What a year 2021 was. The residential property market experienced an unprecedentedly busy time, as the market reacted to the continued effects of the pandemic and the high volume of home movers looking to capitalise on the final months of the Stamp Duty holiday. In light of these immense pressures and challenges faced by the industry, mio asked its home movers to share their experiences of the moving process.
The responses from over 350 home movers provided some valuable insights as to how Estate Agents can learn lessons from the shared home mover experience last year and leverage their service proposition.
- Market knowledge, property valuation and trust are key to winning instructions
- Almost all recent home movers we surveyed continue to favour agents who best demonstrated their professional knowledge of the local market, and value trustworthiness and likeability, when deciding who to instruct. These qualities were valued far higher in importance than fees as 89% of sellers did not base their choice of agent on being offered the lowest fee. New technological solutions, like the mio app, were also an important consideration for 4 in 10 respondents, when choosing which agent to move with.
- Home movers adopting their Agents’ referrals
- When it came to choosing a Property Lawyer/Conveyancer, one in two home movers mio surveyed reported that they used one recommended to them by their Estate Agent, while a further 16% selected a Conveyancer they had used previously.
- Good communication and convenience are the new consumer service benchmarks
- 75% of home movers surveyed strongly agreed that good communication is key to a good Estate Agency property service. Plus, with the establishment of alternative, remote ways of working during the pandemic, around 40% of home movers strongly supported remote service provision as a method of delivering a good property service, for both Estate Agents and Conveyancers. Overall, 62% of respondents rated their Estate Agents ability to communicate during the moving process as ‘good’ compared to 49% for their Conveyancers. Home movers’ communication satisfaction with mio-enabled Estate Agents was 31% higher compared with those surveyed the previous year for the Property Academy’s Home Moving Trends research.
- Our survey also revealed that home movers are embracing digital channels of communication, driven by the need for convenience and regular, timely communication. Only 17% of movers preferred face-to-face communication with their Estate Agents, with digital communication channels such as email, text and messaging via the mio consumer app the favoured communication methods.
- mio Consumer App favoured by home movers
- 94% of home movers who used the mio consumer App found it easy to register and install and unanimously agreed that it improved their relationship with their agent. Six out of ten highly rated the mio app and agreed that it made it easy to see progress with their property transaction. Movers also highly rated the mio app’s guide to the moving process, being able to see the chain view and being kept updated on their sale progress from mio’s automated updates.
Report Take Aways
- Rise and rise of communication technology
- Technology played an increasingly important role for home movers during 2021 in terms of communication, the sharing of information and management of their expectations, all of which helped to keep property transactions moving.
- Agents, who supplemented their proposition with the value-add of innovative technology solutions, were able to deliver regular, reliable and reassuring communications at a fraught time and in doing so, were able to evidence and maintain their fee levels to prospective sellers. It meant that agents were better equipped to resist the downward price pressure to win new custom.
- Elevate your Value Proposition
- Agents should consider how to leverage their business reputation based on market knowledge and trust beyond the initial instruction-winning stage. With an average of 29 buyers for every home that gets listed (according to PropertyMark Dec 2021), homes are quick to reach SSTC but without careful management of the property chain, through solutions such as mio, agents can fall prey to high sales fall through rates.
- It is during the property transaction process that the stakes are higher and the risks are greater, both for the home mover and the agent. Failure to carefully manage this process and client expectations erodes the confidence in the professional knowledge and trust that agents have fought hard to gain, damaging their hard-earned business reputation.
- mio-enabled agents give a smoother customer experience
- With the mio sales progression tool in action, agents are maintaining home buyers’ confidence in their ability to keep chains intact and moving to a satisfactory timetable. Consumer satisfaction with the moving process and positive sentiment towards mio-enabled agents is also high, as 85% of sellers who were introduced to mio during appraisal said that they would use a mio-enabled Estate Agent again. This shows that agents, who build consumer confidence and exceed expectations during the most complex stage of the moving process, boost their business reputation, repeat custom and referrals.
- Closer collaboration and transparency amplifies customer satisfaction levels
- The survey results suggest that when home movers like and trust their agent, they also act on supplier recommendations. Agents can continue adding value to their business proposition by making professional referrals across the broader property spectrum, such as Mortgage Brokers, Surveyors, Storage and Removal Suppliers. Building mutually beneficial relationships with parties involved in the property transaction, such as conveyancers, not only makes your sales progression easier, but also helps your movers achieve a smoother, more straightforward sale. Additionally, mio’s ability to automatically feed in data updates from suppliers involved in the chain delivers further certainty and transparency into property transactions.
Closer collaboration and transparency with other operators in the property transaction process makes for a smoother experience and amplifies customer satisfaction levels as mio Sales Director, Nick Ball, comments:
“With market knowledge and trust as the main consumer drivers for selecting an Estate Agency, agents should consider how to leverage these strengths at other stages of the process, so that business reputations aren’t damaged by slow, stressful sales transactions and high fall through rates. mio’s joined up approach to sales progression, and ability to feed in data updates from across chains, helps to uphold the trust relationship between home movers and their agents, and deliver more certainty and confidence in the moving process.”