Online vs high street: Who will win?

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Many high street agents have the advantage of a longstanding reputation, footfall, flexible services and face-to-face interaction. Online-only models have the benefit of being able to charge lower fees as their overheads are considerably less. Industry media heavily publicises the arguments for each and it is clear that many traditional agents are left feeling threatened by this new breed of estate agent.

We caught up with one of our clients in the sector, Andy Halstead. Andy is an industry expert with over 15 years experience in the sector. He is also the founder and CEO of the leading referencing and insurance provider, Let Alliance.

Andy Halstead, Chief Executive at Let Alliance says: “Traditional agents can and should take offence at the marketing strategies of online agents as they often use derogatory tactics against them, such as suggesting they are old fashioned and charge rip off fees. These claims cannot be supported with any facts. This portrays the whole industry in a negative light to consumers. While some agents may feel threatened by the concept of online revolutionising how the industry works, the majority of high street agents were using a website and property portals long before ‘online only’ agents were around. I still believe that ‘lettings is local’ and will remain so for as long as most of us are concerned. By combining the use of technology to reach Generation Rent with in-branch face-to-face service, high street agents maintain their position as the dominant partner for landlords and tenants.”

What are your thoughts on the battle between online and high street?

At Property Stream, we believe that as long as agents understand the importance of moving with the digital times and investing in the right technology, there is little threat of online agents taking over. Our client EweMove are a prime example of the change to come being the original hybrid agency showing the success that can be achieved through combining high-street offices and a strong online presence. See their case study here.

For help creating your online presence, whether that be a new website or marketing support, call us on 0161 672 7820 or email



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