We want estate agents to be more like Amazon and Uber, say home owners

Estate agents could usefully copy the kind of digital functionality used by Uber and Amazon, a new report has found.

New proptech firm OneDome asked 1,000 home owners across England and Wales which consumer brand offers the best digital experience.

The respondents, aged between 25 and 64 and who had either moved home in the past three years or are planning a move, were asked to choose between various brands.

They were then shown four areas of functionality and asked which, if any, they would like estate agents to offer.

The overwhelming majority (84%) plumped for Amazon and said its ‘progress tracking’ was the tool they would most like their estate agent to have.

Other Amazon-type functions that consumers thought would be desirable included a marketplace of agents and recommendations for properties that ‘you may also like’.

In second place was Uber, and nearly half of the respondents who identified the taxi service as having the best digital experience, cited real-time updates as the functionality that they would like their estate agent to have.

Babek Ismayil, founder and CEO of OneDome, said: “One of the biggest criticisms levelled at proptech companies is that they are solving problems that don’t exist.

“Our report looks at the type of technology that people are using in other areas of their lives and applying them to property. Sometimes, it is not about solving an immediate problem, but providing an enhanced experience to ensure customers use you again and recommend you to their friends.”

“It is not surprising that both of the top scoring tools are related to a customer’s visibility of their transaction.

“We live in a time when people are used to being kept informed, and the ability to log on and view the progress of their transaction in real time makes people feel at ease.”

OneDome launched its viewings booking tools last year and is shortly launching an online sales progression service.


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  1. ArthurHouse02

    Thankfully unlike Amazon and Uber my company has a respect for not only its customers but also its staff. Reports in the press constantly talk about these companies treating their employees like slaves, demanding they work for a pittance, subjecting them to rumoured bullying and discrimination. But if thats the sort of company the public want then we are not for them.

    People that go through the buying and selling process understand that unlike buying a toaster or ordering a taxi, there are not updates every 5 minutes, it is a lengthy sometimes stressful process that needs more than an iphone alert.

  2. Mark Connelly


    It seems that they don’t understand it’s a lengthy process with often what appears to be nothing happening. Otherwise we wouldn’t have gotten these responses.

    No one teaches people how to buy a house. They just go out and blow half a mil and hope for the best having walked around the place twice.

    Creating realistic levels of expectation for buyer and seller may negate the wish for constant updates from a process that doesn’t do constant anything. We obviously don’t do that well hence the responses.

    1. ArthurHouse02

      From a personal point of view, we set out realistic expectations and timescales from the start and work hard to keep people updated even when not a lot is happening. Technology is great, sometimes innovative and sometimes helpful, but there are downsides. Pretty sure if estate agents were like Amazon, purely sending updates, text alerts and vague automated emails, the public would get the hump about lack of quality updates or not speaking to a real person….oh wait…that option already exists….
      PB, Emoov, HouseSimple…they dont make any money and customers are always complaining about them

  3. Peter Ambrose (The Partnership)

    ArthurHouse2 makes a very valid point about timescales and expectations.

    We have been banging this drum for transparency and accessibility for several years now and it has served us well with a growing client and referrer base.

    However, and it is a big however, we are finding that managing expectations especially in a chain where clients have higher visibility of what is going on through our portal can lead to frustration and sometimes we wonder whether that can be negative.

    We all have to be careful about how consumers interpret what can often be inexact and apparently conflicting information.

    Having recently watched the genius of the Deliveroo tracking application, showing every stage of a Five Guys burger being made and delivered, the house buying process is far more unpredictable – and, many might say, rather less satisfying than a Five Guys’ !

    1. cyberduck46



      It seems such an inefficient system for everybody to be phoning everybody else to get status updates all the time. Surely an online system where all agents and solicitors in a chain have a legal responsibility to update would help? Pinpointing any delays? Along with plenty of information about what goes on and how long things usually take?


      I’d hope the government is currently looking at something like this as I can remember them asking for input in regard to improving the house buying process.


      1. OneDomeHQ

        You raise a really important point, @Cyberduck.

        Technology can be used to remove the inefficiencies in our industry’s processes and whilst allowing property professionals to still provide the excellent customer service they are great at.

        When the government released their response to the Home Buying Call For Evidence in April, more than 94% of those who responded felt that technology was the answer to the issues they experienced with the process.

        1. P-Daddy

          Now get the Law Society on board; Land Registry and its pedestrian roll out of on line searches with systems that are incompatible on board; CML on board; insurers both household and PI on board and of course the inevitable UTS (User Too Stupid errors with inputting) Housing is not like ordering a book or cooker! The property owning democracy also tend to park logic at the front door too….and estate agents…well where do we begin!!

