High street agents must adapt as internet continues to ‘revolutionise’ property buying
Long-running Liverpool agent Andrew Louis is evolving its services to compete online.
Words by Natasha Young | Sponsored content
Consumer purchasing has been “revolutionised and empowered” by the internet but on-street estate agents can still thrive if they adapt, according to a leading Liverpool property firm.
Andrew Louis has had a physical presence in the city for 28 years, and CEO and co-founder Louis Anastasiou believes its branches still have a place as long as the firm responds to customers’ changing demands.
A recent Financial Times report highlighted the threat of cut-price online only and hybrid agents to the more traditional property outlets, but suggested their strong market values are also coupled with them being “largely lossmaking, untested in a downturn and having less exposure to lettings”.
Andrew Louis, which has grown through difficult economic times and now operates sales, lettings and block management services from branches across the Liverpool City Region in Prescot, Old Swan and Liverpool city centre, is continuing to expand its offering to stay ahead of such competition.
A new fixed-fee ‘hybrid’ estate agency service has been launched by Andrew Louis, offering vendors the choice to sell their home through a stripped-back online service or via the more traditional option, with the security of a locally based expert to offer assistance throughout the process.
Following the free, no obligation market appraisal, customers who instruct the agent to go ahead with an online service will pay an upfront fee of £649 including VAT, and will receive a package including professional photographs, a written description, a floorplan and a sale board being erected.
The property would also be listed on Andrew Louis’ award-winning website as well as Rightmove, Zoopla and PrimeLocation.
Leading Andrew Louis through the change, which will also see its traditional sales service remain in place on a ‘no sale, no fee basis’ in return for the usual percentage commission, Louis believes the firm’s local knowledge of the Liverpool market will continue to set it apart from online-only competitors whichever route is chosen.
He says: “As an independently owned, family-run business we have a track record of successfully selling all types of properties for 28 years making us local experts in the Liverpool property market.”
As Andrew Louis adapts to the evolving industry with its fixed-fee ‘hybrid’ estate agency, Louis adds: “This is a response to listening to our customers. In many markets, the internet has revolutionised and empowered consumer purchasing whereby around 95% of property searches now start online thanks to the likes of Rightmove and Zoopla.”