Early agent catches the client – consumers requesting online valuations before work

Prospective property sellers and landlords are increasingly requesting instant online valuations from estate and letting agents before they get to work, according to the latest data from The ValPal Network.

Figures show that 7am-8am was the most popular hour of the day for consumers to request online valuations from agent members of The ValPal Network in both January and February.

Last month, some 8,416 of 69,752 total online valuations – equivalent to over 12% – were requested between 7am and 8am. In January, 11,953 of 94,100 (12.5+%) were generated during the same hour.

The trend for pre-work online valuations stretches back to autumn 2019, with 7am-8am being in the top two hours for the most online valuation requests for the past five consecutive months.

Of the 313,809 online valuation leads generated by members of The ValPal Network between the start of October 2019 and the end of February 2020, more than one in ten – 37,128 – were requested by consumers between 7am and 8am.

Meanwhile, the data shows that 3pm to 4pm is also a popular time for sellers and landlords to request online valuations from agents, accounting for the second highest number of leads in both January (8,041) and February (5,301).

“We can see from this data that early mornings are a crucial time for agents when it comes to generating online valuation leads,” says Craig Vile, Director of The ValPal Network.

“Vendors and landlords are clearly browsing their phones and considering their property transactions on their way to work or when they first get into the office.”

He says that if agents want to take advantage of this activity and generate leads which they can convert into market appraisals, they must make sure they have an effective mobile website with prominent calls to action.

“Agents also need to utilise live chat tools so they can cope with out of hours enquiries. As we can see, many enquiries are coming in before agents traditionally start work,” says Vile.

“There is an increasing shift towards flexible lifestyles and a need for agents to be able to service their clients at all hours of the day, even if their office is closed.”

“That said, our data shows that there are also lots of requests for online valuations in the middle of the day when agents are more likely to be in the office,” he adds.

“It’s vital that when these leads come in the prospects are phoned as soon as possible for the agent to have the best chance of converting the online valuation into a market appraisal and ultimately an instruction,” Vile concludes.

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