Estate agent websites hit all-time record visitor volumes in the past week as the numbers of new residential property vendors entering the marketing held steady, while yet another increase in buyers seeking property added to the growing supply/demand imbalance, the latest data from the Yomdel Property Sentiment Tracker (YPST) showed.
In the week to midnight Sunday, the sales market remained strong overall as new vendor enquiries held up after plummeting 10% the previous week, while buyers rose almost 3% in increase pressure on agents. In lettings, landlords became increasingly scarce with enquiries dropping 7% to slip below the 62-week pre-covid average.
But activity on agent own-branded websites continued to surge, with the volumes of people visiting 158% higher than the first week of lockdown in 2020, and 58% higher than the equivalent week in 2019. In turn, the volume of live chats was 58% higher than last year (35% higher than 2019) and the quantity of leads generated 67% higher than a year earlier (53% higher than 2019).
Yomdel provides 24/7 managed live chat services to 3,800 estate agent offices in the UK, handling more than a 1.9m chats per year. It has analysed the data and leads captured in live chat going back to January 2019, up until week ending 28 March 2021. The website visitor data is a sample across major estate agency groups in the UK and covers in excess of 50 million unique website visits back to January 2019.
YOMDEL PROPERTY SENTIMENT TRACKER (w/e 28 MARCH 2021)
“It really looks like crunch time is fast approaching in terms of new stock for agents to list who are staring down the barrel of rapidly diminishing listings. Buyers are plentiful, and stock is moving, but agents report an incredibly competitive market,” said Andy Soloman, Yomdel Founder & CEO.
“Given the urgent need to identify and secure new vendors and landlords, effective and rapid portal lead handling and effective engagement with all-time record volumes of visitor numbers to estate agent websites offers the best hope of keeping the tanks full and the engine running,” he added.
The YPST methodology establishes a base line average shown as 100% or 100, calculated according to average engagement values over the 62 weeks prior to the first national lockdown on 30 March 2020, and plots movements from there according to the volumes of people engaging in live chat, their stated needs, questions asked, and new business leads generated. Data is measured over full 24-hour periods.
New vendors were down 0.35%, or 0.46 points, to end the week on 132.84, some 33% above the average, 284% higher than the same week last year as lockdown was imposed, and 41% above the equivalent week 2019.
Buyers rose 2.75%, or 14.79 points, to close at 179.20, 79% above the pre-covid-19 average, 159% above the same week 2020 and 77% higher than the equivalent week 2019.
Landlords fell again, dropping 6.80%, or 7.03 points, to 96.38, some 4% below the average, 10% lower than the same week last year, and 29% lower than the same week 2019.
Tenants fell 4.95%, or 5.65 points, to close at 108.50 some 9% above the pre-covid-19 average, 30% above the same week last year, and 39% higher than the equivalent week 2019.
The following graph looks at the relationship between website visitor volumes, live chat volumes and the volume of leads generated. The data samples more than 50 million visitors to estate agent websites from Jan 2019 – 28 March 2021 and shows how web traffic (blue line) is 96% higher than the same week last year. The volume of people using live chat (red line) and the numbers of new business leads captured (purple line) are 113% and 134%, respectively, above the same week 2020.
YOMDEL ESTATE AGENT WEBSITE TRACKER (w/e 28 MARCH 2021)