What are hybrid estate agents and why are they on the rise?


More and more services are moving online, and the same trend is happening across the housing market. Would you choose a high street, online or hybrid estate agent?

Online estate agents have been gathering market share over recent years, with the likes of Purple Bricks now a household name. There are plenty of others who offer their service on an online-only basis, such as Yopa and eMoov, which are also becoming more well-known.

Hybrid agents claim to offer the best of both worlds. They tend to operate predominantly online, while offering some of the services of a high street agent. There are pros and cons to each agent type, including price and level of service, and much of the choice comes down to personal preference.

The rise of remote services

Businesses and services have increasingly grown their online presence for the past couple of decades. Many of these are now dedicated to online-only offerings, as the world has become more digitised. The recent pandemic has led to even less face-to-face and physical interaction, and the need for online services has soared.

As a result, there has been a major rise in the popularity of hybrid agents. A new report from TwentyCi shows that new instructions to hybrid estate agents soared by 49% more than high street agents. Sales have also risen in the space, with 16% more growth than their high street counterparts. These figures cover data from Q3 2020 in comparison to the previous year.

Market penetration is still very much dominated by high street agents, though. According to the report, physical agents still hold 92.1% of market share, while hybrid and online account for 7.9%. However, as the sector continues to grow, things could change significantly in the coming years.

The rental market has seen similar growth in the hybrid space. The number of rental properties on the books for hybrid agents has risen by 37%, says TwentyCi’s report, compared to 3% for high street agents compared to Q3 2019.

Does the property price make a difference?

For sellers choosing which agent to market their property, many factors come into the picture. Getting a wide enough reach is important, which is where online can be preferable. However, the appeal of high street agents can be the local knowledge, and potentially the more ‘personal’ service. Most high street estate agents also have an online presence, too, with the vast majority of properties from local agents listed on the likes of Zoopla, Rightmove and other property portals.

However, TwentyCi’s report has also found a correlation between property value and hybrid estate agents. It also looks at how this has changed since the coronavirus outbreak.

“Previous reports have highlighted the appeal of the hybrid agents to the owners of lower value properties. Post lockdown we are starting to see an improved level of penetration into properties of greater value,” says the report.

“This will be driven both by the increase in the average property price coming to the market (thereby making fewer available in the lower bandings) in addition to the significant uplift of activity across all price bands within the residential property market.”

The fact is that as people live their lives increasingly in cyber space, the need for online offerings in the housing market will intensify. New tech startups and proptech firms are popping up regularly, and the property sector is beginning to catch up with modern-day needs.

Undoubtedly there will still be a need for many of the services that high street estate agents can offer. But some of these businesses will certainly need to adapt to survive, and many have taken even greater strides to do so over the course of 2020.

Highgrove Mews

High Net Yield Freehold Houses

  • Commutable to London (27 mins to central Paddington station)
  • Rental demand extremely strong with large industry presence in Reading
  • Freehold with 4% net yield

£284,955 - £457,000

St Petersgate – Stockport Manchester

New Launch - Stockport Manchester, apartments from £160,000

  • Discounted launch prices from £160,000
  • Excellent transport links with 3 trains per hour to London Euston and only 9 mins journey to Manchester Piccadilly
  • Experienced development team

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

Assured Rent Housing Association Leases

  • Assured rent & no rental voids
  • Tenant damage cover & newly refurbished inline with requirements of a corporate sitting tenant
  • Free property and lettings management

From £62,000

Emerging Birmingham Commuter Town With Properties From Just £104,000

The emerging Birmingham commuter town where properties are selling in an average of just 24 days

  • A collection of 62 two bedroom apartments and 28 one bedroom apartments.
  • DE14 is one of the fastest selling postcodes in the West Midlands.
  • 23 minute train journey into Birmingham New Street Station.

Properties from £104,000

Mill, Stockport

The Northwest's emerging property hotspot

  • Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000
  • Completion date - Q4 2021
  • Rental yields - 6% plus

Discounted off-plan 2-bed prices from £162,000

South Central – Birmingham City Centre Apartments

Highly anticipated 28 storey launch in Birmingham City Centre with an impressive roof garden and communal facilities.

  • 154 units across 28 storeys
  • Residential multi-media community room, gym, roof garden and sky cinema
  • Excellent future connectivity via the metro system to other key transport hubs and locations around the city

from £205,800


Talk to us

Speak to our UK property experts today: 

+44 (0) 333 123 0320

Open from 9am-6pm GMT

+852 9865 4446

Open from 9am-6pm HKT

Stamp Duty Calculator


Unlock members only investment opportunities and full development details. Join now – it’s free, quick and easy.


Not a member? Sign up for free

Online search

What are hybrid estate agents and why are they on the rise?


By submitting your details via this online form you agree to be contacted via email/phone/SMS by Direct Marketplace Ltd t/a BuyAssociation in relation to property investment and property developments . We do not share your personal details with third parties.  To view our full Privacy Policy click here.