According to property management firm, DJ Alexander Ltd, the shift to online could see estate agents becoming the next victims in the latest string of High Street closures.
Analysis of official data has found that, in the past five years, almost 2,500 UK-based estate agency businesses have gone out of business. The expectation that this trend will continue as the sector suffers from the same High Street issues as retailers and restaurants, which are being hit by high business rates, large rents and greater online competition.
David Alexander, Managing Director of DJ Alexander Ltd, explains: “There are a number of factors in play causing this large number of business failures in the letting and estate agent sector. Clearly online competition has had a dramatic impact on the High Street with its lower cost base and its generational and cultural shift from on street to online shopping. The internet has undercut much of the High Street in the retail and other sectors over the last five years and this is likely to continue.
“The generational and cultural change is enormous. For most people under 40 the idea of wandering from shop to shop in city centres’ is alien to them and they conduct many of their purchases on their phones, tablets, or computers. This situation is only likely to continue, and we can see that High Street outlets such as estate agents are suffering as a result and will continue to suffer over the next few years. Rents and business rates have also played their part, which is why this downturn is also affecting casual dining, so it is a combination of issues which is causing so many business closures.”
At Beavis Morgan, we have extensive experience of working with clients in the property sector and our professionals are acknowledged experts in issues affecting pubs, bars and restaurants.
Through our partner businesses, BM Structured Finance and BM Advisory, we are able to help with sourcing and restructuring debt finance for SME businesses, as well as assisting with resolving issues which can impact on business performance and success, and finding innovative solutions for businesses and individuals in distress.