On the business of educating buyers
The success of online property sales/rentals websites in Ireland over the past decade has made it easier for new firms to enter the market and compete with more established agencies. However, the big agencies inevitably have the advantage of decades of branding, which itself can be difficult to compete with.
So, what are successful new firms - those less than five years old - doing to make an impact? And, more specifically, what they are doing differently to other agencies?
One major change seems to be a shift from selling to educating buyers. The current system for buying and selling property makes it difficult for auctioneers and estate agents to distinguish between a client and a customer. The blurred lines here between the role the agent plays for the seller and with the buyer has caused problems in the past that only a relationship of trust can resolve.
As more established firms know, trust is earned gradually and over time. For younger firms there are steps that can be taken. By running seminars or speaking at local events aimed at would-be buyers, buyers get time to get to know you, your business, your experience and your particular expertise. All of these factors go towards building trust, which is difficult when the person you are selling to is not your client. In this way, estate agency is very different to retail.