A survey in 2013 showed that the number of estate agents on the high street continues to increase. The amount of people employed in estate agency continues to increase. The amount estate agents charge continues to increase.
Estate agencies continue to buy expensive high street premises for themselves.
Yet the world has changed. Websites like Rightmove and Zoopla now do much of the work of a traditional estate agent. 95% of property is now listed on these sites, so a potential buyer or tenant no longer has to drive into town and then walk up and down the high street going into each agent's offices to find out what is on the market. It's there on the internet for everyone to see before you’re into the second hour of your parking charges.
So why bother with a high street office, when all the costs of that office have to be recovered through what you charge your customers?
It is, in 2014, bonkers.
There are many other ways to utilise high streets rather than fill them with offices that few people go into. Using the high street just as an advertising vehicle was what HMV did, what Jessops did, what Comet did.
They are now all gone.
Far better to use the high street for local services that people want, rather than try to rationalize why you should exist on the high street when very few people come in to visit you. Because all you are doing then, is to make the rents artificially high – and that benefits no one.