Online and Hybrid agents are a new phenomenon entering the property industry, with barely a week going by without a new announcement regarding the online property industry. The popularity of the new online agent has grown rapidly, and it looks like for the majority, they will be long term fixtures to the property industry.
So what is a Hybrid agent?
Since the arrival of Online agents, many established agents have begun to invest in online services, leading to the rise in Hybrid agents – a mix of the flexibility and innovation of online interaction with the knowledge, experience and expertise of local agents.
So why are traditional agents making the move to hybrid?
This is down to modern consumer behaviour and demands, with many consumers expecting 24-hour access to information and services, and why venture outside for these services when you could access them from the comfort of your sofa.
Much like the travel industry, which saw a similar rise in online and hybrid agents, estate agents must transform to meet modern consumer demands.
So why do hybrids work?
Well if we look at the travel industry as an example, and think about the services a hybrid travel agent offers; they offer a choice to those who may prefer face-to-face service and those who prefer the online method.
So when it comes to booking your holiday, whether you prefer to visit your local high street travel agency and spend a few hours running through the different options and destinations with their travel expert, or shop around online and do your own research, you can do whichever suits you.
Hybrid estate agents offer that same choice, allowing customers the option to pick whichever method suits them – appealing to both those consumers who are perhaps more traditional and the more modern internet savvy consumer.
So should ‘traditional’ agents be afraid?
No, we don’t think traditional agents should be afraid of online or hybrid agents – there will always be customers who prefer the level of service that comes from visiting your local estate agency for a face-to-face meeting.
However, in our ever-changing industry, it is worthwhile considering whether your agency could offer some online services. Do you currently offer choice and flexibility in your services, in order to appeal to a wide range of clients and to provide the best level of service for your customers?