Steve Smith, the entrepreneur who founded Poundland, says he now has 130 people ready to take local franchises of his EstatesDirect.com online agency.
Smith, who set up Poundland with a £50,000 loan before selling it over a decade later for £50m, is turning his existing local agency into a national company, using cash raised earlier this year via crowdfunding to finance the process.
Some £494,000 was raised in April, including one investment of over £200,000.
EstatesDirect first launched online in some parts of the UK in 2012 and has had mixed fortunes, letting and selling only 450 properties since that time, but now it aims to become a nationwide service with a fixed fee. It says it will bridge the gap between online and high street agents.
EstatesDirect operates with a website as its shop window but then has what it describes as qualified regional agents to value property, prepare details, and handle appointments, valuations and viewings.
We know that homeowners and landlords still value the knowledge and service they receive from experts in the field Smith says.
Smith says his service will be the UK's largest single-branded estate agency network within five years.