Estate Agents must embrace technology

Estate Agents need to embrace technology or they could be left behind, said Adam Day, owner and director of Hatched, who describe themselves as the 'low cost estate agent'

He was debating with Jon Cooke, managing director of Your Move and Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove at the myhomemove annual conference today in Solihull.

Day said: "An office doesn't sell houses; Rightmove and Zoopla does. There will always be room for estate agents and high street agents. I don't think high street agents are using technology as quickly as they could.Those high street agents that don't bother with technology will be the ones that go."

Jon Cooke, who has only been managing director of Your Move for 10 days, agreed that technology is integral.

He said: "If a consumer chooses to interact with us online we need to be at the cutting edge of that. Having been round the industry for some time, our industry is pretty rubbish at technology so we are often quite behind."

He argued that estate agencies whether or on the high street are interchangable in terms of expertise.

He added: "There is no such thing as an online estate agency. They are just a traditional estate agency. As estate agents we are in the business of selling and establishing trust."

Having been in estate agency for 17 years, Adam Day said it has all changed during his generation.

He said: "We can sell houses in all corners of the UK because of the internet. We are right smack bang in the tech age"

Miles Shipside expects young people to be more comfortable with cutting out face-to-face interaction in future.

He said: "The younger generation who are not so used to social interaction will be more cormfortable transacting online."

However he added: "Being on the high street is important for the local market."