The Property Franchise Group (TPFG), the parent company of Martin & Co and several other leading agency brands, says it estimates £250 million has been pumped into online estate agents such as Purplebricks, YOPA and Emoov to date.
This extraordinary figure is revealed within its annual results for 2017 which are published today, which show TPFG’s group revenue increased by 23% last year and that profits surged by 33%.
TPFG’s annual results are also dominated by the company’s evident pleasure in its purchase of hybrid agency Ewemove, which it says moved into profit during the second half of the 2017 following the departure of its founders, and now has 120 offices. This has significantly boosted TPFG’s branch count, increasing it to 403 from 377 in 2016.
“Our decision to acquire the online player EweMove has proven to be rewarding, with the business delivering significant revenue growth to the Group this year, as well as providing us with the digital marketing insight to leverage better performance in our traditional high street brands,” says Ian Wilson, CEO of TPFG (pictured, left).
EweMove remains a highly trusted brand, its ‘no sale, no fee’ model is popular with customers and provides a differentiator in the online market.
“As we continue to add experienced estate agents to the EweMove network, we are excited by the opportunity to build up our share of the online estate agency market.”
Online estate agents
TPFG describes its purchase of Ewemove last year as an “exciting play in the online, hybrid space” and that it “hedges against deteriorating in trading conditions for our traditional high street model”.
But bad times for its high street branches have yet to arrive for a majority of its branches. The company reveals that revenue growth at its key brands increased significantly last year including at several of its franchises including CJ Hole (+9%), Parkers (+6%), Martin & Co (+5%) and Ellis & Co (+3%).
“The overall pattern was of pleasing revenue growth, in a marketplace where many competitors were reportedly in reverse gear,” the report says.