Everything was better back in the good ole days right? Well maybe not, but one thing is for certain, Estate and Letting Agents were a lot more vital to home sellers/landlords back then as they were the only real way in which a seller or landlord could gain access to lots of people currently looking for a property like theirs. The agent spent their own time and money building up their database of buyers and tenants and then charged the seller or landlord for access to it, which was all fair enough.
Then along came the portals.
At first, these were seen as just another way for agents to advertise property but even further reaching and more cost effective than the newspapers, however, there was a big difference that went completely under the radar.
The difference being that because the space in the newspapers was limited to a selection of properties per agent, they were not really there to sell or let properties but more for brand awareness so that the public would or could register with the agent for future updates, thus building the agents database and increasing their value to the seller or the landlord. The portals however, changed that as every property could be listed. Again, in the beginning this seemed great! 20 odd years down the line though, the consequences of this are that the public no longer have the need to register with Estate or Letting Agents when looking for property as they can browse all or most of the properties online and even get instant alerts from those websites WITHOUT making themselves known to the agent until they see something of interest. The problem that this causes for agents is that the value they used to bring to the table in this regard has been eradicated, leaving the seller or the landlord feeling as though it is the portals that are valuable to them and the agent is just a booking service in the middle!
This value will continue to be eroded by the new and existing portals as they continue to spend millions of pounds trying to become the name that the public think of when someone is selling or letting their property, and in doing so further destroying the very foundations of Estate & Letting Agency.
So how do estate agents begin the process of reversing this cycle before it is too late?
The key ingredient is to find ways to make your database more valuable than that of the portals, easier said than done right? It has been impossible for agents to do this previously due to the limited functions of their software in this regards in comparison to the ease of use and functionality of the portals but now finally, Lifesycle has the functionality for agents to reclaim their place as the most vital place that a buyer and tenant should register, firmly pushing the portals into second place and in doing so making their own brand vital to the sellers and landlords again. (Read about how agents are doing this in the industry press here)
The function is called Heads Up and it not only allows the public to register themselves directly into your software as a fully qualified buyer or tenant but it lets them know about your properties BEFORE they hit the portal, all in your own brand, with no interference from anyone else, pushing you back to being critical for any seller or landlord, should they be serious about having access to the best buyers and tenants in your area.