Properties do not sell faster if agents are open longer, new research suggests

Opening times for estate agents have changed considerably but new research suggests that there is no correlation between staying open longer, and selling a property quicker.

Indeed the research from estate agent performance analyst GetAgent has found that estate agents that are open fewer hours arguably performed better.

Of those agents open up to 20 hours a week, the average opening time was 14.6 hours. These agents were only open on Saturday 33% of the time and never on Sunday. However, the average time for a property to be listed as sold subject to contract was 158.7 days.

In contrast, those open 80 plus hours a week, some 86.1 hours on average and always on Saturday and Sunday only managed an average time from listing to sold subject to contract of 167 days. 8.3 days slower than those with much shorter opening hours.

But the firm points out that it is not as clear cut as shutting up earlier to improve performance. Those open between 21 and 40 hours a week, some 36.7 hours on average, took the longest to get a property sold subject to contract at 197.6 days.

The best mixture of opening hours and property selling performance is the 41 to 60 hour bracket. Agents in this bracket opened for an average of 49.7 hours a week and took just 142.8 days to sell a property subject to contract.

‘A lot has been said about longer opening hours, driven by a change in the industry due to online and hybrid competition. The perception is that if you’re open for longer you are able to provide better service due to a greater degree of accessibility. However, this simply isn’t the case and longer opening hours can actually have the opposite impact,’ said Colby Short, chief executive officer of GetAgent.

‘It’s not the hours you are open, but the quality of the service you provide within those hours. All too often, an agent will open for longer, but this can lead to demotivated staff and a greater workload that can be detrimental in the long run,’ he explained.

‘Particularly in this day and age technology can do a lot of the heavy lifting on a day to day basis and the smart agent is the one that incorporates this to work smarter, not harder, providing a better service in the process,’ he added.

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