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Stakes are high as YOPA invests in advertising

Profile raising expertise is sought for the online agency backed by Savills.

The Negotiator

YOPA's founding directors imageThe online agency, YOPA, which is backed by Savills, is looking for a top advertising agency to help it win more customers.

Having hired an advertising agency Contagious, in April, it has now appointed Oystercatchers (Experts in accelerating marketing performance) to review the market and advise on future advertising programmes.

The advertising industry website Campaign, reported that some of the £16million funding from Savills, will go into the review, and YOPA said, “As a fast paced and dynamic start-up, it’s normal practice for us to regularly review all aspects of the business.”

YOPA currently has 872 properties listed on its site, using 44 ‘local’ agents to handle sales. Homeowners pay a fee between £780 and £1410 depending on where they live for listing their property; if they want agent-accompanied viewings they will pay £150-£250 depending on location, plus £75 for an EPC.

Interestingly, the fee has to be paid within six months, whether or not the property is sold.

Alex Gosling imageWinner of the Online Agency of the Year Award at last year’s Negotiator Awards, HouseSimple is also aiming to lead the online market, following it’s £13million cash injection in June, courtesy of Sir Charles Dunstone and Roger Taylor. CEO at HouseSimple, Alex Gosling (left), said, “We are relentlessly focused on delivering the best selling results for our customers.”

The figure put on current sales through ‘online agents’ is around 5 per cent, with ‘forecasts’ saying this may rise to 50 per cent by 2020. However, with the gap between fees charged upfront (or within six months in YOPA’s case, regardless of whether a sale is achieved), that target looks a tad difficult to achieve, as ‘traditional’ high street agencies develop their own versions of hybrid agency.

July 25, 2016

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