Book a demo

Let a friendly Gnomen expert answer all of your questions and take you through the system online in 15 minutes. Just choose a time that suits you.

username pass repass
CAPTCHA Image Refresh
Sales: +44 (0) 208 123 9019 Support: +44 (0) 208 629 1208

Montana H

Business Development Director

Share Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

Hybrid hits new heights as agents continue to invest in technology

There's been a long and protracted debate about the benefits of online and traditional estate agency models over the last few years, with high street operators emphasising the importance of customer service and their online counterparts focusing their arguments on price.

Estate Agents, Hybrid, Online, Traditional, Technology, Investment

This debate between the two polarised sides of estate agency will run and run as agents understandably look to defend their own chosen business models.

What's been interesting, though, is an overriding theme that has emerged in the last six months, and that's the rise in profile of so-called 'hybrid' estate agencies.

Hybrid estate agents are those which offer fixed fees and have an emphasis on their online offering, while still providing an office for clients to meet as well as a full service, including floor plans, sales progression and so on.

Despite staying true to their 'traditional' routes, it seems many of the country's biggest estate agents are now turning their attentions to the hybrid model.

It all started back in November 2015 when Connells purchased Hatched, one of the original online agencies which started out ten years ago now.

There's also been the continued growth of hybrid agencies like Purplebricks and EweMove, but it's in recent weeks that things have really started to kick off.

First, Savills announced that it had invested in fledgling hybrid agency YOPA, then Countrywide – the UK's largest estate agency – launched it's own hybrid offering for three of its many brands.

Savills' investment was part of a £16 million round of funding carried out by YOPA, which stands for YOur Property Agent.

Savills' chief executive, Jeremy Helsby, said the firm has been monitoring the advance of online and hybrid models for the past year.

“This investment broadens the group’s access to the UK residential sector by enabling us to take an interest in the high volume segment of the market, comprising over 1m transactions annually, to which Savills has had little exposure to date," he said.

It's been reported the investment secured a minority stake in YOPA, however this is still very interesting considering Savills' size and heritage.

Meanwhile, Countrywide is now offering vendors the opportunity to choose between a traditional or hybrid offering at three of its brands.

Vendors will be able to control their own sale for a fixed price or choose a traditional comission-based service, switching between the two if they like.

Countrywide is clearly taking technology seriously as it has put its largest ever training and marketing spends behind this initiative.

The group has also confirmed that it's hoping to roll out a similar service for its lettings and financial services divisions.

Of course, an important role for traditional, customer-focused estate agency remains and it's highly unlikely that the above firms will ever fully stray from their roots.

But what all this does show is that the big players are weighing up their options and thinking hard about technology and how it can improve their offering.

Of course, most agencies won't have the capital to launch their own hybrid arm or plough significant sums of money into a start-up hybrid.

However, this activity from the market leaders is a timely reminder that investment in technology and choosing the correct tech partners for your agency is mightily important.

Customer service and a local presence will always be the cornerstone for the majority of agents but those who harness the power of technology effectively could be the ones who stand out from the crowd.

Here at Gnomen, we help property managers, estate and letting agents to run every aspect of their business smoothly.

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.

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

Here you can also check out our property website design and software.

Share this article

Share Facebook LinkedIn Twitter

Montana H

Business Development Director

Twitter LinkedIn

Gnomen news

Property firms must come to terms with Artificial Intelligence

Property firms must come to terms with Artificial Intelligence Companies have been warned that they must get to grips with emerging, disruptive technology such as artificial intelligence (AI) or risk becoming obsolete.

> Read more

Agents need to be wary of fraudulent computer virus scams

Agents need to be wary of fraudulent computer virus scams Cyber-crime is one of the great challenges of our time, and it's something estate and letting agents need to be aware of.

> Read more

Range of lettings measures announced during party conference season

Range of lettings measures announced during party conference season The political party conference season usually springs a few surprises and it was those of us working in the property industry who this year were required to sit up and pay attention.

> Read more

MPs debate unintended consequences of proposed letting fees ban

> Read more

Busiest time of the year for letting agents almost upon us

If you are a letting agent it is likely that your workload is about to get a lot busier

> Read more

Agents urged to prepare for introduction of new data protection legislation

It might not be something you have given much consideration to but new data protection legislation is coming into effect from next year that will have a significant bearing on your estate or letting agency business

> Read more

Letting fees ban set to go ahead but no timeline specified

One of the most contentious issues in the lettings industry at present is the proposed ban on letting agents fees to tenants.

> Read more

Complaints against agents - are they on the rise

A few weeks ago, The Property Ombudsman (TPO) launched its latest annual report at the House of Lords, revealing a rise in the number of formal complaints resolved by the redress scheme as well as a record total of compensatory awards paid by estate and letting agents.

> Read more

Selling via Facebook Live-is this the future?

A new first in the world of estate agency has taken place, with online agency HouseSimple recently attempting to sell the first home in the UK via a viewing on Facebook Live. Sale by social media, in other words.

> Read more

What do we know about the new housing minister

Following the recent General Election, a new housing minister was appointed to replace Gavin Barwell, who lost his Croydon Central seat.

> Read more

Election 2017: What are the main parties housing policies

On June 8, Britain will go to the polling booths for a second General Election in just over two years. Theresa May surprised everyone when she announced the snap General Election in April (not least because she herself had previously ruled it out), but since then the party political machines have launched into action and MPs across the country have been out and about in their constituencies, trying to win over voters.

> Read more

Why agents should capitalise on the Bank of Mum and Dad boom

In recent weeks there have been a number of stories about the rising importance of the Bank of Mum and Dad when it comes to house purchases, with financial assistance from parents becoming almost a requirement for young buyers looking to get on the property ladder.

> Read more

The rising influence of short-lets how could it affect letting agents

It sometimes feels like there not a day that goes by without a news story concerning the growing short-lets market.

> Read more

Housing White Paper what does it mean for agents

Earlier this month the government released its eagerly anticipated housing White Paper. The 104 page document sets out how the Conservative Party intends to improve the supply/demand imbalance of housing in the UK.

> Read more

Is 2017 the beginning of the end for estate agent boards

For Sale and To Let boards have long proved divisive with some arguing they are still a useful marketing and advertising tool, while others argue that they are an eyesore and a relic from a different age. But have they had their day

> Read more

Good news for agents annual transactions remain strong

Despite the various challenges faced by the property industry in 2016. Brexit, stamp duty changes and tighter lending criteria chief among them

> Read more

House prices: what could happen in 2017?

Last year was a memorable one for a number of reasons, and throughout an astonishing 12 months which included the Brexit vote and election of Donald Trump the UK property market remained stable and consistent.

> Read more

Three tech resolutions for estate and letting agents

The new year is here and while many people will be spending January trying out a new diet or working hard at the gym, it's also a good time to review your business and make plans for the year ahead.

> Read more

Fees ban means letting agents must embrace tech and streamline processes

One announcement in Philip Hammonds recent Autumn Statement his first as Chancellor caused a bit of a stir in the property world

> Read more

Bricks or clicks-what the future of estate agency

Within our industry there has been a long-running debate between traditional high street estate agents and newer online operators which has focused on the future of our sector

> Read more