Who is essential when it comes to viewings?
Is it estate agents? Just who do home movers want showing them around a property? Viewber’s Viewing Behaviour Survey 2020 sheds some light on the people preferred to accompany a viewing.
Headline results regarding who should accompany a viewing:-
- 40.9% of survey respondents said it was ‘not so important’ that an estate agent showed them around an available property
- 81% of those questioned wouldn’t mind an independent, vetted person accompanying them instead of an estate agent
Why is it that the very people qualified to help us move home are still perceived negatively by some buyers and tenants? We know this goes back a long way, a 2010 poll by the Co-op putting agents in the top ten of most distrusted professions, along with politicians and bankers.
Agents are still appearing in ‘top ten’ lists for all the wrong reasons. In 2019, research undertaken by CV Library put estate agents in seventh place in the list of the top 10 least trusted professions, due to their “perceived lack of morals (66.4%), greed for money (62.1%), unreliability (56.5%) and irritating nature (26.6%)”. Training the public as to exactly what agents do would undoubtedly change this perception but it seems no one has yet found a way.
Some of this may be behind the results of a new Viewber survey, conducted online in the UK during October 2020. When asked the question ‘How important is it that the person showing you around is the estate agent selling the property?’, half of those who replied didn’t feel strongly that the estate agent selling the property should be the person to accompany the viewing. In fact, 40.9% said that it was ‘not so important’, while 9.1% said it was ‘not important at all’.
Delving deeper into the issue of property professionals having to attend a viewing, we asked the question ‘Would you be willing to be shown around a property by an independent, vetted person instead of an estate agent?’ Tellingly, 81% of those questioned wouldn’t mind: broken down as 27.3% saying they would be ‘very willing’ for this to happen, 9.1% saying it would be ‘OK for this to happen’ and 45.5% saying they would be ‘happy with either an independent, vetted person or an estate agent’ attending a viewing with them.
“Although analysing this latest survey result is always interesting, some of the responses are not surprising,” says Viewber’s founder and ex-estate agent, Ed Mead. “The estate agency industry is much more professional than people give it credit for and many agents still like their own staff to have face to face time - especially as agents oversee a very complex legal transaction and ensure hundreds of thousands of pounds change hands when they should. Sadly, a negative professional image still nags away and there is an inherent level of misplaced distrust. This survey does show that if an agent can’t attend themselves a professional substitute seems to meet with their approval.”
“Our survey results show movers have given a clear indication that they are comfortable with an independent, vetted person showing them around a property,” adds Ed. “We think this leaning lies in the impartial and unbiased aspect of a Viewber - they are perceived to be helpful and customer-service focused, rather than commission motivated or overeager to make a quick sale.”
Although there will always be viewings where it is essential for the estate agent selling or letting the property to be present, there are times when it is more efficient, effective and a better return-on-investment to send a Viewber.
If you want to leverage the advantage of an independent person accompanying viewings, talk to us about opening a Viewber account and making your first booking - with availability usually within 24 hours.