Nearly two thirds of estate agents in the UK remain undeterred and unaffected by Brexit as they have not seen activity drop as a result of the referendum vote, a new survey shows.
Overall some 64% of estate agents polled by cloud based estate agency software provider Dezrez said they had not developed a Brexit strategy plan as they don’t see the need for one.
Their confidence has increased since the vote in June, the poll also suggests. Just after the vote to leave the European Union Dezrez findings found that 22% of estate agents felt they has no need for a Brexit plan but now as of November 2016 that has increased by over 40%.
Of those surveyed, 53% don’t believe Brexit has had any significant impact on their business to date, while 40% suggest say that Brexit has had some negative effect. Similarly, 55% haven’t seen any change in property prices since the Brexit vote, while 37% suggest the vote has caused some turbulence in prices which has led to lost sales.
Some 60% say that there has been no change in the volume of first time buyers since Brexit, while 17% have seen an increase, and 65% suggest that there has been no change in the amount of foreign investors, while 10% have seen an increase.
The research also shows that 63% say they have seen similar levels of deal completion since Brexit, with 28% seeing a slightly higher proportion of withdrawals.
‘What’s notable here is that, despite the general media sentiment, and doom and gloom stories in the media, the amount of estate agents with a Brexit strategy has technically reduced,’ said Justin Morris, Dezrez chief executive officer.
‘When you consider that estate agents have not experienced Brexit related fluctuations in the amount of buyers, or a change in house prices, it’s easy to understand their approach. It’s very much business as usual for most,’ he added.
The findings also suggest there is no clear picture amongst the estate agent community about who has benefited most from Brexit. Some 33% thought were the greatest beneficiaries, 10% said sellers, 7% landlords and 5% tenants.
In the long term, only 23% of respondents believed that Brexit would have a long term effect on their businesses, while 43% believed business would remain as usual, with 34% unsure of the effects.
‘It’s fair to say there is still a picture of genuine uncertainty. Looking on the bright side, the vast majority are unaffected, with a relatively small proportion seeing negative Brexit related effects. The key will be how the markets respond once Article 50 is triggered,’ Morris explained.
‘What’s important is that estate agents don’t wait to see some effect. They need to be proactive. For instance, the technology sector is largely pursuing its aims of digital transformation as a means of future proofing their business,’ he pointed out.
‘We’ve seen similar signs amongst estate agents, who are seeking to integrate their online offerings to deliver a more comprehensive customer experience, while delivering a fuller suite of services such as integration with financial advisers. There are higher margins to be had for those who are thinking more laterally about their business, Brexit or not,’ he added.