What Is A Hybrid Estate Agent?

You may have heard the term before, but what is a hybrid estate agent?

It’s a very good question, the answer to which may not be quite as straight-forward as you think. Since online estate agents came on the scene a few years ago, ‘hybrid agents’ is a term that has been bounced around quite a lot. So, let’s start by trying to answer the question ‘what is a hybrid estate agent?’

Definition Of A Hybrid Estate Agent

There is no universally accepted definition of a hybrid estate agent.

Some online estate agents claim to be ‘hybrid agents’ because they offer the service of a high street agent but without the overheads of a physical office.

Some high street estate agents claim to be ‘hybrid agents’ because they have a website and therefore consider themselves to be ‘online agents’ too.

In some cases, both can probably be acceptable definitions.

If the online agent truly offers the same level of service as a high street agent and does so at a lower cost due to not having high street offices, they can perhaps be considered a ‘hybrid agent’.

If the high street agent has a true online presence and can accept both valuation bookings and online bookings to list a property for sale, they too can be considered as ‘hybrid’.

Difference Between Online Estate Agents & Hybrid Agents

If we accept the previous definition, does that mean that all online estate agents are also hybrid estate agents?

Absolutely not.

Online estate agents can be ultra-cheap offerings that simply give you a way to list your property on Rightmove but offer few of the other services a normal estate agent would. Or, they can be full-service agencies that offer all the usual services of a traditional agent.

Therefore, an online estate agent isn’t necessarily a hybrid agent, yet a hybrid agent is always an online agent. You simply cannot be a hybrid estate agent if you’re not online.

So, if an online estate agent retains low pricing but still offers services such as local property experts, full photography and floorplans, hosted viewings, and sales progression, they can be considered a hybrid estate agent.

Hybrid Estate Agents Vs High Street Estate Agents

What about high street estate agents? 

When is a high street estate agent classed as a hybrid agent, too?

It comes down to both price and the ability of the high street agent to accept online orders.

Many high street agents claiming to be ‘hybrid’ agents think that just having a website is enough, it’s not. That’s just a standard requirement for businesses of today.

If that website cannot accept online bookings for valuations and even listings, including accepting payments online, they should not claim to be a hybrid agent.

But it goes further than that. The most difficult thing for a high street agent to overcome so that it can be considered a hybrid agent is price.

Online estate agents have a big advantage. Without costly offices, they have lower overheads and can pass on the savings to customers.

Since being a hybrid agent requires you to offer the best of both worlds, a high street agent that charges more than online estate agents cannot be considered to truly be a hybrid agent.

People often mistakenly think that Purplebricks is a hybrid estate agent. While they come pretty close, they fail in one key area.

They don’t offer a ‘no sale, no fee’ package. That means you pay regardless of whether your property sells or not.

Since this is very different from when you sell through a high street agent and pay on completion, they cannot be considered as true hybrid agents.

We are a Hybrid estate agent, we do everything a high street agent does, but we don’t have a high street shop - when was the last time you went into a high street estate agent to local at properties?  98% of property searches start online and that’s where you’ll find our shop window.

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