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The Future of Estate Agency is Changing

There can be no doubt that these are difficult times for estate agents. Around 2500 are reported to have gone out of business in the last 12 months. Coupled with the demise of other retailers, the high street landscape is changing. Even Woolworths recently closed their doors after over 100 years of trading.

However if you look above the ground floor of the high street in many older towns, you will see the remains of some beautiful old buildings. Many of them could revert back to their original residential use and perhaps even more people in the future will revert back to ‘living above the shop’ and working from home.

Traditional estate agents will continue to struggle against a backdrop of fewer sales, rising overheads and increased competition from the internet. As more estate agents go to the wall, the resilient ones will adapt to survive. Some will become niche players concentrating on specific markets such as luxury properties. Others will diversify, selling other products and services under one roof; and yes, the Tesco Property Supermarket concept will rear its ugly head again.

Despite the inability of some buyers to obtain mortgage funding, there is still a pent up demand for housing in this country and whether the roof over our heads is mortgaged or tenanted, we all need somewhere to live.

Consequently, when the inevitable upturn that the need for housing will bring finally arrives, forward thinking companies such as will be well placed to fill the vacuum left by the reduction of high street agents.

The internet is no substitute for personal service which is why mousesale is recruiting a nationwide network of local independent agents who can provide clients with personal service and local knowledge. However why does that service need to be supplied from an expensive high street premise when it can just as easily be provided from home or a secondary office?

This is not internet selling; this is the future – local online estate agency.

Richard Garland is the founder and managing director of and can be contacted via