Outspoken estate agency figure Simon Shinerock has predicted that self-employed agent platforms such as Keller Williams and eXp UK stand a thin chance of succeeding.
Speaking during an interview published on the website of industry supplier Assist Inventories, the agency entrepreneur said that although these hybrid platforms have created a low-cost ‘creche’ for agency start-ups, it’s inaccurate to conclude that they will enjoy the success they’ve enjoyed in other markets and in particular the US where agents are paid much higher fees.
“The commission levels in the UK are too low for this model to really succeed,” he says.
“Instead, these companies are providing an unintended stepping-stone to the high street for the small number of exceptional agents that join them.
“In the longer run; the industry will continue to change – and it may look different in a few years’ time. But while the fundamentals remain as they are; I don’t think these companies will achieve much success.”
Many industry experts believe there is room for agents like eXp and KW in the prime markets where high house prices deliver much fatter commission rates, but that bread-and-butter housing market are more marginal.
But Shinerock, who is chairman of estate agency chain Choices, is also critical of the traditional agency sector, asserting that it needs to modernise.
“Of course, some things don’t need reinventing – and I accept that. But when it comes to estate agency; it’s a big mess. Like so many things in society these days; it’s made to be over complicated,” he says.
“It’s not joined up – and there are many conflicts contained within it. In a way; the mess is what has kept me in the business – as it’s a challenge to tidy things up and a great opportunity to show how things can be done better.”
Read the interview in full.