All about estate agent fees – how to survive and not die, my thoughts.
I live in Bradwell, a bungalowed suburb of Great Yarmouth, nice place, but permanently riddled with roadworks and delays along the A143, Beccles Road.
A 1.5 mile school run can take 20 minutes to do by car and I’ve tried all sorts of devious routes to bypass the interminable traffic lights that seem to be a fixture since we moved here in 2016.
What I do notice though, as I meander along the torturous route daily is how many houses are for sale and how there’s no pattern.
Zero brand loyalty, it seems to me.
I find this quite odd as Norfolk and Suffolk are a bit cut off and, dare I say it, parochial.
You’d expect the seven or eight estate agents to have specific areas where they colonise, like you read about in London, but no, there’s emoov, Purple Bricks and all manner of estate agents from Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Norwich but not one clear winner or winners.
There’s been a race to the bottom too, locally, with one agent offering a £495 package, with the rest happy to divide the available stock randomly amongst themselves.
There’s huge differences in estate agent fees locally.
I see the same when I head into the big city, Norwich, a kaleidoscope of different For Sale boards, again with no clear winner.
Is this odd or typical of other areas too, I ask fellow LinkedIn connections and estate agents?
Now what I can see from this is low hanging fruit, ready to be picked, in other words, this part of Norfolk, with prices way below the south east – you can get a 3 bedroomed house for under £150,000 locally and a detached one for double that.
Okay, if you’re in some parts of the country, you may see those as London prices, but really they’re not.
Prices rise as you get closer to Norwich or the north Norfolk coast, which are in the London league, but brand loyalty doesn’t stick there either, as far as my portal magnifying glass can see.
I think though it’s a consumer pattern – I used to shop at Waitrose (when we had two big salaries and before kids), then Sainsbury’s, but now I dabble in Tesco, Morrisons, Asda, Lidl and Aldi and show no loyalty to any one of them.
It seems I’m not alone amongst house sellers either.
Some go for cheap as chips, other estate agent fees sit at 2% plus VAT, but no one stands out as the pack leader.
Few, if any, have a consistent content marketing strategy.
I do believe that to become Leader of the Gang, you have to do a Tesco and diversify. They thrive because of Tesco Metro and Tesco Express; Asda is struggling because it relies on huge footfall in massive shops, but consumer habits have changed.
Estate agents need to stop and think about their current model, how they can influence home sellers to choose them and diversify their services to survive and thrive.
The pub, the corner shop all struggle – how soon before we see antiquated estate agencies occupying prime high street space, close and die?
Estate agents need a long term business strategy so that when I meander to Lynn Grove Academy and East Norfolk College twice daily, I see certain agents’ boards dominating.
Diversify, become hybrid or online, or die?