Blog > How have online property portals changed Estate Agency?

How online property portals have changed Estate Agency?

While there are many aspects of the estate agency industry which are the same as they have always been, there have been changes and developments in the industry. One of the biggest changes has been the emergence of online property portals and these have changed the estate agency industry.

There is a new starting point when it comes to looking for homes

The ease and convenience of searching for a home on an online property portal has transformed the industry. It is so easy for people to sit at work or in work and look for homes. Thanks to search criteria, people can look for homes in a specific area or with certain criteria, which means that potential buyers can hone in on exactly what they are looking for.

It is easier to compare property than ever before

Looking at different homes online is so much easier than flicking between notes or looking at pieces of information on a wall. This means that potential buyers can be more confident about choosing between two properties at an earlier stage. This has helped to speed up the process and it has provided potential buyers with a greater degree of confidence before they reach the viewing stage.

Buyers can get more advice

A key benefit of online property portals is that the content can be easily shared. Buying a home is a big decision and it makes sense for buyers to get input from people they trust and respect. Sharing the content takes nothing more than sending a link via email or social media, and this means buyers can get the thoughts of other people regarding a property.

Sellers want to have their homes featured on online property portals

As it is now common knowledge that buyers use online property portals to start the house buying search process, sellers want to ensure that their property is featured on these portals. This creates a pressure for estate agents because if they can’t provide this service to clients, the property owner will choose an estate agent that can offer the service.

The online property portal is now an important factor in the overall decision a seller makes when choosing an estate agent.

Estate agents have to pay significant sums to access these portals

As so many people are now using online property portals to search for properties, estate agents need to be on these platforms, and this means that there is a high level of demand to be featured on online property portals. This means that the companies behind these portals can charge estate agents fees to be represented on these sites. This can have an impact on the costs to the customer because an estate agent will have to recoup the costs of paying to be featured on these sites.

Of course, given the fact that traditional estate agents already have a number of costs to cover, including rent and rates of their property, it may be that this makes the services of some traditional estate agents too expensive for most people. Given that online estate agents have been set up thanks to the emergence of these new platforms, choosing one of these estate agents may be more sensible financially.

Potential buyers are more informed before the viewing stage

It used to be that the viewing stage was the main point for finding out about a home. Many people would like the look or sound of a property on paper but would find it had a different vibe or style in person. This means that many property viewings led nowhere or would seem like a waste of time.

The quality of information and images/video content offered by property portals ensures that buyers have a better idea of what a property has to offer. This should reduce the number of speculative viewings which can help to lower cost, time and effort of presenting a property to the market.

Online property portals have created the platform for self-listing and online estate agents

When it comes to the impact on the industry, online property portals have transformed the way that estate agents work or how people can sell their home. There is more opportunity for individuals to list their own home, if they so desired, and the emergence of online estate agents is tied to online property portals. This has created a higher level of competition, which many has seen as being good for the consumers, but perhaps not of the best benefit to the industry.

All of these factors mean that online property portals have had a huge impact on the estate agency industry. However, the experience, skills and knowledge of an estate agent are still invaluable for buyers and sellers looking for the best deal or who want to make the most informed decision.