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London high street estate agent slams Strike over its ‘free to sell’ tactics

Lee James Pendleton says he's disappointed to see the hybrid agency using similar tactics as Purplebricks during its 'commisery' days.

Nigel Lewis

strike

A leading London estate agent says he is saddened to see that ‘sell for free’ estate agency Strike is using the same tactics to appeal to consumers as Purplebricks did back in 2018/2019.

Lee James Pendleton, co-founder of ten-branch estate James Pendleton, says he and many of his counterparts in the property industry are irritated by Strike’s ‘zero cost’ service because it undermines the sector’s core offering – that you pay for the best service.

“It really grates with me that they seem to be suggesting is that high street agents who charge for their service are the same as a company that offers something for free,” says Pendleton.

“But, for example, we get the best staff by paying them competitive wages and offering them bonuses if they are successful, but how can you incentive staff when they get paid whether a property sells or not, as there’s no fee involved at the end.

Expensive

“To quote an often-share saying, ‘If it’s expensive to hire a professional estate agent to sell or let your property, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Strike, which last week rolled out its service nationally after initially testing out its offering in and around Manchester, has been using tactics similar to the early ‘commisery’ days of Purplebricks early marketing efforts.

This includes a slider on its website that shows how much money home movers can ‘save’ when they use Strike, on average, using a ‘traditional’ quoted 1.5% sales fee.

Strike says approximately 40% of its customers choose a totally free sale, while about 60% use some of its optional extras, which include paying for hosted viewings, photos, videos and a Premium Rightmove listing.

The Negotiator has contacted Strike for comment.

January 17, 2022

3 comments

  1. I find it’s always wise to inform people of smoke and mirror companies and uphold the incredible work that the ‘real’ estate agents do.

    Free lunches are never free!

  2. Agree with Lee 100%.

    Any business in any industry can steal market share by simply reducing their fees (or removing them altogether in the case of Strike). It is lazy marketing and shows a complete lack of creativity and ambition on the part of Strike.

    Inevitably, it is those misguided investors that will once again be left holding the baby.

  3. Having to justify your proposition to vendors that might be considering a “free service” isn’t a sensible idea. If an agency insists on comparing themselves to others (they shouldn’t), then comparison with similar business models should suffice.

    Mention of Strike and other cheap alternatives only gives them credibility. When agencies are considered a commodity by consumers, the only way to stand out is to be different from, not better than.

    Different from other agencies, specifically in Who you are, not in how you do what you do. That’s worth paying for.

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