The easyProperty online agency has abandoned an across-the-board fee structure, allowing its licensee agents to charge what they like.
“Each local market is unique and as such, an across-the-board fee structure doesn’t work for everyone” says Russell Humphrey, the former Yopa national agency director who last summer took over as managing director of easyProperty.
As recently as October easyProperty increased its charges from £595 to £695 for an upfront option, or £295 paid upfront plus £695 on completion.
Now it has revised the options as well as dropping the fixed rates.
There will in future be three alternative options put to easyProperty customers - Upfront Fee, Split Fee and No Sale No Fee.
Humphrey says that regardless of the type of package the customer decides on, all options will include “a full estate agency service from advert creation and advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla, to offer negotiation and sales progression.”
Humphrey says: “Before making the changes we worked with our easyProperty National Advisory Council to gain valuable feedback from our current licensees as to what changes they would like us to make to the model.
“The decision to evaluate and add to our fee options was based on two things. Firstly, and most importantly, we wanted to provide our customers with more choice. And, secondly, we wanted to give our licensees more flexibility in how they operate.”
He says a key feature of the package for each customer is their own online dashboard allowing them to check sale progress or viewing requests at any point.
“This means that they will be kept in the loop throughout the process and know exactly what’s happening with the sale of their property at any given time” he says.
Some analysts believe easyProperty has failed to make a significant impact in the diminishing field of online agencies.
Data from property consultancy The Advisory, which undertakes a fortnightly snapshot of new stock won by online agents - as measured by their listings on Zoopla - shows that in the two weeks to March 8 easyProperty added only 14 listings to its inventory.
easyProperty’s parent company eProp issued a statement to the Stock Exchange in the autumn suggesting that it was primarily a PropTech firm.
This is in addition to having its wholly-owned subsidiary GPEA licensing the Fine & Country brand as well as operating the Guild of Property Professional, while another wholly-owned subsidiary licenses the easyProperty brand and associated technology.
As of yesterday evening easyProperty was listing 1,659 homes for sale across the UK, and just 22 for rent.