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Donna Kerwick

Client Liaison Manager at Gnomen Ltd

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Agents must put technology first as market tightens

It's now been well over a month since the EU referendum and we've started to see evidence of how the build-up to the historic vote and its aftermath have affected the UK property market.

Gnomen, Estate Agency Software, Technology, Estate Agents, House  Prices, Brexit

At a time when market activity dips and fewer people are buying and selling homes, it's the best estate agents who'll thrive and those who haven't got their eye on the ball who'll start to struggle.

So how have estate agents and the property market in general been faring recently?

House prices

Since June 23 there has, perhaps inevitably, been a number of reports suggesting that the property market has taken a hit as a result of the public's decision to leave the EU.

For example, towards the end of July, Hometrack reported that increased property supply and a low level of transactions in London were combining to soften house price growth. The data firm also said that house price growth in major UK urban areas plateaued in June.

Meanwhile, home.co.uk declared that average house prices in the capital have fallen by 1.1% since the referendum, with price dips also recorded in the north east and south east.

On the other hand, Nationwide recently reported that prices are still growing at a fast annual rate, however some of this data covered the pre-Brexit period.

Stock market woes

A number of the UK's biggest estate agency firms have recently reported their half-year figures to the city.

Countrywide reported on July 28 that its pre-tax profits were down 25% in the first half of 2016, with the firm's chief executive, Alison Platt, stating that she doesn't expect to meet last year's transaction levels due to the uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the EU.

The firm did report, though, that its total revenues were up 9% and its number of houses sales were up 10% when compared to the same period last year.

London agency Foxtons' most recent figures also showed the impact of a market shrouded in uncertainty. One day after Countrywide, the firm reported that its pre-tax profits in the first half of 2016 were 10.5 million, down from 18.1 million the previous year.

Group revenue also dipped and Foxtons said it is reviewing its expansion plans for the rest of 2016.

It's not all doom and gloom

All the above is not to say that some estate and letting agents haven't been thriving in the post-Brexit market.

In recent weeks there's been a number of new agencies that have opened new offices or expanded their existing branch networks a sign that business is strong and firms are growing.

For example, Linley Simpson has recently relocated its Wetherby branch to a new location in the centre of the town in order to cope with increased business since launching sales in 2014.

Meanwhile, at the end of July, Fine & Country opened a branch in Shrewsbury, marking its entrance into the West Midlands property market.

On top of this, one innovative firm Go Holdings has opened an estate agency-cum-coffee shop, hiring three estate agents and five baristas.

Technology could be the key

At a time when the property market is adapting to a changing market, estate and letting agents who differentiate themselves from the competition are those most likely to go from strength to strength.

What's more, those who embrace technology and find ways to streamline their daily processes, will be putting themselves on the front foot.

Having the right property software is integral to this and choosing the right software partner is something which agents shouldn't take lightly.

Here at Gnomen, we provide the latest cutting-edge, all-in-one property software, allowing agents to manage staff, offices, customers and multi-channel marketing through our cloud-based system.

All the services we offer work together in complete harmony, allowing you to manage your workload and team effortlessly online.

For more information, please get in touch with us on 0208 123 9019.

You can also check out our property website design and software products here.

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