Challenges and choices
We know on-line agents present a challenge, but I do not shiver or shake in my shoes because my own office offers a better and a far more personal service every time. Local knowledge, qualifications face to face negotiations and much more. Our computer won’t say “no” very often.
Property, like car sales, remains one of the few business transactions where people still need to view the actual product on offer. We realise, technology is getting better and always keep abreast of the latest technological breakthroughs. Virtual reality headsets will become a possibility, but they and other new exciting ideas, and there are many, may only serve to win instructions in the first place. Often only high tech toys to impress, but what follows throughout the length of the transaction really does matter.
I cannot imagine choosing where to live based on a virtual tour. Not yet anyhow. You need to immerse yourself in the immediate and local environment, meet the neighbours and check actual distances to important places such as work, schools, parks, shopping.
We do not fear “on-line only” or “virtual agents”. It has taken them a long time to achieve even a small percentage of market share. Remember, traditional agents are in effect “on-line agents” but have an office too. What a bonus!
Old-fashioned customer service, like talking to a person not a call-centre robot, has returned to the fore because it’s something clients want and we, as "high street" agents, also want to provide.
We know how clients want to be treated and it’s not all about commission. When things go wrong with a transaction and sometimes they do, fees become much less important to the seller. It is the sale that matters and really good Estate Agents will overcome problems because that is what they have been trained to do, not just press buttons and tick boxes.
The online challenge can only serve to improve our determination to be totally professional and constantly review our procedures. In return, hopefully the public will recognise our talents and determination and respect our necessary commission levels. I think the old adage “you get what you pay for” is extremely appropriate when it comes to choosing “on-line only” or “traditional”.
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