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Connells closes its online venture, Hatched

The online agency arm of Connells has been closed, three years after launch, saying it is "not the right solution for the customer".

Sheila Manchester

Hatched has been closed by its owner, Connells Group.

Connells said they believe that the ‘online-only’/hybrid business model is fundamentally flawed and affirmed the Group’s absolute commitment to its high street estate agency operation.

Hatched was acquired by Connells Group in 2015 to run as an entirely separate enterprise to its core high street estate agency business. “Significant resource has been poured into Hatched over the last three years. We have thoroughly tested the hybrid model and reached the conclusion that it does not produce a viable economic result – evidenced by the results of those operating in this sector – and with the cost of customer acquisition being one of the main barriers to being able to deliver a profitable return,” says David Plumtree (right), Connells Group Estate Agency Chief Executive.

Our decision serves the best interests of both our business and customers.”

“There is much talk of ‘disruption’ from hybrid estate agents, but from our experience we have found it significantly lacking when compared with the level of customer service, support and expertise that our high street operations provide. Ultimately, an upfront fee obligation – payable irrespective of whether a property sells or not – is not the right solution for the customer,” continues David.

“As the UK’s largest and most profitable estate agent – completing more sales than any other UK estate agent – and with years of experience to draw upon, we are well equipped to take decisive action when, commercially, something simply doesn’t work.”

“Customers overwhelmingly demand our ‘full service’ and local expertise that blends traditional marketing techniques with the best technological advancements, but which never loses sight of core estate agency,” says David. “Face-to-face accessibility, intimate local market knowledge, a progressive digital offering, dedicated sales progression – and not just a focus on winning instructions – undisputedly works best for our customers and is becoming increasingly essential in a more challenging marketplace.

“Our decision serves the best interests of both our business and customers.”

September 20, 2018

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