Top 7 Real Estate Agency Trends in 2020

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top 7 estate agency trends in 2020

The real estate industry has undergone significant changes this year. Being aware of the latest updates and finding ways to adapt is one of the best ways to make sure your estate agency franchise business remains profitable. Keep reading to find out about the top industry trends for 2020.


The events of this year have had a huge impact on the way we use buildings. More people are working from home than ever before, offices are lying empty, many house moves have been put on pause and home improvement businesses are booming. 

The real estate agency sector 

The real estate sector is far from stable at the moment, with Brexit and the coronavirus crisis causing concern among industry experts. A recent report by Statistista gives an overview of the industry; there are over 113,000 businesses collectively turning over more than £68 billion. 

The growing market share of online estate agencies such as Purple Bricks and Zoopla demonstrates the industry’s move towards online operations. However, it’s likely high street agents with an internet presence will still perform strongly, as long as they can compete with the ‘no commission’ USP of the online providers.


Top real estate agency trends 

1. Escape to the country

As we spend more time in our homes than ever before, we’re naturally taking a closer look at our surroundings. Since the summer lockdown, many people have made the decision to move to a larger house with more outdoor space, and this surge in demand has pushed up house prices. 

According to Halifax, the average cost of a house in the UK exceeded £250,000 for the first time, as a result of a 7.5 percent rise in property prices since last year. In comparison, flats have grown in value by an average of two percent, or £2,833. 

2. Rise in rentals

As house prices increase and people find it harder and harder to get their foot on the property ladder, the demand for rented accommodation is growing. In fact, there’s been a noticeable shift towards rented accommodation being viewed as the norm, especially in locations where buying a property is prohibitively expensive. Franchises with a strong lettings department are likely to perform well. 

3. Urban expansion 

Town centres are always growing, and despite the falling demand for office space and housing for city workers, it’s likely they’ll continue to expand. Instead, the focus could shift towards the service sector, with the set-up of new restaurants and leisure facilities. 

By 2025, we expect there to be an extra 2.5 million people living in the UK’s city centres. As these urban populations expand, so will demand for housing, shops, leisure facilities, warehouses and office space. Real estate will need to adapt as competition for space intensifies; whether that’s offering flexible workspaces or multi-storey warehouses. - Jon Neale, Head of UK Research at JLL

4. Sustainable buildings

People are waking up to the importance of environmental sustainability, and those in the real estate industry have the power to make a significant difference. Construction companies will be working towards minimising their carbon footprint, while homeowners and businesses will drive up demand for buildings with renewable energy resources and low pollution levels. 

5. Health and wellbeing 

With many people isolated and worried about their health, the real estate sector must take steps to build health and wellbeing into our properties as we move forward. We’ll see an increasing number of homes designed with light and space in mind, promoting values like the Danish and Norwegian concept, ‘hygge’, which describes a feeling of cosy contentment. 

Meanwhile, offices of the future will have a greater focus on meeting spaces and quiet areas for individual work. New additions will allow for an active lifestyle, such as high-quality bike storage, and sustainable choices, with electric vehicle charging points. 

6. Tech integration 

Many of us are already using smart home technology, whether it’s to control our kitchen appliances, home entertainment devices, heating and lighting or security systems. As time goes on, we’re likely to see an increase in buildings being constructed with integrated online controls, both in the residential and commercial property sectors. 

7. Online estate agencies 

Online estate agents such as Rightmove and Zoopla are showing digital estate agencies are just as effective as the ‘real world’ businesses on the ground. In fact, with no commission charges, faster selling times and a wider potential audience of buyers, sellers and renters, they’re particularly appealing to the general public. 

Industry experts suggest around 80 percent of property buyers use the internet in some form to look for a new home, and 83 percent expect to see a property advertised online. This year, usage has gone through the roof, with increases in online property searches up by 167 percent for some areas. 


Starting a real estate agency franchise business

Lots of real estate businesses use the franchise model to expand nationwide, so there’s plenty of choice for budding entrepreneurs hoping to break into the sector. There’s also a variety of companies offering flexible partnership agreements, with low investment costs and remote working opportunities. 

If you want an estate agency franchise business you can run from home, an online model is the best option. They’re likely to involve lower start-up fees and have much lower overheads than an office-based business. They also tend to have strong brand identities and a dedicated following of both buyers and sellers they’ve built up over the years. For more information, see our article, Sector Spotlight: How To Run An Estate Agency Franchise From Home.

Find out which real estate agency franchises are on the lookout for new franchisees by taking a look at our current range of investment opportunities in the sector. You can sort the list by each franchise’s popularity and fee requirements to find the perfect business venture for you. 

>> Read more articles on the Estate Agent & Property sector

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