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eMoov to expand into US property sales market

eMoov, arguably Britain’s highest-profile online estate agency, says it is “inevitable” that it will enter the US sales market in the next two to three years.

The agency’s founder Russell Quirk says with several members of his existing UK team born or educated in the US, such a move was a natural progression. 

In doing so, he appears to be adopting the same robust appraoch to the American property old school as he is to the British.

For in an interview with the online service of the US broadcaster CNBC, Quirk was sharply critical of the National Association of Realtors’ stout defence of bricks and mortar estate agency. 

"I love the naivety of the people in the (US) sector, it's like a red rag to a bull" Quirk told CNBC.

Quirk has confirmed the likely development to Estate Agent Today saying: “Those that accept that the UK estate agency industry is expensive and consumer-unfriendly would do well to consider the situation in the US.

“Not only are fees [there] charged at around six per cent on average but the multi-listing service is designed purely to benefit the broker. In fact, as if having one expensive agent wasn’t bad enough, over there you get two - a listing broker and a buying agent.” 

In the same CNBC interview, Rebecca Peach - chief executive and founder of the UK’s I Am the Agent online agency - claimed UK online agencies were growing 3.75 times quicker than traditional estate agents. 

She predicted that online agencies would take 50 per cent of sales by 2020 - up from their current five per cent share.

Meanwhile eMoov’s latest crowdfunding pitch has raised around £800,000 of its target £1m, with 16 days remaining for investors.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    I went to a 3 day realtor conference in the US recently and their fees are under pressure.

    Yes, buyers do have agents, but often the fee is split with the selling broker, because they have introduced the buyer.

    A seller broker ain't necessarily a bad idea - They negotiate the best deal for the buyer.

    The brokers in the US are seeing fees squeeze to around 5% - You might think that sounds amazing. But in the US, most brokers sell around 1 house per month and 80% fail in the first 5 years. A typical lister / valuer working on a commission only basis would have to give up 50% of their income to be affiliated to a Real Estate Broker (like ReMax, or Keller Williams).

    And, you must be qualified to an agent and licenses can take 3 years to obtain.

    It's a very tough market, which is not an easy one to crack.

  • maurice  kilbride

    You have to admire Russell's blind ambition - value's his company extortionately, has hardly made significant in roads into the High Street agents domination of the UK market and now despite the differences in selling Real Estate in the US thinks he can crack it over there!!

  • Anna  Dickson

    Surprise surprise, we're hearing from Russell Quirk, thought it had been a bit quiet recently! With Russell Quirk's relentless determination I'm sure he'll give cracking the American property sector a good go! It's an impressive feat to have already crowdfunded £800,000.

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