Has been interesting to watch the response from the established estate agency market to early disruptors like Rightmove and then new entrants such as Purple Bricks.
As this article notes, market changes ad consumer behaviours continue to change at speed, agility will be key to remaining competitive. With agility not being something historically ingrained within firms, those who are not prepared to drive change may find the future somewhat challenging.
The problem for Countrywide, and other high street chains, is the existential threats to their business. Two we know about for sure. Early next year the tenant fees ban comes into force, which will slice into lucrative lettings income. Second, Rightmove, the online property website, will continue relentlessly driving up fees that estate agents know they have no choice but to pay. But it is disintermediation, for so long successfully resisted by the agents, that is the potential death blow. High street travel agents were the early victims of the likes of Booking.com, Expedia and Trivago. Estate agency has survived longer than anyone expected. We don’t know if it will be Purple Bricks or another challenger that will be the ultimate winner in online home selling. What we do know is that the dam has broken and only the upmarket estate agents in the luxury and country home market are likely to survive the onslaught.