Shopfronts work better in less populated rural areas, according to the director of one group.
Paul Davies, director at One Agency, told Real Estate Business that their group has grown to almost 50 agents in the last year.
“We’ve seen staggering growth, somewhere near 300 per cent in the last 12 months. The reason why I believe we’ve seen this growth is because in this harsh economic climate, agents need to keep their overheads down, and we can offer that.”
According to Mr Davies, half of the One Agency offices don’t have a shopfront, while the other half work at a private office.
“It’s hard to compare the two, because in certain areas it’s appropriate to have a shopfront. Most of our offices are in the rural areas of the country, where there is much lower population density.
“In a city, you don’t need a shop. You blend in with everyone else. People aren’t going to go down to the street and walk around looking for a real estate agent, they’re going to search the net.
“But a shopfront in the country works much better than in a city, because in a small town all the locals know what’s going on. If you open a shop, everyone in the area will be aware of it, and might even pop in to say hi. You will be become the real estate agent for the town."
Robert Mure recently opened his office under One Agency in Koo Wee Rup Victoria, a town with a population of around three thousand.
“People like to be able to walk into somewhere, they need to see a physical presence. The agents seem to go out more in the city,” said Mr Mure.
“While in the country areas you get your farmers coming in to the shops once a week or so, and while they’re there, they duck into the local real estate agent to have a look in the windows.