A lettings agent says the fees ban expected to be introduced next year may end up indirectly helping to save the concept of the High Street agency branch.
“With the tenant fee ban looming, we are already seeing a consolidation within the lettings industry and this is only likely to accelerate the nearer we get to the ban” explains Mike White of Martin & Co.
“The good thing about corporates growing larger is they will need (and want) to retain their High Street presence and just as new shops and restaurants replace closed ones, so are new agents springing up” White writes in the Eastern Daily Press, a local publication centred around East Anglia.
“For landlords who are trusting their most valuable asset, other than their own home, to an agent to look after, there is something very reassuring about knowing that your agent has a real local office, in a real place with real people in it. Long live the High Street!” he continues.
However, White goes on to contrast this with what he suggests is an inferior service on offer from online lettings agencies.
“For all the hubris and hyperbole we see across the national media about how wonderful they are, the fact is online only agents for all the money they have collectively thrown at the collective enterprise, still after all this time, only have a market share of around five per cent” he claims.
“Let’s not forget, in reality, an agent who has a website and uses the property portals to advertise its properties, is effectively an online agent anyway – so that’s about 98 per cent then! As far as I can see, the so-called online only agent is useful for a DIY landlord who fundamentally doesn’t like using agents but wants their property to be listed on the likes of Rightmove” he adds.
You can see White’s article in its entirety here.