A leading industry figure has ‘reluctantly’ concluded that the estate agency branch will soon be a quaint part of high street history and that the only conclusion he can draw is that agents will eventually all be self-employed, Purplebricks-style operators.
That is the incendiary claim made by high profile Edinburgh agent David Alexander whose company DJ Alexander is in the process of launching a platform, Apropos, to offer agents a way to set up their own letting agency business from home.
In a column published this morning in The Scotsman, Alexander claims that the recent acceleration of estate agency closures to almost ten businesses a week at the moment is an augur of things to come.
“Respected competitors may disagree with the sentiment that High Street estate agency will go the way of the horse-bus and the traditionalist in me partly wishes they were right. But the facts speak for themselves,” he says.
The 59-year-old founder of DJ Alexander, which has large ‘hub’ offices in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, says he initially considered creating Apropos into a ‘hybrid’ style app that would include physical branches before realising going completely online is the future.
Alexander says that when he started up his company 36 years it would have been unthinkable that tech would have changed the industry so significantly.
“Who could have imagined that such an innocuous-sounding name like Purplebricks would revolutionise estate agency in much the same way as EasyJet has done for flying and Amazon for retail sales?” says Alexander (pictured, left).