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by Nick Smith Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

Our agency is bigger than yours…

An article hit the property news today about yet another argument between a regular high street agent and Purplebricks the online agent. It all centers around the sparkly claims the online agent seems to be making. I am all for guerilla marketing and taking your market by storm, but mis-leading terms and trying to hide things does irritate even the most relaxed of us. The agent is saying (quite rightly in my mind) that Purplebricks’ claim to not be paid commission “like other high street agents” and instead charge a much fairer fixed fee eluding that they are different, rather than the reality which is they are just using different terms for what is in essence the same thing. The fact is it is the same, we all expect to get paid to do a job for someone, there you are I have said it (sharp gasp of air), imagine that, someone doing a job and expecting to be paid for it. The reality is whatever term is used we all get paid to do a job and online agents offer a specific job for a specific price. They get commission for doing so, sorry they charge a fixed fair fee to promote your property. What is clear though is the service provision to a high street agent is definitely NOT the same. My grandfather used to say to me often that “you pay for what you get” and throughout my career I have said to clients that £1000 gets you £1000 worth of results, but £2000 will get you £2000 worth of results. Everyone wants something for nothing, but equally everyone knows in their heart that nothing is for nothing and all the razzle dazzle of a clever marketing message is just that, a marketing message to get you to choose them over someone else. We are always coming across people that are surprised their home hasn’t sold, despite the fact that it is on the market for vastly more than it is worth.  Surveying is a skill and it is now helped by the great tools that online research can offer, but the general public must also take a bit of ownership of the process and realise when 4 agents value a property for X and one is significantly higher then another old saying springs to mind “if it sounds to good to be true then it is!”. Most agents offer a transparent fee for a number of services and online agents do the same, but also do less for the reduced fee you pay, a lot less! You can do your own viewings, really, is it that simple? Why do you take your car to a garage or get a builder to put up a wall? Because they have trained to do that job, and whilst it may look like child’s play from the side, these skills are picked up from years of experience. We don’t just walk people around pointing at rooms, we are probing, questioning and subtly pointing things out and afterwards we are in a much better position to negotiate the best possible price for you the owner. When all is said and done you must pick the service that is right for you but do so with the clear knowledge that online agents and high street agents offer a very different proposition.