It’s all about the service when it comes to buying and selling your home, and that applies just as much to the burgeoning rental market. Getting that service right is key, and new research from consumer organization Which?, shows just how much high street letting agents can benefit when they get it right. Meet a potential home dweller’s expectation, or ideally exceed them, and the recommendations will keep on coming.

While modern technology will always have a place in property searches, recent research from Which? suggests that when it comes to house hunting, sometimes the old-fashioned methods reign supreme.

Less than half of the 2,000 people they surveyed had used a property portal to find themselves a house, suggesting that, although we might all be glued to Rightmove while we are at work, when it comes to finding a home, we prefer the guidance of a high-street agent.

First time buyers choosing high-street agents

Bucking the techie stereotype of Generation Rent, first-time buyers were the group that particularly sought out the security of traditional methods when searching for their ideal early steps on the property ladder.

Figures from Which? research showed that amongst this fresh group approaching the market for the first time, 60 per cent preferred to use agents, For Sale signs and take out adverts in local papers rather than online services.

The average age for purchasing your own home is now 30 and rising annually. Research by the Halifax showed that Carlisle and Torfaen in South Wales have a slightly lower median at 27 but this is the lowest in the UK and people are generally leaving it later to get on that ladder. Perhaps given these statistics a general aversion to technology in this field isn’t as surprising as it would be.

Amongst the reasons respondents gave for preferring offline methods was that the stock on online portals was often out of date. With the market moving quickly, property hunters looking online often find themselves chasing a property that was rented or bought long before they started looking.

It’s the same problem that is known to afflict recruitment websites, with adverts and job postings where the interview date has long since passed remaining theoretically active to the casual browser’s eyes. By visiting a recruitment company’s office, you get the latest, most suitable job listings that are tailored for you rather than being lost in a sea of options that meet none of your needs.

Give them the glamour shots

Property searchers also found that there were often not enough photos of the properties listed online, with nearly twenty per cent of people indicating they wouldn’t view a property if the pictures weren’t good enough. The saying goes that a picture can say a thousand words, and a well-shot, adequately lit interior photograph exposing a house or flat’s finer details can do more than a complex listing can do in getting a positive response.

Further points that were brought up included a big push for providing more information, with one in six people saying they were put off viewing a property because of the lack of floor plans accompanying the listing.

Despite the surprising results, online property portals continued to boast the largest single share of the group, with 37 percent of house hunters finding homes using this incredibly useful resource. High street estate agents were next with the second biggest market share of 11 percent.

Which? says shop the high street

Following on from the results, Which? has called for property hunters to leave their internet-connected devices alone when it comes to choosing where to rent or buy, and take a walk to the high-street. A spokesperson for the survey said:

“In parts of the UK where markets are fast-moving, with demand outstripping supply, the best properties are often snapped up before the agent has had the chance to list them online.

That’s why it’s advisable to put the laptop away and get out and about.

Take a walk down the high street and register with all the estate agents selling the types of properties you’re after. Spend time talking to them, explaining your situation and what you’re looking for.”

Although the results were promising and offered a boost for high street letting agents at a time of difficult economic and market conditions, the poll also heeded a warning that they should not think of taking things for granted.

Nine per cent of house hunters in London and the South-East admitted they wouldn’t even look at their dream property if they didn’t like the agent that was marketing it. A bad lettings agent who doesn’t recognise a renter or buyer as an individual with their own set of circumstances is not going to be top of their list for recommendations.

The figure was seven per cent nationally, proving that providing the right information in the right manner with the right manners is the most important way to close a deal, online or offline.

What can Primove do for you?

Here at Primove we recognise that property buyers and renters want to keep up with the trends on the market but still want a high-street presence that they can trust to assist in their property search. Even with the benefits that social media brings to the market in terms of showcasing what we can offer, our primary focus remains on giving a personal service face to face.

We will always have the latest, most interesting properties and rental opportunities that remain available on display in our premises, and our agents have the expertise and knowledge to guide you through the sometimes daunting process of picking your ideal home.

Our high-street presence in the bustling thoroughfare of Winton is a blessing for consumers, as we offer that personal service that cannot be replicated behind a monitor or tablet.

We recognise your individual needs, whether you are a landlord looking for suitable tenants or a tenant who has not found a place they can truly call home. Primove is a new breed of lettings agency which puts people first and offers unrivalled customer service to match with a fair price to match.

It’s that undefinable quality that sets us apart, the special ingredient that completes the recipe.