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Hybrid estate agency moves into profit and looks for cash to expand

Neil Urch of hybrid agency HouseFox has made a profit just 14 months after start up and says his unusual fees structure is proving popular.

Nigel Lewis

estate agency

A hybrid estate agency appears to have beaten rivals Yopa, EasyProperty and many other well-known companies to profitability just 14 months after launching.

HouseFox.co.uk was founded by Neil Urch (pictured, above) in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset and now claims to be the town’s fastest-growing estate agency.

Urch says he is now looking for outside investment to expand the business, which has won several regional awards.

Prior to starting up HouseFox, the 49-year-old enjoyed a successful 30-year career in traditional high street agency including working for haart and local chain Mayfair Properties.

Urch says he started up his hybrid estate agency because he felt the time was ripe to introduce the model into the town.

“In the age of smartphones, laptops and tablets, running a high street office is an unnecessary expense that is passed on to vendors,” he says.

“I have a vision to bring estate agency up to date and make it more accessible, efficient and customer friendly – with first-class service at the heart of everything we do but harnessing technology to deliver that service online at a cost that is fair to all sellers.”

Housefox charges an up-front fee of £695 and a further £695 fee upon a sale completing. It also offers a more traditional fee model of £2,390 upon completion, but a zero fee if the property fails to sell.

Unlike Purplebricks and many other hybrid estate agents, both fee structures include accompanied viewings as well as all the usual services offered by high street agents.

According to its Rightmove listing, the business is based within a residential address in the Worle area of Weston Super Mare.

November 7, 2019

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