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Online agencies 'will still take 50% market share' claims company chief

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.

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    April fool!

    Craig Lockwood

    No, not so in this case

  • Simon Shinerock

    April fool? Or perhaps whole of year fool...

    Craig Lockwood

    Not sure you are correct, time will tell!

  • Paul Singleton

    Maybe he should have a coffee with Sarah Beeny, she had the same delusions 10 years ago and look where that ended up!

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    As much as people think this is a great April Fool's article, I reckon this chap is absolutely serious.

    Craig Lockwood

    Yes, its serious, the model works, all without paid advertising.

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    We wont, we will get to about 15% market share pb Having about 70% of that yopa 25% and the rest the rest.

    Remember in the UK 8% overall of the market is the highest agents have ever hit and that was Countrywide before people got the internet and knew what house prices are and what a fee for selling your home should be

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    'we will get to about 15% market share' - how exactly? £00ms of 'investment' can't even get you to double digits.


    There is no way that online won't hit 15% of the whole property market. this will happen by the end of the year. More High Street agents will give up and go "Hub"(online with no tech) and the rest of the independents will keep discounting fees till they have to close.

    The only way that online wont hit the 15% is if they run out of cash like emoove before they can float PB alone will pick up 8% plus market share this year.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    There are some brilliant April Fools posts going out today, this one had me in stitches.

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    Oh. Cows have just flown over my house

  • jeremy clarke

    £99 Home - who? Oh look 600 or so properties available at £99 a pop = c£61,000 income plus a few lettings properties; hardly setting the world alight, cannot possibly cover costs so next stop is either crowdfunding with a valuation of £11 billionty or "sorry folks we got it wrong, we've paid ourselves a few hundred grand but failed"!

    Craig Lockwood

    Not sure you are correct in your perceptions

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    99Red Balloons was a hit -for a couple of weeks max and then never heard of again-cant even remember the group ?

    Anyway-if you can get rich at that £ then good on you #impossible

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    • 01 April 2019 21:28 PM

    From the perspective of an impartial observer it seems that despite vast volumes of cash being burned through there remains a massive question mark over the viability of online LA.
    I suggest that the well informed traditional High St EA is far from dead as a business model!
    It seems that such High St EA are actually making money without being reliant on working capital to make money.
    Essentially such EA are not relying on leverage to remain afloat.
    They are actually surviving on real income.
    Real income it seems is certainly insufficient to meet the needs of the online EA whose cash burn seems limitless.
    Put it this way I certainly WOULDN'T buy shares in PB!!

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  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Having raised 300k 3-months ago on Crowdcube - stating that the company was worth 9.8M (where do people get these capitalisation figures from) and now looking to change their business model, ie, get self employed local property experts to expand their empire, I think they just need to concentrate on getting more people to invest in them and forget the agency bit. Endless rounds of raising capital for a failed business model seems to be working, not so much for vendors who want to sell, but for the people who put themselves out their. How about some hard facts, how many properties listed at £99 has the company completed on, or properties rented out at £49? A quick look on 99Home's webpage shows that the investors money is in safe hands. I am not against a new business model in estate agency, maybe even the one where experienced agents are replaced by the internet, but until someone shows me a profit making model, year after year, I think that 95% of the general public are going to stay with the 'traditional agent.' Being an online agent does not give a company a commercial edge, as All agents are online. It just so happens that many also have offices in prime locations with experienced teams, who come rain or shine create great profits, by just doing their job, which they take a pride in.


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