An online property auction has launched that enables agents to sell and rent out homes using a virtual service via its smartphone app and website.
Called LetsBid, it bypasses traditional auctions and enables buyers and tenants to bid for properties that have been uploaded to the site by agents.
Sales and letting agents are able to set a guide and reserve price, as they would at a traditional auction, but also see who is bidding on properties or has shown an interest by downloading property details.
Also, potential tenants are pre-referenced using online service Lets Safe to ensure bidders aren’t then rejected after winning an auction.
The company’s CEO Milton Rodosthenous (pictured, left) says that unlike other rental and sales property market ‘disruptors’, LetsBid aims to enhance an agent’s marketing offering rather than seeking to replace it, as US site RentBerry, which is due to launch in the UK soon, does.
“In effect, we act like an estate agent’s virtual or remote auction department, enabling them to become an auctioneer overnight,” he says.
“Lots of proptech seems intent on taking business away from agents but we believe they still have the biggest part to play in property, so we’re backing them, which is why vetted agents are the only ones who can upload property to LetsBid.”
The company also has ambitious aims for the business, which it says has the potential to copy the Ebay model and persuade more people to buy homes via an online auction.
Its service, which has a rival called LetsBid4lets, is free for buyers and tenants to use, but agents pay a monthly fee, although LetsBid is offering a free one-year subscription to the first 1,000 agents who sign up.
Before setting up LetsBid, Milton worked for Barclays’ Corporate Banking and more recently at West London company Lansdowne Auctions.