estate agent showing floor plan

Local Independent Estate Agents Vs. Corporate Estate Agents (Part I)

From selling or letting your property, to entrusting an external provider with property management services, picking the right Estate Agents is a big choice. Choosing the right people to market or manage your property is a big factor in getting the right price for your home, the quickness of the sale, and the prospect of a good relationship with your tenants. As a starting point in this choice, we’re sketching out the difference in expected service between local, independent Estate Agents vs. Corporate Estate Agents. 

As Estate Agents, we’re privy to perceptions of all things property related. From packing-up, selling-up and moving away to entering the residential or commercial-letting sphere, these processes can be daunting and tough to manoeuvre. But what we’re also privy to is the role that a good Estate Agent carries in these processes. 

For example, a 2017 Which? study on property sales in the UK highlights a stark similarity between properties whose market price were reduced by more than 5% before a successful sale (Spoiler Alert: it’s not the size of the guest bedroom). They found that those properties were, on average, put on the market for £5,000 more than all other properties, but were ultimately sold for £20,000 less. This highlights the potential financial pitfall incurred by an estate agent’s overvaluation, a tactic used by dodgy deals to pull prospective clientele in. Beyond careful financial concerns, however, selling, leasing and managing your property can be a stressful and uncertain time, so you want to make sure you and your chosen Estate Agent work in harmony and with trust, rather than bump heads or work at cross purposes.  

When choosing your Estate Agent, a key consideration is whether to use a local, independent Estate Agents or a corporate Estate Agents with several networked branches under one-brand. Rickman Properties is a local, independent Estate Agents, so you might have an inkling of what we’re going to suggest: Local and Independent are King. 

In this two-part series, we’d like to take the time to explain why you should choose a local, independent Estate Agents for both your wallet and your sanity. This way you’ll know you’re making the right decision with Rickman Properties. 

Local Expertise with a National Reach 

When putting your property on the market, letting to residential clients, or seeking a new property manager, you need an agent experienced in selling or managing properties similar to yours. This way they can foresee potential issues, such as whether you’ll need to undertake refurbishment or smaller adjustments so as to suit the area’s clientele, or how to advertise to the typical buyers or renters of the Borough. 

This is the bread and butter of the local, independent Estate Agents – working exclusively within the local market, and having the choice to do so. No staff transfers between regional offices or answering to a central office pushing centralised targets or quotas like the corporate, chain counterpart. No instruction to work with national contractors, enabling the freedom to build-up strong, personal relationships with local property-related services, reducing the risk of any unforeseen roadblocks or sub-par services. Indeed, one of Rickman’s main strengths is that we have an unrivalled high success rate of selling properties in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea because of this. Our vendors have nothing but praise for our efficient, yet professional service. 

To add credence to our claim of local expertise, Rickman was selected as the Kensington Area Guild of Property Professionals Member, entrusting our team to exclusively represent the local property market within the invitation-only Guild. This is testament to our reputation within the local area, and our 19-years of local knowledge and portfolio of connections. Indeed, we have sustained a large portfolio of prospective buyers who trust our work after seeing us as an established part of the Borough since 2001. 

But just because an Estate Agents is a local business doesn’t mean that corporate Estate agents have an edge over the national or international market. With the growing number of property websites, properties for sale or let under a local, independent agency can still be advertised nationally and internationally. Along with advertising in our own local glossy magazine and national broadsheets, our properties are advertised on Zoopla, Rightmove, PrimeLocation and so you know you’re getting as many eyes on your property as possible. 


Next time… more discussion on all things local and independent vs. corporate, from the expected character of the team to the service style. In the meantime, check out our other easy-reading blogs!