Buying or Selling, The Internet Matters

Keith Brewer explaines why you can tell a lot about an estate agent by getting online

If you’re ready to make a move the chances are you have already gone on line via your computer, laptop or smart phone to look around your chosen area online. If so, you’re not alone – over 90% of buyers make their initial enquiry about property via the internet whether it be via the various property portals such as Rightmove or On the Market or indeed by Estate Agents own bespoke websites. The way an estate agent deports themselves online says as much about them as their offices on the high street, and whether you should consider dealing with them.

Taking a look around

A property website should be very easy to navigate and use, with an uncomplicated but powerful search facility to speed up your investigations. When you do find a selection of properties to browse, it is essential that information about each one is up to date, correct and relevant including good quality photography, floor plans and accurate information. You will quickly feel frustrated if you can’t find out something obvious about a property, or load some extra details about it, or find out it’s not even on the market any more, after you’ve spent time considering it. What you can see of the property says a lot about an agent too – how good is the quality of the photography and the on-screen resolution of the pictures? Are you daydreaming about the possibilities of a home you’ve seen, or squinting to try and imagine what it really looks like? As Keith Brewer comments: “We always prefer to have a blue sky background to our properties! We plan our days so that we can be out taking photographs of our clients’ properties from the right angle with the sun out and in good light conditions”. Of course, one of the most helpful features on a property web page is good, clear, consistent floor plans – which is one of the most requested facilities from buyers. Nothing should be hard work when you are looking to discover a new home.

Making an enquiry

How an estate agent responds to an online enquiry is telling too; firing off an email can feel like shooting an arrow into the dark. A good agent will get back to you promptly with answers to the questions you’ve raised, either by email or phone call. My own feeling is that the web is as much a sales medium as anything else – a service that can put you off as surely as encourage you to find out more, depending on how good the initial experience of the agent is. Getting an enquiry is just the first part of being an estate agent, but once it is received it must be dealt with properly, swiftly and professionally so that you, the customer, feel comfortable and happy about calling the agent for a viewing. We want to help you find the home that’s right for you, not prevent you from doing so, and that journey often starts in your home sat on your PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Choosing a property partner

The truth is, of course, that if your search for a new home is frustrating from the word go, you won’t even consider dealing with that estate agent to also sell your home. Brewer & Brewer and other Team Estate Agents take their online service very seriously, with each local office’s site effectively linked to every other office across the country. That means you have access to the whole Team Network of property – and enable your property to have the same potential exposure to buyers. A Team estate agent isn’t just an expert in their local property circles, they can connect you with a much bigger and wider market too. From exposure, to service, we think first impressions count, right there on screen. As Keith further comments: “Your Team Agent is the local expert and will ensure that your property is described to the very best advantage to catch a buyer’s attention”. Here at Brewer & Brewer we also ensure that our Client’s properties have maximum exposure on the leading property website, Rightmove.co.uk. All our Client’s properties are shown as premium listings on Rightmove with additional photographs over and above the normal listing thereby ensuring that they stand out from competing listings.