Agency Location no Longer Relevant

Buying behaviour has changed forever as a result of technology. This has caused many unintended consequences in the marketplace.

One of those is the agency location. The location of the real estate agent’s office is no longer a relevant criteria for home sellers when selecting an real estate agent. The reason? Because it is no longer relevant to a homebuyer where the agent’s office is located. Once upon a time, buyers would walk up and down the main retail strip of the desired suburb looking in real estate agents offices.

Research shows that only 2% of buyers now walk into an agent’s office during their property search.
Buyers are attracted to properties, not agents. Recent surveys highlight this trend: in excess of 80 percent of homebuyers found their homes on the internet, signboards or by direct agent communication. Print media was responsible for less than five percent of sales. A lot of buyers that use print media also use the internet, making print an unnecessary and expensive form of communication with the marketplace.

If you found a suitable property via the internet or a for sale sign, would you still contact the estate agent if they were from a different suburb? The answer is – Yes. As a buyer, you are buying the house, not the real estate agency.

The internet has clearly overtaken all other forms of real estate. Online presence is far more important than office location. There is no need for a buyer to leave the house when they can do most of their research from the comfort of a chair.

• As a buyer you can source the property online.
• Google an aerial view showing pools, trees, boundaries, neighbours etc.
• Google street view giving you the streetscape and location.
• Using internet searches, obtain the history of the property including previous owners, any reports on the property, previous sale prices, time on the market, area sales and potentially much more.

You can then make an appointment to view the property to confirm whether the home is as good as it appeared to be online. The only reason most buyers will now visit the agents office is to possibly sign contracts and pay a deposit.

The good news for home sellers is that they can now source the best agent and not have to settle for an agent just because they are local. The sellers business is open to more agents thus creating more competition. Sellers can use this increased competition from agents to negotiate superior terms, fees, advertising rates, service and advice. Sellers should use it to their advantage, because the buyers don’t mind.

Agency location no longer matters: with the volume, speed and resources available at our fingertips, buyers can now search faster, wider and easier.

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