New figures released today by The Property Ombudsman have detailed a 42% rise in complaints during 2014. Data from TPO’s annual report detailed that, of the complaints received with regard to sales, 59% were from those selling the property and paying for the “service” of high street agents.

The South East accounted for the highest volume of complaints with 23% being recorded in the region, this dropped to 23% in Greater London and 11% in the South West and to the East.

Research released at the end of 2014 by online estate agent eMoov.co.uk, conducted by Opinion Matters, found that 69% of the general public, stated that they dislike estate agents. In the same survey just 15% of people gave a positive rating when asked “do high street estate agents treat you well?” With 52% of people stating they don’t trust the information that high street agents share with them and 59% of sellers, giving a negative score with regard to the fees that high street agents receive.

Russell Quirk, founder and CEO of eMoov, commented:

“The latest report from The Property Ombudsman is certainly timely to say the least. Yesterday Lloyds released data highlighting the high cost of moving and the increasing percentage of the cost that is a result of traditional estate agents and their outrageous fees.

We don’t see why someone that is doing the same job as they previously were, should profit inadvertently because of a rise in house prices. When you consider that a high number of them aren’t even doing the job properly, it really does rub salt in the wound.

I think this latest TPO report highlights the important role online agents, like eMoov.co.uk, have played and will continue to play in the UK property market. Previously sellers had no choice in the matter but to pay high fees and receive poor service.

Companies like eMoov have shown them that they don’t have to stand for it. This is reflected in the increasing number of those that feel the need to complain after receiving an inadequate service, as well as the increasing popularity of the online sector.

A true digital disruptor needs to provide outstanding customer focus, just look at the examples of Air BnB, Uber, Just Eat, Zappos and Premier Inn. It is the likes of these that continue to inspire the way I operate eMoov, my staff are incentivised and motivated by providing an impeccable service to the customer, not by the percentage fee they will receive as a result of selling.”

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