HAMPTONS International have noticed a recent behaviour in potential buyers which they are calling the “Ebay effect”. This is where buyers watch properties online on the major property websites such as Right Move and Prime Location but fail to register their requirements with the estate agent.
These “buyers” quietly sit in the background comparing various properties, reading the online brochures and floorplans, often waiting for the price to drop before they make an enquiry. When they do contact the agent to seek more information or to arrange a viewing they are often reluctant to formally register their requirements for other property.
Peter Everett, regional sales director, for Hamptons International commented: “This is very frustrating as when we take a new property onto the market we want to personally speak to as many interested parties as possible.
“Whilst internet advertising is very important in the way we market property it is no substitute for face-to-face interaction so that we can fully understand the personal requirements of each family.
“Some of our clients also prefer us to market their properties on a confidential basis and thus those potential buyers who don’t register with us are potentially missing out.
“I even received a complaint from a potential buyer recently who asked why they weren’t contacted about a specific property that we sold within a week of it coming onto the market without going on the internet — the simple answer was ‘I’m very sorry sir but you didn’t register your details with us’.
“All of the property portals make it very easy for potential buyers to quickly register their details online and Hamptons were also the first UK estate agent to have their own iPhone and iPad app which makes it easier still.”
Mr Everett added: “So the message is, if you are serious about moving, come and talk to us or if you’re too busy to do that drop us a quick email with your contact details and we’ll do the rest.”
Hamptons International are also reporting an uplift in sales of 60 per cent in its network of offices across Bucks, Berks and Herts so far this year compared to 2011 which is hugely encouraging and activity levels in terms of available properties and viewing levels are at a five year high.
Source: Henley on Thames