STAY CONNECTED!
    
newsletter-button

TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

MPL
easyProperty relaunches, claiming to be UK's second-biggest hybrid

easyProperty has unveiled details of its relaunch, declaring itself to be the UK’s second largest hybrid estate agency - second only to Purplebricks.

Following the agency’s £60m merger with GPEA, the parent company of The Guild of Property Professionals and Fine & Country, easyProperty now has more than 368 ‘local property professionals’ operating throughout England and Wales.

easyProperty says its reach is now second only to PurpleBricks which has 540 Local Property Experts according to its latest year-end statement. It cites YOPA’s website as suggesting it has 74 local representatives, with eMoov’s website listing 10.

easyProperty sales packages for the online service range from £295 to £1,500, and at its relaunch event in London today easyProperty also announced that it would be the UK’s first hybrid agency to provide online auction sales packages, priced from £295. 

Meanwhile there will also be lettings packages launching in late October. These are likely to cost from £95 to £450 with property management options in addition.

The agency says that ‘sales progression’ – which will be handled by a 'back office contact centre' - will be one of the main features to set it apart from its competitors.

Marketing during the autumn will include TV and social media advertising. TV advertising begins over the next week - with the first ad going out during Sunday's episode of Victoria on ITV1.

easyProperty chief executive Jon Cooke is keen to stress that the agency's new marketing campaign will include no 'competitor-bashing'. He says there'll be no sliding scales of agents' fees, for example.

“On June 7 we announced the easyProperty merger so it’s three months to the day that we have transformed this business. Through independent research we commissioned, UK home-sellers told us they value an in-person valuation from a local property professional as well as the convenience and accessibility of online products” explains Cooke.

“We also know home-sellers have varying preferences in terms of how much they want to be involved in the transactional process. For example, some want to host viewings themselves and others prefer agents to do it for them” he adds. 

“However, what was essential - the big ‘must have’ - is communication. Our online 24/7 dashboard, alerts, and tech-enabled systems allow us to create dialogue between vendor, buyer, agent and all other necessary parties” explains Cooke, who emphasises that the full attention of the service now is on the consumer and how demand is changing.

At the time of the merger at the start of the summer, easyProperty announced its business model would change from ‘business-to-consumer’ to ‘business-to-business-to-consumer’, providing what it called “proptech solutions” to agents through licences.

These cost £500 per branch per month, with each covering a territory of about 20,000 properties. As of today, some 333 licences have been sold.

All licencees are signed up to a one-year rolling contract, with the focus on being 'transparent'. easyProperty's revenue will be generated via licence fees as well as transactional fees from instructions.

All initial 333 licence holders are being referred to as 'founder members' and have been given shares in easyProperty.

easyProperty local property professionals will be required to be a member of The Property Ombudsman scheme and meet Anti-Money Laundering regulations. However, as LPPs will be hired via estate agents rather than independently, the online agency points out that these measures should already be taken care of.

Meanwhile, training of local property professionals has been carried out by Adam Day, formerly of Hatched, both online and in the classroom.

At the moment, easyProperty has no plans to launch in Scotland or Northern Ireland as it is focusing on delivering in England and Wales.

It says that there are currently also no plans to launch abroad in the vein of Purplebricks. However, thanks to the Europe-wide recognition of the 'easy' brand it is something that could be explored in the future.

Former easyProperty chief executive Rob Ellice will now take up the role of commercial director. When asked if this is to be considered a demotion, Cooke said that eProp Services is now a ‘group of companies’ and so had to take a 'group approach'.

Chief financial officer Iain Manley has previous experience of market capitalisation and listing firms on the stock market and easyProperty is not ruling out a float at some point in the future.

In its presentation to trade journalists this morning the agency said that ultimately “there will be two major players in the budget estate agent market like easyJet and Ryanair” - and it pledged: “We will be one of those two.”

  • icon

    surprised high street agents have fallen for this one! members of GPEA should resign immediately.

    Rob  Davies

    Maybe because it's the future? I've endlessly banged on about hybrid - and this last year or so it's really started to come to fruition, crowned by GPEA's purchase of easyProp and CW branches offering online-only services.

    In this case, high street agents are actively embracing an online service. That doesn't mean they cease to be high street agents, just that they are diversifying their offerings and reacting to the marketplace. There is a greater desire for online agencies, particularly among the young, and if traditional agents can offer such a service - all the better. To me, PB is not a hybrid because it doesn't have any offices. If an agency is offering both traditional and online offerings, they're a hybrid.

    It's the future when it comes to cars and probably housing itself, and it will be the future of agency. Maybe those getting in first are the visionaries?

    I have serious issues with easyProperty - given they seem to have done almost nothing since launching in 2013 despite the high-profile brand name and PR stunts - but under new management I think they might do alright. They may be a genuine challenger to PB, which can be no bad thing. After all, easyProperty is owned by a company who has to have the best interests of traditional independent agents at heart.

     
  • Simon shinerock

    Mystifying, estate agency is about people not tech, any tech advantage will be short lived, why undersell yourself? It's a crazy old world (thank goodness)

    Rob  Davies

    Hmm. Any tech advantages will be short-lived? Like the portals, social media and many day to day things now being completed online, you mean?

    Have a look outside, we're only going one way - towards a far more tech-led future. Doesn't mean people won't still play a part, but the success of Purplebricks suggests that the public at large don't value estate agents as much as we think they might. We have to accept that and deal with it pragmatically. Sticking our heads in the sand and saying estate agency is all about the people just ain't gonna cut it.

    Estate agency in the here and now couldn't function without tech. That's the hard reality of it.

     
    Phil Hathway

    Rob - We are already embracing Tech - we are all online, using paperless offices, mobile phones etc. It's the principles of DIY/Pay anyway agents that is the issue.
    How can a computer/app, vendor even get the best price for a property and negotiate their way through down valuations, bad surveys, knot weed issues etc.
    It's a PEOPLE business, THE people business.

     
  • Phil Hathway

    Any Proper Estate Agent knows you NEVER allow vendors and buyers to communicate directly!!
    Truly glad I left the GPEA.

  • John Evans

    a monkey can upload photos to rm and sell it, a good agent should maximise the sale price

icon

Please login to comment

imgcollapse
sign up