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Two hybrid agencies pledge to roll-out nationwide in next two years

A hybrid estate agency with ambitions to rival Purplebricks has revealed that it has significantly expanded its current footprint, with ambitions to extend nationwide.

In September last year we reported that Horton Estate Agents - a hybrid which operates a hub-style service around Leicestershire - had plans to expand in 2018. 

Now the company, which was started just under two years ago by Adam Horton, 25, appears to have made good on its promise.

 “We chose Leicester as our launch city as it’s right in the centre of the country and provided a great starting point for our initial goal of proving the concept in the East Midlands. We now cover Leicestershire, Rutland, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire” says Horton, who began his agency career at sales and lettings firm Aston & Co.

The agency recently announced its agents covering the cities of Nottingham and Lincoln; these are two of four agents listed on the company’s website, along with a sales negotiator, marketing manager, area director, and Horton himself who is managing director. 

“The next phase is to expand into the South East and East Anglia, which will be achieved by the end of next year Our goal is to have full national coverage by 2021, and to be the agent of choice for sellers who want to be represented by accomplished, highly skilled estate agents” Horton has told The Business Desk website.

“Hortons was set up to bring together highly experienced and customer focused agents with technology that allows us to offer a truly client centric service. We’re there for our clients from start to finish, but the agents also ensure that they get the best possible selling price by innovative marketing techniques. It’s our aim to be the most results focused and personal agent in the country.”

Horton only charges if he sells a property and there is no contract term for vendors. He says that his modus operandi is similar to Purplebricks, using locally-based experts - he calls them partner agents - to advise individual clients.

The firm is currently advertising for partner agents for Leicestershire, Rutland, Coventry, Northamptonshire and Derby - each advertising year one on-target-earnings estimated at £50,000. 

Meanwhile another young hybrid operation featured on Estate Agent Today in the past - 99Home - is seeking crowdfunding investment for it, too, to expand further. 

Wembley-based 99Home were live some 15 months ago and now is is using the Crowdcube site to seek funding which, it says, will allow it “to become of one of the biggest estate agents by 2020.”

It says that between now and then it aims to have “over 300 locally based agents in the field with one to three per cent of market share in sales and lettings by 2019.”

It says it wants to have 25 ‘support centres’ nationwide by 2020; currently there are two, in Wembley and Sutton, with two more in Birmingham and Leeds coming on stream next month. 

The men behind 99homes are IT expert Vijay Vashistha and property professional Sachin Gupta. 

The company - which shares its north London business address with a traditional high street estate agency called Property Hub - lists properties on Zoopla, Rightmove and PrimeLocation and for an additional cost beyond its £99 basic can provide support services including conveyancing, insurance, mortgages and EPCs.

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