  4. retired-agent28

    25 years in marketing has taught me that what people say in surveys and what they actually do in real life can be totally different.

     That applies especially when the consumer hasn’t had prior experience of using whatever is being surveyed.

     In my agency we used Expert Agent’s client account system to update sellers on a weekly basis and of course most updates gave no news. As has been mentioned in previous posts, it didn’t take long for clients to complain about lack of progress and simply highlighted the general slow process of the transaction.

     You can never please all of the people all of the time and digital progress updating is not a ‘one stop’ solution for agents and clients as it is with ordering from Amazon or booking a taxi with Uber.

  5. bren_gun

    If only I could pay the some tax rates as Amazon & Uber….

    1. PeeBee_and_Jay

      But you can Bren_Gun, you dont have to pay taxes if you go into liquidation.

  6. PeeBee

    What a complete crock this is.

    “OneDome launched its viewings booking tools last year and is shortly launching an online sales progression service.”




    1. PeeBee_and_Jay

      oh… this is awkward. 
      Isn’t it rather dangerous to use one’s entire vocabulary in a single sentence?

      1. PeeBee

        Nah – and for the record it’s far more dangerous to lick plugs.  So – 




        For your mummy’s sake.

  7. gardenflat

    There’s around 15-20 Million home owners in the UK, they asked 1000. Another example of useless stats IMO.

  8. BabekIsmayil

    Estate agency, conveyancing and mortgage brokerages are very much interdependent. As an estate agent, you could do all the right things, find the vendor/ find the buyer, negotiate the offer, hit all your KPIs, but your cash flow success will be dependent on the conveyancer and mortgage broker doing their job. Currently these three businesses have limited connectivity and sometimes limited visbility of cash flows due to that interdependency.
    It is no secret that agents and conveyancers complain about each other from time to time blaming the other for issues with the transaction. In reality it is nobody’s fault. It is normal and each of these businesses operate with their own merit and have their own priorities. Lack of technology penetration in the industry is to be blamed for this. 

    Technology doesn’t need to kill businesses, cut jobs or “disrupt”. Technology is here to help to make things more efficient, give you better visibility of what other two professionals in the transaction are doing. 

    1. PeeBee

      The above post categorically proves one thing and one thing only –

      the vital requirement of any “technology” is the need for some Tom, D!ck or Sally to spout utter unadulterated ******** in an attempt to justify its’ existence.

      1. PeeBee_and_Jay

        I don’t think anyone has the time or the crayons to explain this to you.

        1. PeeBee

          In fairness – that’s not a bad opener.  Bigger and WAAAAAAY better than you have fired their dum-dums in past so I’m not gonna be fazed one nanogramme by your water pistol dribbling out all over your plimsolls – although you might struggle to explain the stain to your mummy.

          Of course, in your next post you could put your time to better use – and draw me a picture of what the ‘Jay’ amounts to.

          I have a mental image that it’s ‘Jerk’ – but then you need the Ohhh to complete the picture…

          …TO YOU.

          1. PeeBee_and_Jay

            I hope your day is as pleasant as you are 😉 

            1. PeeBee

              Awww… that’s a bit of a damp plimsoll.

              Whassup?  Mummy tell you to stop trying to play shoot-em-up with the bigger boys and girls?

              Clever girl, your mummy.

  9. IWONDER36

    The whole process shouldn’t take as long as it does with modern technology at hand. It’s not like everybody involved has to wait for hand written letters.

    Legals and searches could really speed up their end, but they don’t.

    If they did, there would be less breaks in the chain and estate agents could get paid. After all, most of us don’t earn a penny until completion.

    Surprised Zoopla and Rightmove haven’t look at developing speedy conveyancing services.


  10. smile please

    Prime example, i have a seller calling us twice a day and usually an aggressive email thrown in for good measure as he wants to exchange NOW.

    However the buyers solicitor is awaiting the searches back and the council are taking an age to return them.

    The seller seems to think calling us twice a day plus an email telling us we are cr*p will speed the process up and says he wants a definitive date to ‘Exchange’

    Despite numerous phone calls to him, emails explaining we cannot do anything regarding the time it takes to return searches and that there is no such thing as a date to exchange (which is why we have a completion date set at exchange), he will not accept it.

    The guy is a complete tool. Sadly there are lots of them out there.

    Buying a house is not like ordering an Uber or a new ball of string on Amazon.

    Hence the failure of Countrywide’s ‘Retail’ option and PB’s pathetic attempt to move everything online.


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