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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Canny or downright desperate? Online agency slashes fee to just £1

Online agency Doorsteps is slashing its flat fee to just £1 with no commission charge - but for only 48 hours.

The agency describes the offer, which runs today and tomorrow, as a “once in a lifetime” deal to coincide - roughly - with the now-traditional Black Friday pre-Christmas shopping event. 

Doorsteps’ regular flat fee is £99 - and in its marketing material the online agency, which is run by a 20 year old, claims this contrasts with “the price of the average high street estate agent which is £5,718.”

Doorsteps’ managing director and founder Akshay Ruparelia, who was the youngest person to appear on this year’s Sunday Times Rich List, says: “This Black Friday offer is part of our low cost ethos which is instrumental to our success. As ever, our customers will benefit from our award winning service. They will have access to a dedicated agent 24/7 to deal with solicitors and Energy Performance Certificates as well as their own online portal to track viewings, offers and the progress of their sale.”

The agency claims to be the 10th largest in the UK with an estimated value of £20m, some 4,000 properties listed since inception, and with a team of 50 employees and 25 locally-based ‘consultants’ around the UK. It also claims to have saved customers approximately £6m in estate agency fees to date.

“Both my parents are deaf, so my sister and I became heavily involved in selling our family home. I was surprised at the exorbitant fees charged by high street estate agents so, with the help of a bank loan and family support, I launched Doorsteps while still studying for my A levels. I was determined to offer homeowners an affordable but high quality package that uses smart technology as well as a team of staff that are local property experts” explains Ruparella. 

“Our business model has paid off. Our properties range from multi million pound homes to one bedroom flats. ... The high street is dying. By Dec 2017 an incredible 24.1% of all non-food shopping was done online. Estate Agents are central to this decline and online agents are on the rise. Last year, eight per cent of all UK properties were listed with online agents. This is forecast to rise by 50 per cent by 2020 to 2023” he adds.

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    So, having never owned or sold a house before, he decides that estate agents are too expensive and launches a new business. I thought it was expensive when I went to the dentist....

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    Spot on Colin....There are sooo many things this chap can do. Houses to build are too expensive so he can become a builder. Cars, they cost so much so he can do that too. The Post Office charges far too much to deliver mail so another opportunity there. It's endless!! Quite right about the dentist.. maybe that's a next year one for him.

     
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    £20,000,000-who would like to buy this bargain ?

  • Lenny White

    Sadly in a chain with Doorsteps and after being told 9th November, "I will chase this up for yourself now" by one of the employees, I am still awaiting a reply. As with pretty much all online agents in chains, it's the traditional agents that do the leg work and it is becoming clear to all parties involved in these transactions that this is the case. Laughable about Ruparelia's "High Street is dying" claim too and a £1 advertising fee smacks of desperation for publicity!

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    • S S
    • 19 November 2018 11:06 AM

    The problem is that traditional agents have to pick up the pieces because they want the sale to complete. All the online fee-first agents do not have the incentive or perhaps even care (as they are simply incentivised to list properties - not actually sell them) to make sure the sale happens but know that a traditional will have to do the work. Then they have the cheek to advertise "traditional high street agents" as expensive, waste of money, rogues......The only hope is a tough market sees them all go under. I remember agents like these, £500 upfront costs in the 80's - they all disappeared when the market got tough.

    Andrew Hill

    We do. :D But we're not one of those massive, national online agents.

    We're a local online agent

     
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    And its going to get tough!!
    Also dont think they have enough experienced staff , in Doorsteps accounts to Dec 17 they averaged only 7 employees, so the 50 they have now must be quite new to the business?

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    We'll done Akshay. An innovative idea that will no doubt pay dividends eventually. Take no notice of the critism, they're only defending their livelihoods in the only way they know how.
    The very best of luck to you

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    Yes, the very best of luck to you. Because you will need it.

     
  • Tony Sinclair

    Oh dear, Another one about to bite the dust. There are 3 kinds of promo publicity.
    One that isn't really a bargain, one that is a bargain and one that smacks of desperation so much people avoid it like the plague... like offering to sell your property for a £1 for instance.

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    Cheap and nasty ALWAYS FAILS.

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