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Are the online-only agents gaining traction?

Apart from hybrid Purplebricks, there's a long way to go for this emerging sector

Nigel lewis

After reading the criticism of online-only agents by their traditional counterparts on Twitter it’s clear that much of the industry dislikes and fears the way these digital ‘disruptors’ do business.

onlineportallistHigh profile operators such as Purplebricks, Easyproperty, emoov and House Network regularly feature in the national press and, helped by their extensive PR outfits, are hard at work persuading the public that online-only agents are the future.

Research by The Negotiator into the market reveals a different picture. The online-only agents have a fair way to go yet before they can claim to be a major threat to traditional agents, industry data reveals.

With the exception of hybrids (i.e. staffed but without high street branches) such as Purplebricks and YOPA, they have yet to gain a significant foothold in the market.

There are 21,925 properties currently listed on Rightmove by online or hybrid agents which is 4.03% of the market based on Rightmove’s current listing of 543,612 (minus the online agents).

Purplebricks dominates the online sector with 44% of all listed properties listed followed by HouseSimple (12%), emoov (9.8%) and Easyproperty (7.2%), Housenetwork (6.4%) and YOPA (5.5%).

Most of the smaller online agents including recently-launch Settled, which lists 316 properties for sale, have the same inventory of a five to ten-branch independent agency in a large city while the larger ones such as Easyproperty are comparable to a medium-size regional agent with forty or more branches.

But Purplebricks’ listing puts it on a par with many of the prime but national agent brands including Savills, which lists over 2,500 fewer properties for sale than its purple counterpart.

October 21, 2016

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