It’s a tough world out there for online-only estate agencies in the UK. They set out their stall, win eye-watering financial backing and launch with a marketing fanfare to persuade potential movers that they are the new leaders in property agency and will save everyone a fortune, infuriating long established professional high street agencies.
They settle down and, for a time, build business but then, as the fanfare turns fades, close their doors
The most high profile this year is Upad, which claimed to be the UK’s biggest online letting agent, but is now ‘no longer accepting new business’, leaving thousands of landlords in the UK abandoned and their listings void.
As reported in The Negotiator on Monday, “Upad was the largest online-only lettings agency in the UK and recently claimed to have been used by 12,500 landlords and listed 30,000 properties. It is claimed that 450 landlords will be affected by Upad shutting up shop.”
The company’s announcement reveals that tenants and landlords using its service who have entered into tenancies arranged through or managed by Upad should contact each other directly to work out future arrangements.
This follows another high profile online agency, emoov, which closed it doors nearly a year ago and which was subsequently acquired by startup Mashroom, which recently relaunched the business ‘on a more sustainable basis’.
Free of charge
Mashroom, is consequently offering all former Upad landlords the option re-list their properties on its site, free of charge.
Naveen Jaspal, COO of Mashroom (pictured, top), says that for online agents to survive the turbulent property climate, businesses need to deploy a sustainable business model, positioning their customers at their core. Naveen said: “With its free offering for landlords, Mashroom prioritises the needs of its customers.
“Mashroom will further support landlords who previously had to pay for Upad’s services by offering them a simple and stress-free service, giving them a comprehensive toolkit to take charge of their property, as well as providing ongoing communication and support.”