It’s independents day in the showdown between traditional and online agents

Date 18th April, 2019
Untitled design

Property professionals in Plymouth say new research out today (Tuesday 16th April) shows the traditional estate agency model is still a favoured option for the majority of customers.

Figures released by data firm TwentyCi have revealed that independent High Street agents with an office presence have a 92 per cent share of the sold market, as opposed to the online agents with just 7.6 per cent.

The researchers say that while the online agents’ market share is slightly up from the 7.2 per cent at the end of 2018, it is still well below the forecast 20 per cent share the internet based businesses had themselves forecast.

PAPPA Chairman Ben Dreher said the figures were the clearest message yet that many buyers and sellers still put more faith in those agents that combine both a physical and virtual presence.

“Cleary the internet is a major part of the modern property industry, but it must never be at the expense of good old fashion values of honesty and integrity, as well as the excellent customer services those agents with an established heritage take great pride in,” said Ben, who is also a Director at Lawson Estate Agents in Plymouth.

“This survey is a real boost for professional associations, such as PAPPA, where we insist every one of our members is independent and properly certified by their respective industry body.

“It’s that level of professionalism, combined with a commitment to the best possible customer experience, that still matters to people – and it’s something I believe online agents will always struggle to compete with.”    

Ben said that it is important for people to realise that claims by some online agents that they are the same as High Street agencies only cheaper, still doesn’t stack up. He believes their ‘no commission’ promise just means that they have no incentive to go the extra mile for their clients either.

He also believes that while the price of fees will always be a factor for customers to consider, this research clearly shows people also see the Importance of others factors, High Street agents offer, such as accessibility, accountability and staff with expert, local knowledge 

“Commission should not be seen as a dirty word,” said Ben.

“It should give potential sellers confidence, as it is clearly an incentive to the agent to do everything they can to deliver the best possible result. Don’t forget, in most cases, online agencies will charge their fee whether they sell the property or not.”

Find out more about PAPPA at