The days of unskilled agency in our market are receding. The twin pressures of political and regulatory mean that it is no longer enough to "match" tenants to properties with low skilled eager sales staff. In the future it will be essential for professional agents to differentiate by showing high level of understanding of legal and commercial aspects of tenancies. This will mean more investment in training and focus on retention of good staff.
The industry is not as similar to traditional sales estate agency as many perceive. The skill sets of a good Lettings Agent require higher technical expertise and a win/win or relationship approach to selling. These personal attributes are different to the win/lose mentality of most traditional Sales Agents. As the pitfalls of managing properties increase through ever tighter and more complex legal frameworks (including fast moving case law like Superstrike) unskilled agents (and indeed DIY Landlords) increasingly risk litigation for minor failings or merely changes in interpretation.
The market may split - Broker agents with minimal skill providing cheap but minor extensions over the online offers purely to introduce tenants.
-Professional agents with qualified staff offering full management at rates which reflect the necessary investment in training and expertise. Those agents which seek to offer the second service with lowly qualified and trained staff will gradually exit the market through choice or failure