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eMoov and easyProperty beef up activity as online competition grows

With Purplebricks floating next week and at least one other agent believed to be announcing the appointment of a senior staff member coming from a prominent portal, the battle of onliners continues apace with news from both eMoov and easyProperty. 

Tariq Dag Khan has been appointed as Chief Marketing Officer of eMoov to head up a marketing team that has increased four-fold in size in the past six months. The former CMO of Rated People, Borro and Nimbuzz, he has led marketing for a number of high profile start-ups that have successfully gone on to float or sell.

“Throughout my career I’ve helped to dramatically grow young businesses and build brands that are now recognised on a global scale and, I look forward to doing the same with eMoov” he says. 

eMoov has also appointed Ivan Ramirez - previously director of global product at Groupon and then working at Staples.com - as Chief Technology and Product Officer. 

“I’ve been involved in eMoov from the very beginning, as part of their first round of seed investors, and have always been extremely passionate about what the eMoov team do. We’re developing next-generation technologies that will improve the end-to-end home buying selling experience” he says. 

Meanwhile Sky News is reporting that easyProperty is to raise nearly £15m from a major City investor in a deal that will take the company's value through the £100m milestone.

The broadcaster says Toscafund, which in the past has backed online motor insurance firm esure, is investing about £14m in return for a stake of 15 per cent in easyProperty.

Sky says Toscafund is also a major shareholder in house builder Redrow. 

  • Chris Arnold

    Warren Buffett has plenty of capital to invest in online agencies should he see fit and yet he chooses traditional agency for the Berkshire Hathaway investment. Further, he uses his investment brand name to express his confidence in the high street realtor model. When online can do things better rather than just cheaper, they have a chance. Until then, the money simply creates awareness.

    Algarve  Investor

    As I've said numerous times before, I really don't understand the animosity towards online agents from traditional agents. Surely, if you're so convinced that they are going to fall flat on their face, it would be better to sit back and watch that happen from a distance? Then you can say "I told you so" without coming across as smug and patronising.

    It may have escaped your attention, but online estate agents aren't going away anytime soon. In fact, they are growing in numbers. Granted, many are fairly rag-tag operations, but there are plenty who have a fair bit of nous and investment behind them. In many cases, online agencies are created/founded by former traditional agents who have grown disaffected with the traditional model.

    Purplebricks, eMoov, House Simple, easyProperty, Tepilo - these are names people are starting to hear about on a regular basis. They have significant PR teams behind them and, as I said before, plenty of big-money backers. They aren't just going to die a death. You can be sceptical about what these big onliners have actually achieved and the wisdom of them floating and valuing their businesses in the millions, but you can't deny they are having an impact.

    People will look for cheaper options when times are tight, that's just a fact of life. Do estate agents justify the high fees they charge? In some cases, yes. In some cases, no. Again, you could argue that the flat fee onliners bang on about is nothing of the sort - £595 (of whatever it may be) can soon turn into quite a bit more. But, in an increasingly digital world, people will seek out alternatives. If they see that they can get their home sold for £595, that is something that is going to lure them in. High street agents have to deal with that and show how their model is superior.

     
  • Trevor Mealham

    Latest reports show Purple directors and backers to pull out £33m. That shouldnt help confidence in people they'd seek next funding from.

    Kelly Evans

    It's a ridiculous situation, Trevor. "Make it up as we go along" seems to be their motto.

     
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    What a massive tease - who is leaving a major portal?!

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    Yes thought that ---- I think we can rule out an OTM staff member to easyProp though!

     
    Trevor Mealham

    Now wouldn't that be funny Steve if an OTM member of staff left to an online only model like eP :-)

     
    Trevor Mealham

    Maybe John's onto something?

     
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    Not possible Trevor - they would never let it happen/throw whatever they can at him to make him stay. Would be far too damaging/embarrassing at the moment...

     
  • Jon  Tarrey

    "Meanwhile Sky News is reporting that easyProperty is to raise nearly £15m from a major City investor in a deal that will take the company's value through the £100m milestone."

    Another big money investor, more funds being ploughed in, still no tangible success or results. The company might be valued at £100m, but that ain't much good if they don't sell or let any homes (which, it would appear, seems to be easyProperty's strategy). Investors with deep pockets will only keep you going for so long, but I think easyProperty should just come out and say they've failed to properly understand the market, the "easy" brand is not a good fit for property and that they underestimated just how hard it would be to establish themselves.

    I'd respect easyProp, and Rob Ellice, far more if they came out and said that. As it is, they just seem to move from one PR campaign to another. A fake funeral mocking traditional estate agents, talk of expansion overseas, talk of entering the auction market, sourcing more investment from a major City investor with more money than sense, what will be next for the online estate agent that doesn't ever actually seem to live up to that name?

    As you'd expect, they are very good at getting their name out there - eMoov, too, excel at self-promotion - but no so good at producing actual results.

  • Kelly Evans

    Whichever way you dress it up, online agents mean one thing and one thing only. A race to the bottom. A reduction in quality. Cheap fees being seen as more important than experience, knowledge and great customer service.

    That's why, Algarve, we get so defensive when it comes to online agents. What are they offering that high-street agents don't already offer? Most of us have fully embraced the internet and social media. And the portals. And innovation. But we also appreciate that people still want face-to-face interaction and human contact when it comes to one of the biggest decisions of their life. Nothing wrong with that.

    Karl Knipe

    Have to agree Kelly, we're an agent which has fully embraced the online interest in its entirety and place the customers needs at the forefront. Online agents may appear all well and good from the outside, but are unlikely to provide the best service, and it's near impossible that they will know the same amount of local information that a local agent will have.

    People keep talking of a collaboration between the two, but as far as I'm concerned, that's what we already succeed in doing!

     
  • Kristjan Byfield

    We are relaunching tomorrow as an online agent and are seeking £1bn worth of investment on Thursday for a whopping 10% in our business. Seems fair and a completely legitimate valuation- sure you'll all agree ;-) Quick invest your money before its all gone!

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    Stop being so modest - Go for £2.5 billion...!

     
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