PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: How estate agents are perceived | New survey reveals average house move spend

Andrew Stanton’s daily proptech & property news in association with Estate Agent Networking

Can regulation change the perception of the sector?

In a recent episode of The Home Stretch podcast, Iain McKenzie, CEO of The Guild of Property Professionals caught up with Nathan Emerson, CEO of Propertymark, a membership body, which much like The Guild, is working to raise the standards within the sector.

Speaking about the perception of estate agents, McKenzie asks whether Emerson believes that regulation is the way forward to break through the current poor stereotype of the industry. 

In response, Emerson answers: “I think regulation provides the benchmark. Aspects such as providing upfront information has become more prevalent, consumer protection regulations are becoming more enforceable, and we are getting to the stage where agents are held accountable for providing the right information. All supply partners such as solicitors, conveyancers and financial services are reliant on what estate agents do, and it is often the agent that has much of the oversight and control over the transaction in many cases.

“So, essentially there are regulated suppliers that are asked to take the information that estate agents provide, however, many won’t want to do that because they do not currently trust the qualifications of the agent. Having regulations in place will put estate agents in line with everyone else involved in property transaction, such as the banks, legal services, and surveyors. Estate agents are probably the strongest link in the transaction, yet are the only group in the framework that are not regulated and are therefore less accountable.”

In response, McKenzie says: “Arguably estate agents would also have more contact and influence with the consumer.”

Absolutely, Emerson answers. “And I would dare say that is growing as more and more tools enable agents to take more control of that process. I think regulation will provide stability. Of course, there is also the other element of how agents present themselves and conduct themselves daily.”

McKenzie asked Emerson whether he thinks that Ropa will happen. Answering, Emerson says: “I think when you look at regulation you have the idealism of Ropa within a definitive structure, and then you have the other side of the fence, which is the actual outcomes of what Ropa would be, and what other ways that would be brought in. So, do you end up with licensing and regulation on block management as a first port of call, or is it the requirement to take examinations or various other possibilities? It is more than likely, looking at the direction of travel that is coming from Michael Gove, it will come in segmented parts and over time more and more elements of the legislation will be put in place to regulate the sector. It will be fantastic to have it, but I don’t think it is the highest thing on the agenda now. What I would reiterate, is that the movement we are seeing filtering down from DLUHC is gradually closing the holes that would effectively allow people not to operate in an unregulated society.”

To hear more of the conversation, visit The Home Stretch podcast.

Survey Reveals Unexpected Costs Impacting House Movers Pockets and Their Wellbeing

PRESS RELEASE: New research out today (Tuesday, April 4) reveals that house movers in the UK are spending close to £1bn in extra costs when they move.

A Yougov survey shows that people are spending on average £10,454 more on their house move than they had budgeted.

Over 4,000 people across Britain were surveyed at different points over the last six months to gauge the impact of unforeseen costs.

And, just under half (44%) of those who had moved home in the past two years had suffered from unexpected costs.

In the latest survey, carried out last week, 50% of people who have moved have experienced unforeseen costs of up to £5,000, while 18% spent  between £5,000 to  £9,999, and 19% spent £10,000 to £19,999 extra.

A smaller percentage (5%) paid up to £40,000 while the same percentage of people paid over £40,000.

These unexpected costs when moving included increased childcare, increased council tax, extra carer costs and extra travel costs.

31% of people had increased furniture costs, 25% had unexpected extra mortgage costs, while 25% had unforeseen overhead costs.

The Yougov survey, commissioned by Persona Homes, also revealed that the impact of these costs were not just financial, but both emotional and mental.

29% of these recent movers said they had money worries during the move; 21% had mental health concerns; 33% suffered from lack of sleep, 19% said they had arguments with their partners, while 9% said it impacted their work.

Yougov carried out the surveys in October 2022 and March 2023.

The trend of growing costs seen over the past year or so has led to one housebuilder developing a lifestyle calculator, along with wider more pastoral support to help people as they move into their homes.

Persona Homes has created a calculator which does a deep dive into peoples’ lifestyles to ensure they are aware of all the costs associated with moving, so they are able to enjoy their lifestyle once they’re in their new home.

The calculator looks at everything from child care costs,  spend on cars and life insurance through to social experiences, TV and broadband spend, and a whole lot in between.

The aim is to show people, prior to buying a house, how much they are spending and whether they will be stretched or not if they move.

To help tackle some of the well-being and mental health issues highlighted in the Yougov survey, Persona Homes are also offering pastoral support.

Personify, which you can access when you reserve a home, offers a range of support, advice and help for buyers.

They include, expert financial and welfare advice, debt advice, 24/7 access to counselling services and guaranteed access to 24/7 private GP services.

Will Gardner, executive director at Persona Homes, said: “The financial and emotional pressures on people moving home is growing, as we can see  by these surveys. And they are likely to get worse before they get better given the current cost of living crisis.

“Despite these issues we are seeing more and more people wanting to move. And, there are lots of good websites and advisors out there with supporting information on the costs associated with moving home, like stamp duty, legal costs, etc. But there aren’t many, if any, supporting buyers to help realise these potential unforeseen costs, and the wider pressures they bring.

“We wanted to ensure our customers were fully aware of these potential costs, which is why we launched the lifestyle calculator and the wider support that Personify offers.”

The Persona Homes calculator can be found here and the  Personify support can be found here

Proptech and Property News in association with Estate Agent Networking.

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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