Are Independent estate agents on their way out in 2011?

As a result of a challenging market Countrywide are forecasting the demise of independent estate agencies in 2011.
Nigel Stockton, Financial Services Director for Countrywide, recently spoke exclusively to The Negotiator and attributes the decline to yet another year of historically low sales volumes.  You can read the full article here:
If independent estate agents disappear what then of the independent conveyancer?
As well as the loss of independent estate agents we could also see the numbers of conveyancing firms decline as they lose market share to the bigger, volume conveyancers who are already on the panels of the likes of Connells and Countrywide.
There is already a lot of competition out there for conveyancers and with the recent demise of Fridays Property Lawyers there is certainly plenty for conveyancers to be thinking about.
If you are a conveyancer on the panel of an independent agency have you thought about how their demise would affect your transaction levels?  Are there any other panels you could be on in order to increase those transaction levels?  If you lost just one independent estate agent would this seriously reduce your new instructions?  These are all questions that you should be asking yourself, as well as what can we do to ensure that we survive?
According to Adam Walker, Industry Trainer, diversification will be key to ensuring estate agents survive this year and surely it can only be in the interests of independent conveyancers to ensure that they too diversify and offer a range of complementary services.
In response Richard Mathias (@richardmathias) recently tweeted:
"So c/wide think independent EA’s will struggle & Adam Walker says EA’s should diversify – better improve their conveyancing income then!"
What are your thoughts?
Today’s Conveyancer, bringing you the latest conveyancing news and updates.
Today's Conveyancer