Insight 3 – Low cost and high quality. Is it possible?
We live in a savvy and mercenary world, and I love it. People are able to go into shops and browse, touch and feel, even smell if they so choose. They can then go home and see if they can find items cheaper in cyber space. It’s a real hassle though. You have to type your credit card details in hundreds of times, you have to sit in and wait for the postman to come down the drive and when the item arrives and it’s not quite what you want, you have to go through the arduous returns process.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if the shop could be as cheap as the internet? It obviously can’t as the shop keeper has to pay rent for the prime space, he has to hire lots of pretty staff to help you and answer your questions and he has to redecorate every season to seduce the customer.
I want the best of both worlds. The cost of online but the service of the high street. I want personal service but I want to pay the prices online shoppers pay. This is what we do at Mr & Mrs Clarke – high end personal service at online prices.
Traditional estate agents are extremely expensive but we use them because selling a home is stressful and we want someone to help. HELP! They don’t help. They make the whole home selling and buyer process painful, hard work and infuriating, and they charge you the earth for it. In the good old days, when chartered surveyors were traditional chaps who had some real class about them, they helped, but not anymore. Having just bought our third home, I was forever chasing the agent and when I could contact them, they didn’t have answers and slowed the whole process to a snails pace. I’m used to working with people who are driven to get jobs done quickly, efficiently and with the customer in mind. This is not my experience of estate agents. The average fee for an estate agent to sell a property is 1.6 per cent, so for a property which sells for £750,000, commission would be £12,000. Taking the average time it takes an estate agent to sell a property, which is between five and 15 hours according to the Land Registry, this translates into an hourly fee that could be as high as £2,400. Outrageous!
Then there is the online option. It is cheap but not so cheerful. There are a variety of packages offered by online agencies that could bamboozle a maths graduate, but it is cheaper. Sellers have to decide on a price, organise viewings, take people around their home themselves and then negotiate the sale. With two children, a dog, a job, a couple of hobbies and a wife, there is no chance the modern man could handle this burden. The recent TV programme about selling your home through an online agency showed families brought to their knees through leading the process on their own. But it is cheaper.
We aim to bridge this canyon between high street agents and online machines because we don’t think people are ready to move away from the personal service to selling their most valuable asset through a computer. We have designed a long term and sensible plan to allow us to charge low rates for selling homes and we have agreed a company philosophy that we will offer the highest personal customer service. We have a team of property experts who will work with you to prepare everything to sell your home and who will work hard until the sale is completed. They will work with old fashioned values and communication is of the highest importance. Our specialist marketing team will prepare beautiful marketing with gorgeous pictures and informative and emotive words and then advertise online, in print and via word of mouth. All of this for a lower cost than traditional agents.
It may sound too good to be true but by not being greedy we are able to run a high end estate agency at online prices because we don’t have expensive shops, we run a tight ship, we are experienced in business and we have a desire to offer consumers the best for less. The best of both worlds you could say.