Online Property Agents vs Traditional Property Agents

Posted: May 4 2017Last Updated: Sep 23 2019
4 May 2017 - Online property agents present a new business model in line with the digital age. Looking to the Hong Kong market which is dominated by the likes of Centaline and Midland Realty – traditional real estate brokerage businesses with physical storefronts are still the default option for many homebuyers and sellers. That being said, both online property agencies and traditional property agencies serve to benefit customers with their unique selling points as highlighted below: 
The Benefits of an Online Property Agency 

Increased reach through online services 
Streamlined, customizable and fast acting, online property listing services allow for the timely valuation of a property, profile management and 24/7 access. Whether you are acting as a buyer, seller, or seeking to rent a home, you can quickly narrow down your options by price point, location and update date. 

As a landlord, you can present your property in the best light, opting for a curated visual tour of your property. Moreover your online listing will reach an audience which crosses geographical boundaries and mediums that would not otherwise be afforded by traditional property agents. This has the potential to ultimately net more offers for the seller given the greater exposure. This is particularly apt given the fact that online property agents usually have free listing syndication which simultaneously submits your property to be listed on a range of property portals.

Benefits of online property agency

  • Cost savings and convenience 
    Traditional property agents are hampered by high overheads such as rent for multiple offices which translates into higher operating costs. Agents may be incentivized to divide their time between more clients in order to meet earning objectives, adversely affecting their quality of service. Online property agents on the other hand are not bound by tight financial pressures given the fact that they receive a proportionally higher commission given the lower overhead costs. 

  • Single Agent can arrange viewings across multiple districts
    Not confined to a shopfront which is district specialized and only serves to list properties within a  given neighbourhood, online property agents can cater to property viewings country wide given the fact that arrangements can be made in advance online.


Check out thousands of properties across multiple districts here!

The Benefits of a Traditional Property Agency
Benefits of traditional property agency
  • Immediate contact and viewings 
    In terms of traditional agencies, clients are able to arrange multiple viewings almost immediately since agents tend to have keys in hand and are in close proximity of the properties they are marketing. Given that purchasing a home will probably be one of the biggest investments in your life, access to on the ground third party advice could provide additional information to assist with your decision-making. 

  • Comprehensive neighbourhood knowledge
    Some landlords are resistant to change and as a result, storefronts in more traditional neighbourhoods tend to have potentially more listings than those that can be found online. 

  • Operate as primary market representatives
    Traditional property agencies within Hong Kong by default are more mature companies with years of operating experience behind them. This provides them with the unique advantage of being able to leverage long term relationships and partnerships built over the years. This is especially apt in the case of property developers who tend to release new units for sale through traditional property agents.    
Online property agents allow for a wider range of options in terms of finding suitable properties across the different districts in Hong Kong. That being said it is important to be mindful of that fact that traditional agents still occupy a large proportion of the Hong Kong real estate market and are a reliable option should you be looking for housing in more traditional neighbourhoods. 

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