Emoov founder and now PR guru Russell Quirk has published an extraordinary blog predicting that low-cost online and hybrid estate agents will never gain more than 10% of the estate agency market.
In an impassioned plea that asks the industry and investors to consider the downfall of Emoov now that the dust has settled, the 51-year-old admits his prediction in 2013 that online agencies would one day take 35% of the estate agency market was wide of the mark.
“Ten percent is all that this niche endeavour will achieve, yielding dominance to the higher fee, contingency-commission based agents that, after all, never ask their customers to write out a cheque [in advance],” he says.
In his blog Quirk denies that Emoov’s customer service was at fault, praising his former colleagues’ sales progression abilities. He also claims Emoov’s local property experts’ knowledge and expertise rivalled traditional agents.
Instead he says the online estate agency market failed to gain significant traction because its proposition was ‘too cheap’.
“The reason for the lack of growth/failure/demise/ritual humiliation of the online sector is both psychological and, ironically, a symptom of its very origins as a low cost ‘disruptor’,” he says.
“It’s simply perceived as too cheap for its own good. Too good to be true, even.
“In the case of online estate agency it is apparent now that growth has slowed to a snail’s pace that, despite the millions and millions spent on TV marketing over the past five years, the majority [of consumers] remain unconvinced – suspicious even.”
The blog in full.