“I am at a loss as to why people think that digital agencies could ever be viable alternative to a good estate agent.” says James Robinson, General Manager of London mews specialists Lurot Brand. “After all when is the cheapest ever the best?”
Luckily central London home owners are a little smarter than the average bear so are unwilling to gamble their multi-million pound homes on property versions of eBay with a help line manned by ex-estate agents who have next to no prime central London experience.
On the website of one of the best known digital agencies I found that their ‘property expert’ for the hugely desirable and expensive Notting Hill and Holland Park area has just 18 months estate agency experience in outer London before then he was a warehouse worker!
The owner of a mews house in W2 was advised by a well known on-line agency to market their house with them for a totally unrealistic price which completely stalled the marketing for over 5 months.
The owners became extremely frustrated with the lack of contact, advice and activity the agency were producing so they sought our professional advice. Being London’s only dedicated mews specialists we gave them a proper evidenced valuation and an explanation of the service they would receive from us.
We were instructed firstly as a joint agent with the online agency, but after experiencing proper estate agency they dis-instructed the online version and gave us sole agency. Given that the owners had already paid them their fee their decision to dis-instruct them is really quite telling.
During our marketing we contacted 1361 mews buyers who all received details of the property and a follow up phone call. From this activity we created exactly 70 viewings resulting in a competitive bidding situation between two buyers where the ninth offer won it.
The owners were astonished at our level of service and realised that good estate agents do a great deal more than just sticking houses on portals and waiting for the phone to ring. Although our fee was £30,000 plus vat they were delighted to pay it and felt that, for what they actually received.
The portal’s upfront fee of £1295 was ultimately the more expensive as they achieved single figure viewings from unqualified buyers none of whom were willing, or even in a position to make offers.”