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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Struggling easyProperty tells its agents: ‘Charge sellers whatever you like’

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.

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    Providing customers choices on fees is more about hedging their bets on winning instructions

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    How are they still going?

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    Sounds like either Theresa May or Father Dougal McGuire is in charge...equally incompetent.

  • Reconfigure My Home

    I think they have run out of 'petrol' and now free wheeling downhill. 2019 will be the end of Easy property, Purple bricks (if they decide to act on transparency as their USP suggests and release their conversion rate figures) or If their major investor pull their 'plugs' and House Network. Lets wait and see.

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    • D G
    • 13 March 2019 09:18 AM

    Quick, someone throw them a stick to cling on to.

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    My gut tells me, that PB will outlast all the others by pumping money in. Once they have the captive audience their commission will be able to double with no direct competition. Shame as would like the internet only to either fail or be completely honest that they are NOT a full service estate agent and the adverts make my blood boil as they are wrong and it is a total mis-sell.

  • Paul Barrett

    It must surely be understood that the internet upstarts are clearly a different form of competition.
    Lots of people are perfectly content with the Ryanair form of EA compared to many others who prefer the full service BA experience.
    The customer knows the service will be different.
    It would be disingenuous of the online offerings to compare themselves directly with normal High St EA.
    The High St charges high commission; the online offerings DON'T.
    The customer has a choice.
    There are advantages and disadvantages to both methods.
    I belueve that if EA would reduce their commissions they could drag back those customers that choose to use the online offerings.
    It could be a matter of reducing commission by about £800.
    Far better to reduce commission to prevent customers using the online offerings.
    A little bit of pragmatic recognition that many customers are price sensitive.
    Price reduction will attract customers back to the High St commision based model.

  • James Robinson

    Proptech-shmoptech, being cheap works in a transaction rich market, without turnover the model fails, much to the delight of traditional estate agents.......like me.

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    It's really unfortunate, that some of the comments made here, no longer look at the bigger picture, for years traditional estate agents like J,R have got rich off a basic simple model of buyer and seller, tenant and landlords.

    Instead of treating consumers fairly over the years, the industry or should I say, traditional estate agents have overchrged and made the simple process of buying and selling, complicated to justify their fees.

    I may be one of only a few, that wish the online sector to flourish and that homeowners, vendors, and even the private rental market realise, the Industry has for many years been a law unto themselves in some areas, fees in specific.

    James Robinson

    What's it like in cloud cuckoo land Stephen? If you think you can market multi million pound properties around Hyde Park charging £4.50 a transaction then devise one. I'm sure Graham Norwood will give it a plug for you and, raise bit of crowd funding, and your dot.com millions are assured.

     
    Kristjan Byfield

    Whilst the online marketplace deserves credit for expediting the (ongoing) digital transformation of our industry and utterly transforming the FSBO marketplace the fact that not a single operator has delivered any real profit to date (personally I don't count EBIDTA as real- this is a marketing/fundraising gimmick) and many are sitting on multi million pound losses shows this is not the 'easy disruption' they all thought. Many founders of these businesses have left and now operate back within the 'traditional' model. What is more the 'expensive' perception of UK agents has comprehensively been dismissed by an excellent article by EAT last year showing that the average commission in many countries is around 5% compared to the UK average of 1.2-1.4% in fact, if you dig around, PB have even admitted so much stating that other markets are more interesting due to the higher fee structure to disrupt. If you think selling, especially with leasehold properties and chains, is easy- then you've never been an agent in my eyes. I have just completed on a single leasehold sale that took almost 6 months and my email folder for the transaction held over 500 comms by the time it was completed- but I'm sure it could have been easier if I wanted it to be. Legislative changes in recent years have actually delayed the buying process causing the average purchase time to increase not decrease- but again, I m sure this has nothing to do with government, or laws or solicitors but is entirely created as a sneaky trap by agents. Whilst more onliners are joining the NSNF model what are your thoughts on the thousands of sellers who have paid onliners upfront fees but never achieved a sale- how fairly treated do you think they feel having paid for a service that never materialised?

     
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    On your Bike Stephen.
    Bad comments mate.
    I have never overcharge my clients.
    That's why they keep coming back when reselling.

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    Charge what you like but none will generate enough income to stay in business. Anyone charging less than £800 is doomed. Doomed!

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    Stephen, you clearly do not understand how Estate Agency works by your comments. It is not a case of put the property on rightmove etc etc. Its all the work that goes on between offer and exchange of contracts. You are deluded if you think that is all it takes. Lowest fees in the world, and yet people like you and the on liners of whom most are incompetent do not really have a clue clearly what it takes to get a successful sale. WHY DO PURPLE BRICKS NOT RELEASE THEIR COMPLETION FIGURES. We can only imagine that it is so low that nobody would use them in the future. Would you gamble 1500.00 on a maybe getting sale and if not losing that money, I know I wouldn't.

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