Brokers get poor marks in survey of estate agents

Research by Obligo has shown that 31% of estate agents are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their mortgage broker.

Of the 300 estate agency firms surveyed, 51% say the service they receive from inhouse or outsourced brokers was average, with only 15% satisfied or very satisfied.

The biggest problem, with 71% of the vote, was agents not being kept up-to-speed on case progress.

But a number of brokers hit out at the research on Mortgage Strategy Online, claiming that if they had been asked their thoughts on estate agents the results would have been similar.

David Hollingworth, head of communications at London & Country, says the figures are not surprising.

He says: “When there are low levels of transactions and mortgage finance is crucial to deals, estate agents want to know where cases stand so good communication with brokers has become a bigger issue.

“Agents don’t want to waste a lot of time on those who can’t get mortgage finance.”

The next biggest issues were speed of service, with 15% of the vote, followed by commission at 8% and conversion rate 6%.

Four in five estate agents report that the brokers they relied on only visit their office once or twice a week, with just 10% saying their broker visits them four or more times a week.

A total of 87% say they have informal arrangements with local brokerages, while 7% have a self-employed broker inhouse and 3% employ a broker full-time.

Chris Gardner, director at Obligo, says much of the frustration stems from the lack of contact estate agents have with their brokers.

He says: “Knowing how a deal is progressing is more important than ever but the majority of brokers are failing to keep them up-to-date.”