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New agents group seeks 'pre-launch' members - and says it may float

The Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents has started its ‘pre-launch’ membership drive - and says it ultimately want to float on the stock market.

Over the weekend the pre-launch membership became open “to every qualifying independent agent owner”; the group defines this as being company owners or LLP partners, with the business being registered at Companies House and its management being “in active contact on a frequent basis with staff and customers.”

Online agencies are banned from the group, which in recent weeks has lodged a complaint about Purplebricks with the Advertising Standards Authority.

CIELA says it will launch fully on October 1 and that membership between now and then will cost £35 plus VAT per month, in return for which members will have access to private discussion forums, can participate in surveys, and can vote on the group’s future plans.

The organisation also says that it has an ambition to float on the stock market “eventually”.

On its website, CIELA says that any decision would be “entirely at the current owner’s discretion” and indeed may never happen.

However, it goes on to say that “if it is floated, the group of paying members will receive the option to own up to 50 per cent of the entire company by purchasing shares.” It adds that those members who joined during this pre-launch phase and continue as members will receive the option to purchase shares at discount rates.

The first 10 per cent of agents who join would receive a 90 per cent; the second 10 per cent would receive an 80 per cent discount; and so on down to some later joiners who would receive a 10 per cent discount on the share price.

CIELA says that between this phase and any possible flotation “with sufficient support and once approved by members an irrevocable scheme will be put in place to allow ownership of the organisation by members, and to prevent a sale of the organisation to any party not approved by members.”

The group has already said it would be unlikely to launch a portal in the near future.

  • Colin Bain

    Another On the Market with less funds IMHO

  • Kristjan Byfield

    No plans for a portal as yet- primary objective is giving independents a strong national voice & challenging the messages of large organisations with deep pockets. Importantly, we are not setting out too strongly exactly what CIELA is as we feel strongly this should be decided by the members. One of the elements that will decide CIELA's success/failyre going forwards is the engagement of agents up and down the UK. if agents sit back, don't engage and pick away at what the company could/should be then it will likely struggle to get off the ground. However, if agents (for the princely sum of £35 a month) engage and help shape the organisation then we could have something by & for agents that could be quite special. Even then, we have to acknowledge that it won't get everything right from the start- no organsiation or business does.

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    It is a good idea and it will be interesting to see how many agents sign up. But why say now that it plans to float in the future? Seems a bit premature...

  • Mark Scobey

    It has nothing to do with the good of estate agents. It's a pure-play revenue generator by a founder who refers to estate agents as "lazy and inept". (end quote)

    The NAEA claims to have 10,500 members. If CIELA had those kinds of numbers, it’s annual turnover from membership alone would be £4,410,000! That’s an 18 fold increase on the founder’s property software business!

    Put another way, CIELA needs only 596 members to replace its other revenue interests! There’s around 18,000 estate agency businesses in the UK, so if I say there are two directors for each company, there are at least 38,000 potential people that meet CIELA’s criteria of being either a shareholder or director.

    To match the revenues of the founder’s property software business, only 1.56% of their potential audience need to become paid members.

    Not looking to burst anybody's bubble but when you know and understand the personalities involved, you see CIELA for what it really is...

  • Simon shinerock

    http://www.space.com/34210-elon-musk-unveils-spacex-mars-colony-ship.html

    I am setting up my own Mars project to rival Space X which I regard as overhyped and frankly unrepresentative of true aspiring spacemen and women. It's true I have no experience and relatively little money but I truly care about putting people on Mars and to show how serious I am I am delighted to announce a partnership with Brocks fireworks. Brocks will be using their many years experience to help develop our first rocket, all we need now is volunteers who want to be fired into space, any takers?

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