Online 'Local' Estate Agents

Online 'Local' Estate Agents

Bridging the gap between the personal service of the local high street agents, and the fees of online agents, lower overheads cheaper fees.

We did it!

On 8th Jun 2015 we successfully raised £5 with 1 supporter in 3 days

Project aim

Bridging the gap between the personal service of the local high street agents, and the fees of online agents, lower overheads cheaper fees.

I have been in the industry for quite some time now working at several High street agencies, they one thing they all have in common is the overhead, which as a result ends up meaning high fees to clients. The internet is becoming more powerful and dominant with each day that’s goes by, the public warm to the local people, with local knowledge and the personal service. The public don’t seem to warm to the call centres of the large online agencies with staff often not knowing the property, area, schools, etc so by bridging the gap i have already proven its popular.

The aim is to gain enough to rent an office, not a high street shop but close enough to the high street that the overheads can still stay low, i aim to hire an experienced estate agent and an apprentice to get the process moving fast and be able to cover more areas gradually increasing town by town with two agents eventually being allocated to each town.

About the project

I was given the opportunity to start at an agency in Brentwood, it only started part time but I realised I had a talent in the industry, my knowledge is vast and i am able to adapt to all situations very fast and very easy allowing me to have a 93% conversion rate on Valuation to instructions. 

I then moved to an agency in Rayleigh whereby i quickly worked from negotiator to office manager within the space of a couple of months, i successfully ran the branch for 2 years and was involved with everything (I wasn’t a stand back and point type of manager) the commission rates were constantly changing due to the owner becoming more greedy, I have three year old triplets so the income changing hit me hard. 

It wasn’t long until the owners sacked everybody but the secretary, i ended up running a busy high street agency alone and it was then i realised i could do it on my own quite easy.... so i took the jump...

Running a high street office something i noticed is the amount of people that walked into the office you could count on one hand, of these most of which were looking for rental properties (this is a high street, well established office in a busy high street with a high footfall) however the amount of calls from the website was were all the viewings and valuations come from...

The online agents often do not conduct the viewings, by providing the high street service of the detail market apprasial, take pictures (with professional equipment) create a floorplan, conduct the viewings, negotiate the offers and follow the process through the end.. quite often to get the best price in negotiation you have to play on several things... type of house on offer, the area, surrounding features like schools, stations etc... this is something the national online agents do not know (after all they are call centres....)

so this is where i decided to create the "local" online agency...

November 2014.. i established starting designing, websites etc... ready for a launch, 1st February i was ready... Nest was live on Rightmove and i started to trade.. the instructions have increased month on month...

I am looking at expanding the business to allow to other agents in the same boat with the same ambition and skill set to have this utilised in a way that gives them enough authority and responsibility to feel appreciated but also to pay a decent level of commission making it a desirable role.. im not a greedy person i would much rather pay the staff a bonus then take one myself but I truly think online agencies are the way forward...

let’s look at a famous UK dvd and video rental shop that were huge 10 years ago... everybody (well nearly) would rent their dvds from them often dropping them back on a Sunday evening through the letterbox... where are they now? with the online services providing the same product but at a cheaper and more efficient level has put them out of business... it’s the same for agencies, it’s important not to lose the personal touch, providing you can keep that and high street shop is not required... after all... if you are looking for a property where is the first place you go? ... online!

the name is also adaptable... currently its Nest In Essex, however it would be easy to change from county to county or even to towns like Nest In Rayleigh.

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