Do estate agents/realtors have offices and do they need them?

I'm writing a piece for a well know publication in the UK about the over exposure of the British high street to estate agents.

For decades every estate agent has had an office where they conduct business. Over the last few years, online agents have started to make a dent in the market (approx 8% of the market) with no high street presence but still an agents office is still important to them.

My question is firstly whether this is the same all over Europe and agents having offices and secondly whether you believe they actually need them.


  • Kristjan_ByfieldKristjan_Byfield Member
    edited February 2019

    Personally I have never understoood the value of having numerous branches within very close proximity- nowhere is this more prevalent than in London. We have operated our agency from an office since we launched in 2004 and it’s done us no harm- and we never had ambitions to have a shop. That said, I don’t think there is a huge cost difference between retail & office space so the claims of ‘lower fees due to lower overheads’ doesn’t ring true- and the lack of profit in online to date supports that. High St are often saturated with agents- in some parts of London you can have 10-15 agents virtually next door- who wants that on their High St and how do those agents win when do saturated?
    In London many agents (led in part by foxtons innovation here in the early noughties) have learned that to deliver a shop must be eye catching, innovative & appealing. I am often horrified seeing agents offices in other parts of the country that look like they haven’t been touched since they were fitted out mid 90s. The space looks tired & cheap, uninviting, staff often look bored or uninspired- how is that a ‘win’ for that agent.
    Shops can still deliver but should be few & far between and deliver an ‘experience’ for the consumer not just be a drab shopfront office they are forced to visit.

  • I can't speak for the European community, but I have heard of real estate agents in Australia who would have multi-purpose offices. For example, the real estate agency would be based inside a coffee shop, so the coffee shop would not only help offset the leasing costs, but also provide a comfortable space for the agency to have clients in.

  • Eddie_HolmesEddie_Holmes Administrator admin

    Increasingly common in the Uk @AnthonyJoseph184 . Indeed some agents have actually just become full time coffee shops!

  • Would you guys have pictures of these offices?

    Is this some kind of Rapha inspired shop/experience?

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