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: