A new property management firm claims that an average of nine estate agencies have gone bust each week since 2010.
Apropos - set up this week by by DJ Alexander - says some 4,258 estate agency businesses have gone bust since 2010; there were 3,903 agency failures in England and Wales and 355 in Scotland.
The company says the reasons are down to online competition, high business rates and high rents with long leases coming to an end.
“The shift online in the property market has been relentless and generationally there has been a major move by customers under 40 who run their lives through their phones, tablets and computers. [They] would never now consider going into an estate agent for information and they are the future, so the market must shift to cater for this group” according to Apropos managing director David Alexander.
“The estate agency sector must ensure it operates excellent online offering coupled with outstanding personal service. Clients will still want the meet and greet personal experience but backed up by an online portal which answers all their questions and fulfils all their needs” he adds.
“Given that the property investment market has changed dramatically over the last few years letting agents must think smarter and act more efficiently to provide clients with a cost effective, pro-active, legal and financial offering to ensure the customer can access all services in one place. The professional, large scale investor will remain, but we will undoubtedly continue to see a thinning out of smaller ‘amateur’ landlords as letting becomes costlier and more complex.”
He concludes: “Agents should see this as an opportunity to shine. The best will survive if they adapt to the changing market and we shouldn’t be afraid of this.