online estate agent

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    Latest property news

    ‘Overcrowded hybrid and online agency sector will soon consolidate like portals did’

    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…

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    Online estate agent Settled gets £1.2m in funding

    Settled, an online estate agent which was launched a year ago and claims to help vendors cut ‘time to sell’ in half when compared to traditional agents, has won £1.2 million in funding from two venture capital firms. The backing includes money from Piton Capital, which is already funding two other property companies, Paris-focussed online property information firm MeilleursAgents.com and German removals platform Move24. Settled was set up by former Google executive Gemma Young with her brother Paul (pictured, right) who has a background in online marketing, in 2014. Online estate agent The pair raised seed funding from entrepreneur John Hegarty’s start-ups venture capital firm The Garage Soho, and subsequently picked up £1m from a Silicon Valley venture capital firm – 500 Startups – last year. Hegarty is one of the three people who set up legendary advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty during the 1980s. The online estate agent launched last year and at the time said it was aiming to disrupt the UK property buying and selling process by empowering home owners and cut out the middleman. The company now says it has sold properties worth £250m. It charges £499 to sell a property, a fee that can either…

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    Latest property news

    HouseSimple gets £13million to grow

    Carphone Warehouse founder leads the funding charge to help HouseSimple be the best.

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  • Agencies & PeopleeasyProperty image
    Agencies & People

    easyProperty secures Tosca backing

    easyProperty, the online estate agent, has raised £25 million from its third round of funding from a London-based hedge fund and a consortium of angel investors, valuing the company at more than £100 million. The investment was secured within three weeks for exchange of just under 15 per cent equity in the business. Under the terms of the deal, the company will access £16 million immediately, with a further £9 million earmarked for future growth. The lead investor, Toscafund, a London-based hedge fund, has put forward £14 million in investment, with the additional £2 million being co-led by existing and new investors. “This new, very substantial investment from Toscafund is a real opportunity to keep expanding both in the sales and lettings markets in the UK and in pan-European property services, and a sure indication of how we plan to take the market share from traditional high street agencies, said CEO of easyProperty, Rob Ellice (left). Martin Hughes, from Toscafund, said: “easyProperty offers the brand, technology and management to enable a considerable saving to property transaction costs compared to the incumbents. The online process is an impressive disruptive approach to ease a much needed overcharged road block to the population…

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  • Agencies & People
    Agencies & People

    High street agents under threat from online firms

    The online estate agent market is forecast to grow to 10 per cent of the overall sector by 2220, despite representing less than 2 per cent of the market today. At least, that is the bold prediction put forward by Will Clark (pictured), Managing Director at SellMyHome.co.uk, who firmly believes that many high street estate agents will need to consider changing their fee structures in order to remain competitive. He points to the fact that the rise of online estate agents offering to sell properties for as little as a few hundred pounds has significantly increased competition on the high street, making it harder for high street estate agents to justify what he describes as an “archaic percentage fee structure.” “It all comes down to pricing”, he said. “When you consider what high street estate agents charge for the services that they provide, it is mind-blowing.” The online estate agent is planning to raise £10 million over the next 12 to 18 months with a view to expanding the business and increasing its own market share. “So far we have used internal funding to give us an injection of cash to support the business. But while we do have aggressive…

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  • Agencies & People
    Regulation & Law

    Bad week for online agent

    Online estate agent eMoov is under pressure for making unsubstantiated and misleading claims to home sellers over fees and asking prices, while their lodged complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) against OnTheMarket (OTM) will not be followed up by the regulator. The CMA took over many of the functions of the Competition Commission and the Office of Fair Trading last year. Having investigated claims made by eMoov in an advert that its sales performance last year resulted in 99 per cent of the asking price being achieved for its clients compared to the national average of 96 per cent, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) concluded that that the statements were unsubstantiated. ASA said that sales data only covered the period of January to September 2014, while no comparable information relating to asking prices achieved by traditional estate agents in London was provided. The online estate agent also claimed that its customers had saved more than £11 million in fees by using its services because its business model depended on it selling a higher proportion of its inventory. But once again, this was panned by the ASA because it was based on the average fee its customers paid instead…

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    Products & Services

    Online agency shares offer – in for a pound…

    Some £1.25million worth of equity in EstatesDirect.com is live on the crowd funding website CrowdCube. EstatesDirect.com’s previous listing on the site in 2014 generated £660,000 in just 10 days breaking records in the process. Since then, the company has grown at a raid rate to hit a projected value of £175 million in just 36 months, according to the company. The firm, which is headed-up by Steve Smith, Poundland Founder, and Darren Richards, Founder of DatingDirect.com, want to use the funds to expand nationally. Investors can acquire shares by going to www.estatesdirect.com/crowdcube Smith, Chairman of EstatesDirect.com, said, “I don’t like feeling I’ve been ripped off. The British public feel the same way I do about commission-based estate agents and that’s one of the reasons they invested in the company so enthusiastically the first time. When we listed on CrowdCube we wanted to open EstatesDirect.com up to the public to allow them to be part of it and let everyone know that we think you should be able to sell a home for as little as £295 plus VAT. “Together with initial capital from the board we were able to build the company up across the UK. This time CrowdCube will…

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