Pressure to lower fees is an issue for four in ten agents, new research has revealed.
It says that it is affecting business performance for 39% of agents.
The same research also finds that only a slim majority of agents were feeling optimistic for this year. However, most were questioned in the three-month run-up to last month’s election and sentiment may have changed since.
According to the latest ‘State of the Property Nation’ report by Zoopla, 55% of agents questioned over the last quarter of 2019 were feeling upbeat about this year.
The proportion was slightly up on 2018, when 51% of agents felt confident about the prospects for 2019, but well down from the 79% questioned in 2016.
In the latest Zoopla survey, just over half (52%) of the 675 agents questioned were expecting stock supplies to start meeting buyer and renter demand this coming year.
Zoopla found that most are now heavily reliant on lettings.
Only half expected increased income from sales this year, but 54% expected more revenue from property management. The proportions could, however, have shifted since the December 12 election.
A number of agents were also looking for referral fees to increase income – 43% thought they had scope to increase earnings by recommending mortgage lenders or brokers, and 42% by recommending legal services.
While the latest Zoopla report almost entirely covers the pre-election period, it does say that almost half (47%) of agents are unsure what the new government’s housing policy is.
The ‘State of the Property Nation’ survey also questioned over 6,000 consumers – who, like agents, may have changed their thinking since December 12.
The portal is continuing to forecast 3% growth in house prices this year.
Chief commercial officer Andy Marshall said the hope is that agents will benefit from “a new dawn”.