Estate agents with long hours won’t help sale through quicker
House movers aren’t likely to sell their home any quicker by choosing the estate agent with the longest opening hours.
Although office hours for high street agents have become more flexible due to competition from online rivals, research by business performance analyst GetAgent found no correlation between staying open all hours and sales that outpaced those by rivals more inclined towards achieving a tolerable work/life balance.
A spokesman for the company told the Bucks Free Press on Monday the findings for the UK were based on the opening times of 15,000 estate agencies across the country and the average time it took to sell properties advertised on the three main property portals –Rightmove, Zoopla and OnTheMarket.
Regional results for the South East requested by the Bucks Free Press varied slightly from the national figures “probably because the sample was smaller” said an analyst. For that reason, the BFP is relying on the national stats to provide a more accurate guide.
Time on the market is measured from the day the property is added to the register until a sale is agreed.
Typical time to sell a house through firms whose offices are open for an average of 86.1 hours a week including Saturdays and Sundays was 167 days.
Compared with that, agents who open for an average of 14.6 hours from Monday to Friday each week manage to bag a buyer for their clients in 158.7 days, only 8.3 days longer than the open-all-hours brigade. Some of this group open on Saturdays but none opens the office on a Sunday.
Colby Short, chief executive of GetAgent says shorter working hours don’t necessarily lead to improved performance.
Firms in the 21-40 hour a week category took the longest to achieve a result in the national sample. On average their offices were open 36.7 hours a week. These firms took 197.6 days to agree a sale.
Best performers were those in the 41-60 hour bracket. Staff in offices open an average of 49.7 hours a week took an average of 142.8 days to find a buyer.
“ It’s not as clear cut as shutting up earlier to improve performance,” the boss of GetAgent pointed out.
“A lot has been said about longer opening hours, driven by a changed in the industry due to online and hybrid competition.
“The perception is that if you’re open for longer you are able to provide better service due to a greater degree of accessibility.
“However this simply isn’t the case and longer hours can actually have the opposite impact.
“It’s not the hours you are open but the quality of the service you provide within those hours.
“All too often, an agent will be open for longer but this can lead to demotivated staff and a greater workload that can be detrimental in the long run.”
He added: “Particularly in this day and age, technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting on a day to day basis. The smart agent is the one that incorporates this to work smarter, not harder, providing a better service in the process.”
Pictured is a four/five bedroom detached house in Penn taken on the market by the Hazlemere office of Keegan White on March 23 this year.
It’s immaculate, like a show home, inside and out.
Not surprisingly, within a couple of days the agents received an offer for the full £625,000 asking price. To make sure the owners ended up with the best deal as any good agent should, the agents followed up offers from four other potential buyers before a deal was agreed with the original buyer on April 16.
The Wycombe and Hazlemere offices of Keegan White open for not less than 50 hours a week and always on Saturdays and Sundays. Lenny White, a partner in the agency says not opening seven days a week could leave them dead in the water.
He emphasised: “We do fifty per cent of our business at weekends. That’s the only time most of our buyers can view properties together. A third are local purchasers, a third come from West London and a third from other parts of the country or abroad. ”
Bucks Free Press
Hillingdon & Uxbridge Times
Bucks Free Press
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