The 19 year old boss of online agency Doorsteps claims that his website has sold £100m worth of homes, currently lists over 1,000 properties - and yet he himself has a salary of only £1,000 a week and still doesn’t own a car.
In August Doorsteps raised almost £550,000 in a crowdfunding exercise which aimed to raise only £400,000 and secured almost 500 investors. Its founder is Akshay Ruparelia and Mark Kotesha is chief executive.
The management team includes former Rightmove Overseas chief, Sham Golamy, and the agency’s packages range from £99 to £199, making it one of the cheapest online firms.
Now within 18 months of opening the company, which has a Mayfair address, has been lauded by consumer group The HomeOwners Association - which placed it as one of the top online operators for achieving asking price - and by both AllAgents and Trustpilot review websites, which give the agency 4.83 out of 5 and 9.5 out of 10 respectively.
The Mail on Sunday reports that Ruparella, 19 - who still lives with his parents - started the business after persuading family members to loan him £7,000; it originally operated while he was still at school at which time he instructed a call centre to handle enquiries.
Now he employs 12 people, and his website lists three teams of named agents - one for Oxford and Milton Keynes, another for North London and the final one for Cambridge, Luton and Ipswich - although the company will market properties anywhere in the UK.
“People have had enough of being ripped off by High Street agents in flash suits and cars charging them a fortune, but actually doing not a lot to sell their home. ...Mums know a thing or two don’t they and quite rightly people trust mums. Every mum who works for me will be honest and tell the truth” Ruparella tells the Mail on Sunday.
“I was standing in the school playground and got an e-mail on my mobile from the [first] vendor to say he’d accepted the combined £670,000 offer I’d got for him and that I was a ‘legend, an absolute star’. That was a sensational moment, the vendor was chuffed, I was just thrilled. I’d proved what I said I’d do, I’d sold a house for £99” he adds.