research shows that 52% of home hunters don’t have the time to spend on themselves that they did 12 months ago. They recognise that despite wanting to take more responsibility of the property purchasing process, they lack the time and, in some cases, the expertise to do so.

We will be watching to see how agents react to the union between Zoopla and PSG. There’s room for multiple business models but it’s too early to guess whether agents will feel that this could stifle the market and prevent them from delivering a full range of services which:

  • Specifically meet their customers’ needs
  • Allow them to deliver a personalised service (differentiating them from the competition)
  • Enable enough data protection and control to minimise spamming from ancillary services
  • Give estate agents control over the way they run their business

Recent comment from  Forrester’s Victor Milligan outlines a number of different priorities companies need to consider if they are to remain competitive in markets driven by the value of your customer experience.  The DNA of any company needs a human and digital touch - but our research shows that 67% of consumers feel estate agents aren’t yet using technology to the best of its ability. So, are we focusing too much on conjecture and ignoring the fact that there is another step in the evolution of estate agency?

We feel very strongly that our role as one of the leading software providers is to guide our customers through digital transformation; helping them to redefine what they think is a good customer experience with what their customers think is a good experience. In fact, we’ve recently brought in a digital transformation heavy weight to provide this consultancy and to solidify strong, collaborative partnerships with our customers.  

The second part of our strategy is to deliver a software platform with an open API that gives estate agents the ability to integrate with the services they feel best meet their customers’ needs. In light of 59% of consumers saying they would consider a lifelong relationship with one estate agency that truly understood their needs, we feel we’re delivering our customers a solid offering.

One that allows agents to deliver a professional and personal service across human and digital touchpoints, protect consumer data and reward loyalty to add value to the customer experience.

A full report detailing the responses from 1000 consumers on what they expect from estate agencies in the future will be distributed shortly. For further enquiries, please contact: dezrez@weareoctopusgroup.net

  • VIA
  • Augusta Henning