With the number of workers on payroll falling by 600,000 between March and May, there has been a spike in the number of people looking at the real estate industry as their safe haven. Keller Williams stated that 45% of their new agents are from outside the industry. With a robust training programme, the right skill set and the passion, this can be a career for many.
A job that required you to have a physical office and a physical landline could now be done from your dining room table, with the existing devices that you already had. In a traditional and unchanged industry, we’re seeing an inflow of new and existing agents competing to survive and breaking out the traditional mould, whether that’s through a hybrid agency or by taking the leap and starting something of their own.
In times of uncertainty, one of the factors that customers rely on in tough times is legitimacy, they want the security in speaking to and trusting the person selling to them, rather than having to work with some impersonal agency. This means independent agents could be competing with their corporate counterparts in a post Covid-19 world.
The question is, how can independent agents survive and thrive in this highly competitive industry?
What does the consumer want?
Whether or not the self-employed model works or not has and will remain debated. How many customers are willing to close a deal with an Independent agent or agency? At XChange, we found that on average response time was faster and independent agents were spending more time during the phone conversation with the customer.
Meaning self-employed agents were able to provide a bespoke service that bigger agencies just cannot provide to every client. The unique process of selling your home through a self-employed agent is comparable to none.
The main challenges that self-employed agents face against high street retailers has to do with competing for the right quantity and quality of stock within an extended area. Once you get over those hurdles, the sky’s the limit as to what you can achieve.
So many struggles in order to attract 1 tenant
We’ve seen many self-employed agents fail within the first 3 years, but with customers wanting a personalised service and Independent agents ready to deliver, what seems to be going amiss?
Simply put, it comes down to resources. Customers now more than ever are pickier about what they want in a property and are more willing to move away from their current area. Though independent agents thrive in building a relationship with their customers, they face the struggle of not being able to find enough properties for them. Leading to many customers and subsequent deals being lost.
At XChange we’ve witnessed that, on average, it takes 10 viewings to close a deal, which means there are 9 potential tenants left with no deal.
Additionally, self-employed agents see a lot of difficulty expanding their area of operation, as it is time-consuming and expensive to expand their reach. Without a decent range of operations, agents are limited to the stock they have. Often, this is not enough.
The independent agent could hire a junior agent or an assistant to help deal with the leads coming in, but that is an additional cost to bear, an option that just isn’t financially viable for many agents. Fortunately, there is a better way around this.
This is where XChange comes in. The property trading platform gives agents the right tools to compete with and even outshine other agency models. Agents with the resources and the right work ethic have proven to be successful. All XChange does is provide them with properties on demand allowing them to expand their portfolio without having to hire another agent.
No more sunk costs, no more missed deals
A large proportion of agencies experience many sunk costs related to excess leads. With the average cost per attracting an applicant allocated being £60, and the average property getting 10 or more leads, we can clearly see how this could be affecting the agency’s bottom line. Streamlining your agency is your best bet at maximising profits. If no lead goes to waste and no property gets stale, then you’d be well on your way of doing so.
XChange is partnering with new and existing estate agents to give them access to properties across London with a click of a button. An agent can simply join to get access to the platform where you can get instructed on properties. You can also find applicants for your properties.
By bringing agents to work together, not only is XChange helping agents close deals, but it achieves success by helping agents grow their agency without the stress of having to find properties. They can focus on what they do best, which is close deals, while XChange will find the suitable properties.
“We want agents to do what they do best, which is close properties. They know how to sell homes, and at the end of the day people buy from people. We’re all self-starters and entrepreneurs, the struggle is worth it and we want to make sure that there is a platform that is out there to support agents. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that the industry needs to break out of its shell, the world is changing and estate agents need to follow suit. Holding on to the things that truly matter, that being the customer and their drive to work hard, and letting technology help with the rest.”
Partnered with big developers across the UK and internationally, XChange is providing agents, self-employed or not, a way to grow their businesses locally and internationally. They are currently onboarding more agents, to learn more, you can register here.
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868 Salisbury House
London Wall, London
020 8064 1431