easyProperty today launches a TV and multi-media advertising campaign “costing very much into seven figures” as it attempts to boost its house sales service.
Chief executive Rob Ellice has told Estate Agent Today that the soft launch of the sales service over recent weeks had been “pretty successful” and now the formal launch of sales would see around 750 properties being uploaded to the site this week.
Ellice says research commissioned by easyProperty had confirmed that it was right to expand its existing lettings service towards sales as well.
He says his research suggests that 42 per cent of home owners would “consider” using an online estate agent the next time they sell their home. And he remains absolutely convinced that having no physical office is not a deterrent to business.
“When we asked people how they found their home only two per cent - just two per cent - found it by looking into an estate agency office window. Only four per cent found it by walking into an estate agent’s office. It’s just nonsense to say you need an office - just nonsense” he told Estate Agent Today.
Ellice feels the wider housing market has now reached - possibly just gone past - a “tipping point” for the acceptance of online sales and lettings. He says the agency giants such as Countrywide and LSL Property Services now “have an online offer somewhere on their radar” for the future.
“What we’ve learned this year is the speed at which the market is now moving in its acceptance of online sales. People are saying ‘I can’t believe it hasn’t happened sooner’. It’s all just so accepted by almost everyone outside the industry” suggests Ellice.
easyProperty has long made clear that it would be seeking additional funding later this year; this will continue to be the case, although Ellice insisted it would not be going down the crowdfunding route.
He also gave an interesting insight into stock levels on the leading online agency sites. Using round figures, as of late last week, Ellice says Purplebricks is “well ahead of the rest of us” with around 3,700 properties while eMoov has around 2,000.
“We’ve been instructed on around 750 and they’ll be online very very shortly” he says, adding that easyProperty’s letting service has some 600 units to rent.
The big success story appears to be the easyProperty commercial property service which has an inventory of 2,500 units.