Online agents may soon sell and let across national boundaries as company websites and property portals operate on an increasingly global basis.
That is the prediction from Russell Quirk, the never-knowingly-underquoted chief executive of online agency eMoov.
Quirk, writing in the London business publication City AM, says Uber changed the taxi industry by simply using existing technology - the satellite navigation system - and applying it to take passengers from one place to another.
“In times past you would call your local taxi office, queue at your local rank, manned by a fleet of local drivers who operate in that area only. But the satnav came along and a driver from London could just as easily taxi you around Manchester or Southampton, without fear of getting lost” he says.
“Now that Uber is operating across six continents in 67 cities .... Uber users are no longer forced to find out who the local firms are. And how long will it be before wherever you go in the world, the taxi service you automatically go to use is Uber?”
Quirk says Rightmove and Zoopla are the satnav equivalents for the property industry “making it possible for anyone to advertise on a national scale, without an abundance of office branches in every high street.”
He concludes his article by forecasting: “It won’t be long before the online property sector takes a leaf from Uber’s book and starts to overtake the high street agent on a global digital scale, not just a national one. But as with Uber, it won’t be all plain sailing. The result could be a gang of angry agents, taking to the streets in protest to burn tyres and blockade roads.”