Almost eight in 10 sellers have instructed High Street agents in the past year – a significantly higher figure than 12 months ago.
The study involved 6,000 people and was conducted for Zoopla; specifically it shows 79 per cent instructed High Street agents in 2019, whereas in 2018 the figure was 66 per cent.
Some 20 per cent of the same instructed online agents – although Zoopla’s research shows only nine per cent actually sold through online firms, suggesting the rest went on to commission High Street companies.
“Estate agency as an industry is increasingly diverse and the emergence of onlines and hybrids have certainly given the market a new dimension. That said, with research indicating High Street agents steadfast in their appeal, it suggests all operators are working to differentiate and add value to consumers whether it’s through local knowledge, sage market insight or competitive fees” says Zoopla’s chief commercial officer, Andy Marshall.
“We are also seeing agents actively diversify the services that they offer vendors. Not only does this reap financial rewards for their businesses, but also provides a one-stop shop and eases pain points for buyers and sellers” he adds.
Regionally, High Street agents are most popular in the South West, with 83 per cent of vendors using a traditional firm in 2019. East Anglia and Wales follow with 82 per cent. Scotland saw the lowest proportion of sellers opting for a High Street agent – 64 per cent.
The portal’s survey also suggests that, aside from their core business, agents are diversifying revenue streams.
Some 43 per cent are now offering mortgage advice and brokering, with 42 per cent providing legal services.
The Zoopla survey – conducted before this week’s government statements about possible disruption in the near future caused by Coronavirus – also shows 52 per cent of agents anticipating more properties coming on to the market in 2020.
This is significantly higher than the 39 per cent recorded in 2018.
Estate Agent Today understands that three senior figures have departed from a key central London branch of Knight Frank.
Each of them was a partner in the company and they formed the senior management at the agency’s Kensington office: it is not known why they left.
They are believed to be Tom Tangney, who had been in the industry for over 35 years and had been at Knight Frank for 20 years; Pete Bevan, who had been closely involved in high value PCL sales for some years; and office head Sami Robertson, who was regarded as a key contact in the agency for some Far East clients.
Knight Frank recently lost central London legend Daniel Daggers, known in the industry as Mr Super Prime, who was the subject of media speculation with regard to posts of properties on Instagram. He had sold £3.85 billion of properties including a £95m mansion at London’s St James’s Park, bought by a US billionaire, and an unmodernised off-market house sale in central London worth £45m.
Knight Frank has provided EAT with a lengthy statement about the three Kensington departures, which we have published below; it does not mention any of the three departures by name.
“This is a great opportunity to ensure we have the strongest management and hire the best talent in the market. We firmly believe in recruiting or moving talent from within and in parallel to this, always looking for the very best external candidates within the market who have indicated they would like to join our award-winning team.
“Immediately after the department head for Kensington left the firm, James Pace, proprietary partner and head of the Chelsea office, moved to lead the Kensington sales team. James has been in the Knight Frank Partnership since 2006 and opened the Chelsea office in 2007, building a highly successful team and an unrivalled track record in the Chelsea and wider prime central London market.
“Supporting James, William Allen also joins the Kensington sales team as partner following 10 years at Strutt & Parker in their prime sales team, specialising in the Kensington and Holland Park markets. Tom Van Straubenzee, who jointly runs Knight Frank’s Private Office, will also take up a strategic position working closely with James, William and the existing team moving forward, assisting both vendors and buyers.
“In Chelsea, Charles Olver was promoted to Department Head for sales, taking over from James Pace. Charles has been with the firm for over ten years, based in the Knightsbridge office where he has been a Prime Central London negotiator.
“James is a true asset to our team, with over 25 years of experience and an exceptional track record earned during his time running the Chelsea office. Together with William’s local market knowledge and strong client relationships, they will bring a renewed energy and direction to the Kensington office. Charles is a highly respected agent in Knightsbridge and we look forward to him bringing his enthusiasm and understanding of the PCL market to his new role in Chelsea.
“Kensington is a crucial part of the Knight Frank network of offices and we expect it to remain as such well into the future.”