A glimpse into the future… 2030

Ed Mead

A couple of years BC one of the best-known property market influencers asked, on stage at a conference, “How many might work in an Estate Agency in 2030?” – his answer, “One”. To win business and agree deals – everything else could be outsourced.

For sales agents, 2030 is here now.

Of the 900+ Proptech start-ups, mostly since 2016, over half are now classed as inactive and a significant minority of others are effectively out of the game. Many have consolidated or been subsumed. This shake-out has left those businesses still standing tougher, with robust agent facing products and, heaven forbid, even turning a profit.

#EA2030 is an initiative launched by just five such businesses that, literally and for the first time, cover the entire sales process – from end to end.

Prospecting to see who is going to be moving. [Spectre]

Data to help persuade them to sell and bolster your listing [Sprift]

Marketing material to show it to best advantage [Focal Agent]

Viewings and assistants to cover as much ground as you need [Viewber]

Sales progression to ensure the best chance of an exchange [ASAP]

#EA2030 means you could run your own business successfully whilst doing the bits you really enjoy – winning listings on the sofa and agreeing deals, the rest in the hands of just five trusted partners.

If you’re not on your own, and luckily post Covid many have discovered they need human interaction, then here at last is an uncomplicated offering, from just five tried and tested best in class suppliers, covering everything you might need – available just when you need it.

When I started Viewber this was a dream – now it’s a reality, https://viewber.co.uk/ea2030/

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  1. Chris Watkin

    Outsourcing Estate Agenncy – sounds daft doesn’t it? Yet most other industries have been outsourcing core functions for decades.
    Agents have for decades outsourcing ancillary activities- such as board erection, pictures and epcs … so why not more core activity?  
    why not put the just about everything in the hands of professionals – including viewings, marketing, sales progression … giving you more time to do the real core business you do … getting houses on the market and negging a deal.
    Those two things are pure  estate agency – the listing presentation and getting the deal negotiated  
    After that – outsource? I would love to know what others think?
    One final thought though  
    You don’t need more time to be an estate agent, you just need to spend more of your estate agent time actually estate agenting.

  2. Robert_May

    Does this assume  that the portals  will continue  to dominate  and influence  the industry?  What happens to this list if one of the global giants finds a way of combining   what they have and do in a way that works for individual  small agents?

    One thing  that has become clear to me over a lot of years is how resourceful  and resilient  #local agency is. I don’t  think we are very far away from a paradigm  shift in the way the industry  works and although there are some attempts to protect the incumbent  position and those whose business is dependent  on things working the way they do right now it only takes a single unexpected  conversation  for things to change.

  3. Hillofwad71

    Surely front of house and accessibility  sits right up there as  fundamental .That very 1st contact with a potential client ,.the make or break moment to a  potential instruction or sale.


    The opportunity to  pitch immediately . Isn’t that  one of the most important estate agent functions .The  caller to engage with .somebody who knows the locality ,the local market the house and salient details  Someone who actually might know the actual seller and advise immediately on current market conditions valuesetc


    Nothing worse  than a response during normal business hours to be greeted to the most basic question .Sorry,  I can’t help   you with that  I haven’t got access  to that information .I am  outside the area  Can I get someone to call back  who they cant even name who it is.

    Once they  put that  phone down or end the chatline. good chances are  they are lost forever

    Frustrating and shows a complete  lack of  personal service

    1. Property Poke In The Eye


    2. KByfield04

      Depends where you operate- Id estimate that 95% of our clients have never set foot in our offices.

      1. Hillofwad71

        Surely the less physical access means its more important to run your own front of house  and not leave that  to a 3rd  party 

  4. BME

    I really don’t think that viewings and sales progression should be outsourced. It is at viewings that you often meet people who later down the line when they come to sell end up instructing you as they found you were the best to deal with at their viewings. And when it comes to sale progression, if you are just an admin person sitting in a call centre and have no knowledge of the area, or more importantly have an actual personal will and involvement to make sure the sale completes then it just doesn’t work. Isn’t that what Purplebricks effectively do, have a mass call centre for sales progression, no one really cares passionately about it exchanging and everyone in the local agents hate them because they cause so many hold ups and aren’t allowed to think outside the box to make things happen. A lot of estate agency can be outsourced effectively  but not the bits that really matter to the customer which get the house finally completed, so much of that work is personal and needs passion and commitment from a staff member who cares.

    1. Woodentop

      Absolutely correct. Everything you do as an agent, you are being scrutinised. Drop the ball with third parties and the list of negatives for you and your business abound.

  5. Property Poke In The Eye

    Viewber is good for getting auction viewings done which are normally open house / group viewings where not much interaction is required with the buyer.

    But if you want to run a proper agency then at least 90% of the action needs to happen in house where each team member is building a rapport with the customer in order to get more referral business and providing a great customer outcome.


  6. JamesH79

    Fanciful stuff… let us hope the gullible buy it. Then there’ll be more business for the rest of us.

    1. James Christchurch

      Or maybe James the wise do outsource, Giving them more time to do the valuable jobs which will generate them even more listings and leave those still clinging on to the old ways Because that’s the way we’ve always done it with the scraps   I’m not saying you’re right or I’m wrong I’m just throwing in a different opinion

      1. Hillofwad71

        What you are basically doing is trusting your business to third  parties which is always a risk  no matter how good they are .

        It’s as good as the lowest common denominater .


        Handing  over your front of house to a call centre which doesn’t even know the town let alone the street or property   might free up  your time  but  it is not necessarily going to generate more listings if they cant deal with  the customer  then and there.


