Traditional applicants are vanishing

There’s a really interesting report in this week’s Estate Agent Today about the changing behaviour of house buyers when they register with estate agents. Expert Agent analysed over 200,000 applicants registering at its member agents (over 1200 branches, so a big smaple) and found that “nine out of ten prospective buyers are registering with an agent only when they see a specific property that they want to view. Instead of registering with agents when they want to start looking in a particular area, buyers now wait to see a particular property pop up online, and only then contact the agent”.

A representative said that “old fashioned applicants have disappeared and house buyers now sit on the virtual fence until they see something they like and then reveal themselves to the agent in question”.

This certainly marries up with what we have been seeing at BigBlackHen.com where last year 90% of buyers came of the internet, although in our case many were asking for more details of our properties before arranging a viewing. Some agents have been saying that they are worried that they are becoming detached from buyers and their needs – we just think that this puts the onus on the agent to call each potential buyer in person to discuss what they do, and do not, want. The internet is changing everything, but the need for personal interaction to understand what people want will never change.