An online estate agency insists the online/hybrid sector will take a 50 per cent market share in the future - despite the massive problems of recent months.
“With the growing popularity of online and hybrid estate agents like never before, it's time to open new doors and be part of the technological revolution” insists Sachin Gupta, a co-founder of online agency 99home.
"The property market is really embracing online and hybrid estate agencies and in the near future we could expect a 50-50 online/hybrid market share with high street agents” he continues.
The forecast comes despite a series of blows to the online/hybrid sector in recent months, including a profits warning from Purplebricks, the collapse of the original Emoov agency and, most recently, confirmation of a winding-up order for one of the very first online operations, House Network.
99home’s chief made the claim as he announced that the firm was revising its business mode “providing opportunities to self-motivated property professionals, who are willing to join the upcoming trend and grow in the real estate agency business.”
Gupta says there will be no upfront franchise fees, no monthly fees and no fixed term contract for agents wishing to operate under the 99Home banner.
Instead, agents pay the company either a fixed fee per transaction or a proportion of commission.
The firm cites one of its Local Property Experts, Craig Lockwood, saying: “After working with several estate and letting agencies over the years. Without a doubt, I can recommend 99home highly enough. The most professional support and services, I have ever experienced. Hence, the reason 99home is growing rapidly in such a short span of time.”
IT expert Vijay Vashistha and property professional Sachin Gupta set up the agency in mid-2017.
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.
The most recent assessment of the online/hybrid sector by independent consultancy The Advisory, for the two weeks leading to March 10, showed that 99home took on just 46 new instructions during that period.
The Advisory also says that in total, the top 10 online/hybrid agencies didn’t even achieve a five per cent market share for the fortnight under analysis.