        All it is is  gatekeeping and wasting the caller’s time   What you are effectively saying is your time as an agent is more important  than the customers ,That is a recipe for disaster



        In the restaurant business the hardest thing to do is to get that customer to walk through the door  You don’t keep  him waiting the easiest  is to  provide a good meal and  decent service

        1. Dick Value

          Nail. On. Head.

    2. APE

      Agree entirely.  Outsourcing helps only the company providing the outsourced service, no one else!

  7. Rhino

    OK then,

    Hi its –  “RIGHTONTHEZOO Internet Estate Agents”

    We will provide you with a highly accurate, automated valuation based on our enormous bank of comparable property sales – FREE

    We will list your property on our world class property portals for just £x

    We will then get one of our associate ‘partners’ (from whom we will no doubt take a commission/referral fee – but you won’t know that)

    1. To provide you with professionally prepared  photos and marketing material to set your property off in the best light for just £x

    2. Get our professional sign erectors to put on of our eye catching for sale boards outside your home for just £x

    3. Get one of our fully CRB checked viewing staff to show people round the property for just £x

    4. And once we have found you a buyer our excellent professionally trained sales progression staff will take your sale seamlessly through  the legal process to a speedy conclusion for just £x

    Sit back and relax – who needs one of those poorly trained and little trusted estate agents when you can have your largest asset handled by a team of professionally trained experts – you know it makes sense!

    circa 2030 or 2022

    ……..happy days and glad I’m nearing retirement

  8. AgentsFriend

    In view of the state of Viewbers last filed accounts which relate upto March 2020 (cumulative losses on the balance sheet of £1.7million, drop in cash at hand of nearly £1million in the year) I admire Ed’s confidence that they will be around in 2030.  

  9. Woodentop

    #EA2030 means you could run your own business successfully whilst doing the bits you really enjoy – winning listings on the sofa and agreeing deals, the rest in the hands of just five trusted partners.


    Or put another way an advert to make you believe you can to stop doing what you should be doing. Utter nonsense and spin on services that are available.


    You will never replace, the most successful people are those that are doers. The industry has been under threat for some time with ‘spin’ on technology and to some extent it has created a rod for agents back leading to doing it easily on the cheap, LOL. What is has actually done has created an environment for many people working for nothing. ‘IT’ is a double edged sword.


    Embrace technology but NEVER allow it to dictate or listen to people selling it, it could destroy your business. Every morning you look in the mirror, the only person that can help you be a success is standing in front of you. The effort you put in. Allowing technology to run your business will end in failure (as proven by the on-line only bankruptcies) and can make staff lazy. The most successful agents have personalities, there when it matters and reputations for excellence.

    1. JamesH79

      “ Or put another way an advert to make you believe you can stop doing what you should be doing.”

      Nailed it!

  10. Hillofwad71

    Call to remote

    Can you tell me the state of play for  3   Acacia Avenue, Lower Dribbling ., I am thinking about selling my house River View  in River Lane Upper Dribbling


    Right lets see how  I can help


    Can you tell me what town that is near


    Which county



    Sorry I haven.t got that info   available  Can we offer you a free valuation

    Not yet

    We will get someone  to call you back

    Yes  when will that  be and who will it be

    Im sorry that information is not availablee  as I am operating remotely .Can we offer you a free valuation



    Yes our senior negotiater  Charles  Sellwell is handling that  one

    Out on appointments  & will be be back within the  hour and I will make sure he contacts  you . What I can tell you that we have had  a great  deal  of interest  in the  property  and a sale has  been agreed with a local buyer but Charles will fully brief  you.

    We have recently  sold one in River Lane  where we had a lot of interest  and achieved the asking .Your property  enjoying  the river   fronatge   will be highly sought after The pair of swans who nest nearby have proved to be a  great  attraction



    1. Woodentop

      You missed out the ‘material fact’, lol.  
      River Lane in Upper Dribbling (should have been called Upper Torrent) is located within the ‘global warming risk zone’. A mop and bucket is required 3.00am on the third Monday of every winter month when the river lane becomes a river. It is also half a mile down river from the local sewage overflow outlet which discharges on the 1st Tuesday and Friday of every month. On Wednesday and Thursday the area is prone to north westerly winds which waft over the sewage works into the town. The second and fourth Saturday of the month are prone to south westerly warm winds and if lucky from a southerly direction giving an air of South of France climate. However if it rains, the fall out is sand from Morroco and there is a smelly industrial dog food factory within 300 meters, who provide the locals with free dog food as compensation for not daring to open the windows in summer. It has a beautiful outlook though and will suit someone who has lost their sense of smell, has no car to wash and owns a dog. SOLD.

  11. Andrew Stanton Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    Actually I think that Ed was actually refering to the 900 UK Proptechs, globally there are over 11,000 and ****’s or blank cheque companies especially in America are specifically eyeing proptechs for multi-million acquisitions. It amuses me that that when technology in real estate is talked about, the tiny vertical that is residential estate agency gets the usual dissenters saying – tech will never catch on, the biggest noise in real estate is probably Zillow which is looking to be the Behemoth that does every function that touches the asset clase of property. How many PIE readers have taken the time to look at that model?

    By 2030, I would be amazed if digital natives ever go through the doors of agents in the high street, why would they need to, just look at Fintech and banks, these were the centre of communities, now it is the mobile phone that is at the centre of everything we do. Anyone who is planning their future around sitting in a branch with ‘window cards’ waiting to do business – may be waiting a long time.


    1. Woodentop

      Or as posted on another story today …
      Despite the important role of technology, the study found that having a physical branch where customers can visit or speak to an agent in person was viewed as very important or important by more than two-thirds – 69% – of respondents.


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