Tuesday, 2 September 2008

HIPs - A waste of time

It is official, 77% of our readers say that HIPS are a waste of time.

Given the current decline in the housing market, what would happen if the entire HIPS market collapsed?

I am not scaremongering, but there has been much debate about HIPS since their launch, which could not have come at a worse time. Many agents are simply not bothering with them and the punter is of course only interested in one thing, getting their property sold. The market is too vast to police and it is not difficult to see a market place in 12 months time where the larger agents use HIPS and conform with the legislation and the smaller agents simply don't bother.

So, consider the impact: 11,000 out of work DEAs, thousands of HIP provider staff out of work, millions lost by the HIP providers, knock on effect to those supplying the HIPs industry. Not a great picture, but one that is not beyond belief and some might say inevitable.

Where would they all go, what would they do, what impact upon market? All too much for a blog, but DEAs are already expanding their talents, taking pictures, floor plans and the like so why not go the extra mile and become an agent, simple website, simple back end system, loads of personalised service and you have to go to the property in any event - the one stop shop! We have been saying this for some time now and hope that it doesn't take a HIPS crash to bring it around.

One thing is sure, the government will not be coming to the rescue. indeed, the predicted change in government may even go one stage further and scrap them altogether. The HIPS crowd are a powerful lobby, but I for one can not see them persuading the government to rescue the industry. Indeed, any rescue package really relies on an improved housing market and the changes required to stimulate the market are too bold for current or future governments.

These are desperate times for the HIPS market and they are constantly chasing us to encourage more use of HIPS by our clients. I tell them that (a) our clients are not actually selling that many properties (have they not seen the news) and (b) shock of shocks some of them are simply trying to get shot of properties to feed them and their families and HIPS are way down on their list. I have sent these results to some of those HIP providers and will report back with any feedback they care to offer.

Thanks for voting and watch out for the next poll.

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