Opinion: Research shows that homebuyers are ready to embrace new technology – but estate agents aren't keeping up

 
Justin Morris
Don't buy your home alone – stay in touch with your agent using tech magic

Buying or selling a property can be a stressful and daunting process.

Choosing the right estate agent, and utilising new digital tools, can make all the difference – not only to the price but also to the overall experience. Dezrez recently conducted research to explore the attitudes, perceptions and expectations that UK home buyers have towards ‘bricks and mortar’ estate agents and online tools.

The results showed that 82 per cent of UK home buyers and 74 per cent of London home buyers would actually prefer to have a personal agent who could manage the whole home buying process, while over half of UK house hunters (58 per cent) would like a life-long relationship with an estate agent who could build up an accumulative understanding of their changing property needs.

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This approach to the agent-buyer/seller relationship could particularly benefit busy Londoners who spending most of the day tied to a desk or stuck in meetings, making it difficult to pick up calls, or arrange property viewings. More often than not, it simply isn’t possible for professionals to spend their lunch hour house hunting, or to rush out of the office at 5pm to view a property.

I believe the solution is technology. Advancements from mobile devices to cloud-based software offer some amazing opportunities for the estate agent of the future, allowing them to communicate with clients across several devices in case of a last minute viewing or sudden development in the buying process.

However, use of up-to-date technology, according to Dezrez research, is where many estate agents are missing an opportunity – 71 per cent of Londoners explained that they don’t feel their agents are fully using technology to their advantage. Whilst 93 per cent of Londoners agree that estate agents need to adopt, and embrace technology, in order to survive in the future.

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What does this mean for the estate agents then? Clearly, consumers still value the customer experience and human touch of face-to-face interaction. They want an agent who can offer them a personal service that is flexible enough to fit around the rest of their busy lives.

This is where new technology comes in, and agents who fail to adopt will not only disappoint customers, they risk being left behind as the agents of the past.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.