High-profile Yopa director quits estate agency

Grenville Turner, the former CEO of Countrywide, resigned on 31 December, after four years with the hybrid agency.


High profile industry figure Grenville Turner (main picture) has left Yopa after four years with the hybrid agency.

It also emerged that Yopa failed to file its accounts on time.

The firm’s annual accounts were supposed to be uploaded to Companies House on 31 December, and have only just been submitted – unusual for a firm of its size and profile.

Yopa said this was due to accounting complexities created by one of its majority shareholders, Daily Mail General Trust (DMGT).

Turner is to become a ‘strategic adviser’ to the firm. He is replaced as chairman by Manuel Lopo de Carvalho, who has been involved in the Yopa business since DMGT first invested in 2016.

40 years experience

Turner was appointed chairman in June 2019 with over 40 years of experience in retail banking, the property sector, and online businesses.

And he was formerly CEO of Countrywide, a founding director of Rightmove and a past director of Zoopla.

He was CEO of Countrywide from 2007 to 2014, during which time he took the group private and subsequently oversaw its return to the public market in 2013 as part of a £1bn+ IPO.

Verona Frankish, Yopa
Verona Frankish, CEO, Yopa

Verona Frankish, Yopa CEO, says “The Yopa business has evolved considerably in recent years in a challenging environment for the fixed fee agency sector.

“I am proud to have worked alongside Grenville for the past two years and we made a fantastic team, steering the business to the huge success that it is now both in terms of market share and our positive unit economics.”


Yopa told The Neg in a statement: “On the subject of Yopa’s accounts filing with Companies House for the last financial year, the change to DMGT specific accounting processes brought about by their majority ownership was a complex transition and one which KPMG, our accountants have worked hard to address.

“These complexities led to more work than anticipated however the accounts are now filed with Companies House.”

Yopa has flourished where many direct competitors sadly have not”.

Turner says: “Yopa has flourished where many direct competitors sadly have not and I pay tribute to Verona and her team with whom I’ve worked over the last two years to help improve and innovate to the pleasing place that we are now at.

“I now move on to interests elsewhere and remain a part of this fabulous, modern estate agency from the sidelines with the same enthusiasm as five years ago when I started the Yopa journey”.

More misery

Katy Billany, executive director at TwentyEA told delegates at The Neg conference in November that hybrid agencies like Yopa could be set for more misery.

Purplebricks once boasted a 4.5% share but now has only 1.2%, while Strike’s slice has sunk from 1.4% to 0.7%, and Yopa has stayed around 0.7%, she said.

In 2021, the hybrid agency’s backers Grosvenor Hill Ventures – the investment arm of Savills – and DMG Ventures, the investment arm of Daily Mail General Trust, invested further in addition to £91 million already ploughed in. Both companies became majority shareholders early last year.

One Comment

  1. When you hear these ‘Hybrid’ companies masquerading as Estate Agents talk about ‘challenging times’, what they really mean is, – we’ve been rumbled!

  2. Many know my thoughts about YOPA, which from day one could not even get its branding correct – Yopa being a Brazillian ice pop sold by Nestle. In 2017 I ran my first article on online agents and how the cost of acquistion and marketing far outweighed the fee asked of vendors so the books would never show a profit. At that time the online agents in that article were the big the Big Seven, being Emoov (ceased trading) assets bought, Purplebricks sold for £1, Doorsteps ceased trading, Tepilo ceased trading assets bought, Hatched ceased trading, EasyProperty failed in that incarnation, which leaves YOPA as the last one standing – due to the cash of The Daily Mail. Perhaps when sanity replaces vanity the last of the magnificent seven will do the right thing.

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