How can the high street learn from Purplebricks and online agents


Property is a 24 hour business. Whether the majority of estate agents choose to recognise this is by the by. A study by the online estate agent eMoov showed that a massive 98% of people would take it upon themselves to do some research before attending a viewing, and these days the easiest way to do any sort of research is online. This means that people are looking at properties and making decisions 24 hours a day, and they don’t rely on estate agents opening hours to do it.

However, just because estate agents aren’t needed around the clock, does that mean they’re not wanted?

The rise of the online estate agent

We all know about online property portals. Websites like Rightmove and Zoopla have become the place to go when it comes to looking for somewhere to buy or to rent. Something many people aren’t aware of however is the rise of the online estate agent.

HouseNetwork (a company recognised as one of the first major online estate agents) launched in 2003 and since then many online agents have come and gone as the new sector struggled to find its feet. 13 years later, and it is easy to see that the online estate agent is here to stay.

Since 2014 the percentage of properties listed on RightMove by online agents has doubled. Given the UK’s recent history of recession and troubled property markets, this is an impressive feat and shows the success of the online estate agent as a business model.

Online estate agents work because they give the public the flexibility they need when it comes to selling their home, and they allow people to go through much of the process at a time that suits them. Whether it’s on their lunch hour or during evenings and weekends, using an online estate agent means people can sell their home in a way that is convenient to them and at a reduced cost.

The success of Purplebricks

However, just because online agents are proving to be popular it doesn’t mean the public don’t want to talk to a real person. The most successful of all these online agents is Purplebricks, who are a self-described hybrid agency. They combine the flexibility of an online agent with the personal touch of their local property experts.

The success of Purplebricks shows that by striking a balance between the convenience of online and the customer service provided by real people, they are able to meet the two major needs of someone buying or selling a house.

What can high street estate agents learn from Purple Bricks?

Many high street estate agents might already think they offer a 24/7 service. After all, you have a website right? The reality is though, the public expect more than just a website. They want the option to talk to a real person outside of standard office hours if they need it.

While many estate agents don’t have the infrastructure to provide this service internally, by using a telephone answering service like alldayPA every high street estate agent can answer their client’s calls 24 hours a day.

What this means is that just like Purplebricks, a high street estate agent can combine the convenience of 24 hour service via their website with the boosted customer satisfaction of being able to talk to a real person.

Find out more about our 24 hour telephone answering service, and other options like overflow reception services by calling alldayPA on 0345 056 8888.

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