The current over-supply of online and hybrid agents will soon consolidate down from around 80 at the moment to a handful of main players, it has been claimed.
Bob Scarff, the former MD of Countrywide’s Estate Agency Division and now MD of telephony technology firm Callwell, says the current position where many are jockeying for position behind Purplebricks is very similar to the mid-noughties.
At that time a huge number of property portals vied to be No.2 in the market behind Rightmove.
“I remember one day at Countrywide when we sat down and counted the number of places that were displaying our stock and it was nearly 100 or a similar ridiculous number,” he says.
“So just like the portals, I believe the hybrids or ‘agents without branches’ as I prefer to call them will also go through a consolidation.”
AllAgents.com currently lists 78 online and hybrid agencies operating in the UK and Bob says these agents will boil down to a key half a dozen including Hatched, Yopa, Purplebricks and Ewemove but who else survives through the process is up for debate.
He says he can’t make up his mind about the recently enlarged Emoov and that he has doubts about EasyProperty.
“The ones who will survive will be those with good self-service tech; without that you’re dead in the water,” he says.
Bob’s comments about Emoov are somewhat of a surprise given CEO Russell Quirk’s relentless plugging of its technology capabilities in the press and online.
For example, Quirk earlier this month told The Negotiator that “the biggest difference between us and our competitors is that we do sales progression properly – many of the other simply do not.”