Estate Agents Who Know What They’re Talking About: Chris Wood PDQProperty
The brief is simple: to ask Estate Agents, who really know what is going on in the Housing Market, what has it really been like and what is likely to happen to the Housing Market in the short and medium term.
I am indebted to Chris Woods of PDQ Property in West Cornwall for giving me his thoughts on the present state of the Housing Market
PH. How has the market performed since the depths of the recession in 2008
CW. The market has been challenging to say the least however; the Darwinian process of the last two years has had some benefits for those agents who have been able to weather the storm, with a positive knock on effect for their customers. In short, agents who have adapted to difficult market conditions, tend to have been the ones who have been better at providing a better service to their customers. The market has been steadily picking up in the past year and is now, in certain parts of the UK, quite buoyant – albeit at lower than ‘normal’ transaction levels.
PH What has been the trend in the Housing Market in 2010
CW The market has steadily improved throughout the year including the traditional quieter periods of high summer and pre-Christmas (to date)
PH Has the abolition of HIPs had a positive or negative impact on the Housing Market
CW Positive! With many agents openly flouting the Law, we are now back to the closest thing I have seen to a level playing field for the past 20 years.
PH Do you see or would you like to see a HIP replacement on the horizon
CW The HIP was a well intentioned but fatally flawed idea. I do not see anything to replace it for the foreseeable future.
PH What are the prospects for the Housing Market for the remainder of 2010 and early 2011
CW I believe the market will continue on a bumpy recovery for the next few months. Nothing dramatic to report; unless you are a journalist trying to grab a cheap headline
PH What effect will the internet have on traditional Estate Agency
CW In 1989, I thought the best thing to hit our office was a computerised mailing list; it freed up more time to speak to customers and find out what they really wanted.
The internet has been with us for a few years now and the demise of the agent has not happened as many predicted.
The internet is evolving rapidly in the way it is used and can be harnessed by agents who use it. I believe the next significant step forward will be to speed up the transaction process.
The use and integration of social media is also on the rise which may throw up some unexpected opportunities and challenges for agents.
PH What is you opinion of DIY Estate Agency sites and their potential impact
CW When I was a consultant to Tesco on an estate agency model they were working on at the time, a few years back I spent a great deal of time looking at housing market facts and figures.
It was, to an estate agency anorak like me, fascinating.
One of the key revelations, of that time and since, was the realisation that around 96% of people choose to use an estate agent to sell their home. Whilst this percentage has dropped a tiny amount over the past few years, there is good evidence that the vast majority of the public still prefer to use an estate agent.
Although, we are the butt of many jokes, the public do recognise that good agents are worth their weight in gold when it comes to dealing with what is most people’s largest asset and family home.
PH What do you think about internet estate agency portals such as Rightmove having too much power in the Housing Market
CW One of the advantages of the Internet may well be that Google and others will very soon make the need to be seen on Rightmove et al, a distant memory.
PH Would you like to see more competition amongst the portals
CW There is no competition as I see it at present. This is not good for the market.
PH How do envisage Estate Agency in 5 years time
CW I believe that we are moving towards a more American model of home based agents working remotely from the office. Flexibility for customers and staff is the way forward.
PH Chris, many thanks for your time and the value of your experience.
Chris Wood, has been involved in Estate Agency since 1989.
Chris owns PDQProperty Estate Agents in West Cornwall.
Chris was voted Vice President of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) in 2006 and became President Elect in 2008 before resigning from the Association in 2009.
Chris holds the University of Reading’s Certificate of Residential Estate Agency and the NAEA Certificate of Practice in Estate Agency and appears regularly on radio, television and in the press. Chris is also a serving member of The Rifles as part of HM Reserve Forces.
Follow Chris on Twitter @PDQProperty