The Changing Face of Estate Agency

“Change before you have to“ – so said Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric – and a very relevant and poignant statement when applied to the changing face of estate agency today. It was also the motivation behind our decision to launch Penfolds.

Nothing stays the same forever of course and nowhere is that truer these days than on our high streets. The decline in the number of businesses with high street shop fronts of all descriptions is self-evident and estate agents make up the fourth-largest category in this decline.

There is no doubt that digital innovation has been the driving factor behind these changes within the estate agency sector. Political and economic factors have also provided challenging times with agency streamlining also resulting in the closure of many branches.

The fundamental change:

Crucially, the property industry has shifted from an ‘agency’ to a ‘property’ led business. Traditional, high street ‘shop windows’ are being replaced by online and digital portals. At the click of a button, prospective homebuyers can now browse hundreds of properties at their leisure or receive an instant alert flagging up any new properties coming to market that fit their specific criteria.  Our customers are not out on our high streets anymore, they’re to be found online.

It all seems like a far more convenient solution with the logical conclusion being that the online agency market would be set to grow. The net result however is that home buyers and sellers are having less and less contact with real people who understand the business and the process involved. Early evidence would suggest that growth has been slower than expected with some indications that the online business model may not actually be sustainable.  

What people want:

The reasons to me are very clear. Nothing can be a substitute for human contact. Human beings are ultimately best equipped to understand the needs of other human beings and that is what we seek to do at Penfolds – to bridge the gap between all the benefits of modern technology but not at the expense of service.

What we do:

At Penfolds we call ourselves ‘property people’ for a reason – because our focus is people and relationships. We enjoy the social interaction that our business model affords us, and as driven people ourselves, we relish providing a service that reflects Helen and I as empathetic individuals and which results in us delivering great results.

Helen and I also recognise the needs of our clients in today’s fast-paced and busy world, and aim to provide a flexible and personalised experience at the convenience of our clients.  Being available to our clients at times to suit them is logical and far better than the limitations and restrictions that traditional office hours impose.

Why small is best:

At Penfolds we offer everything you would expect from a large traditional agency: many years of knowledge and experience, the benefits of digital search technology, modern marketing and of course a database of active buyers and beautiful properties.

But what sets us apart is our ability to provide a proactive and client-led service with an individual focus on the people we serve. This is something we can do because we are a self-funded, small independent agency not limited by corporate structure and shareholders It is also something we wanted to do believing that this is what has been severely lacking in traditional estate agency.

Simply put there is nothing we love more than working with people! Finding somebody their ideal property, pulling all of the pieces of what can be a complicated jigsaw together and ultimately providing those who engage with us with an experience they haven’t seen before is what we call real job satisfaction – and that is our motivation.

If you are looking for an agency where you can be sure that you will come first, then we’d love to start a conversation with you.

Call Helen or Becky anytime on 01403 289414

Becky and Helen Penfold