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Video interview: new easyProperty boss explains GPEA merger

The chief executive of eProp Services Ltd - the company formed by a merger between easyProperty and GPEA Ltd (the parent company of The Guild and Fine & Country) - says the deal is a response to changing consumer behaviour.

In a video interview with Estate Agent Today, Jon Cooke suggests that the way prospective vendors search for estate agents has changed dramatically, even over the past year.

He says that part of the reasoning behind the deal is that GPEA's membership - which numbers over 5,000 - may find it expensive to build their own online platform.


The former managing director of Your Move says he understands that the merger may concern some members as it indicates a move away from The Guild's traditional ethos.

However, he stresses that it should be considered as an 'add-on' service. 


Describing the deal as a 'convergence' between online and traditional, Cooke says that he sees the structure as Fine & Country representing the high-end of the market, member agents' own brands serving the middle market and the easyProperty option catering to the lower end of the market and providing an 'affordable' solution.

Cooke concedes that easyProperty 'didn't get it right first time around' and that the new company wants to provide a range of options for both the 'do it yourself' and 'do it for me' vendor.

The eProp Services boss will now embark on a tour of the country where he will present the new offering to members. He says the announcement has already received some 'strong responses' from agents.

The full video interview is here:

  • icon

    You could have let the poor chap go to the toilet before you started, looked like he was busting for a pee!

    Joking aside, interesting to pick out Rob Ellice made a hash of it (who knew!). Reading between the lines (i maybe wrong) The financial backers lost confidence in the management and wanted to put it in the hands of "experienced agents" - Still baffled why Fine & Guild was the choice, can only assume a company such as CW was too expensive.

  • Daniel Roder

    Good video. Will be interesting to see how this merger plays out and what kind of future easyProperty actually has. They've made little to no impact since launching a few years ago - I doubt, if you asked people on the street if they knew about easyProp, they'd look blank - and have tried to get by spending lots on PR and TV advertising. The bread and butter of actually selling and letting homes? Erm, not so much.

    You see plenty of PB boards on the streets, a few Tepilo, eMoov and HouseSimple ones too. easyProperty? Again, not so much. If at all.

    I think the easyProperty name will eventually disappear, swallowed up by a new online offering from the Guild. Just seems like a weird merger, given who the Guild represent and given the high-endness of Fine & Country. Seems like GPEA, in a similar vein to Countrywide, are taking the something for everyone/broad church approach. Which may just come back to bite.

  • Algarve  Investor

    Bit of a bolt from the blue, this merger. I don't think anyone saw it coming. I find it a bit odd, given what the Guild and Fine & Country stand for, but clearly GPEA are keen to get in on the online action, to broaden their appeal and customer base. A risky strategy, but one that could pay dividends.

    I think the recent investment in online services by Countrywide, Savills, LSL and others is a sign that PB - for all its critics - is worrying people. The online market might only be 5% of the overall market, but PB have the lion's share of that and are growing at an incredible rate. They are becoming ubiquitous. They are becoming hard to avoid. They have the brand awareness that so many online agents - and traditional agents too - crave.

    I can't see the online sector expanding to 20% anytime soon, but it will definitely grow and clearly the big agency beasts are keen for a slice of it. Quite a pragmatic move, some might say, but they do risk disillusioning their traditional base with such a move.

  • Martin Williams

    Does what it says on the tin .... or says what it does on the tin ?


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