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Online agency reduced to shock tactics criticising High St firms

Nested is the latest online agency to base a marketing campaign around criticism of established estate agents. 

In three 30-second TV ads it accuses established agencies of failing to give a complete service to their customers. 

Instead it claims to be “unique” in supporting vendors both through the sale of their existing property and their purchase of a new one. 


A statement issued to the press in support of the advertisements accuses High Street agencies of focussing “only on selling properties” and asking what it would be like if other professions did the same approach “and only did half a job.”

Despite the onset of the Coronavirus crisis, one of Nested’s advertisements features paramedics and an ambulance “with hilarious results” according to the press statement issued on behalf of the agency.

“Making the investment into producing an … advertising campaign has been a huge step for us at Nested, and we’re excited to see how the ads are received by consumers. They aim to highlight our novel and hassle-free approach to an archaic and fragmented industry” says Ben Bailey, head of brand and communications at Nested.

Almost exactly a year ago Nested, which offers vendors a form of guaranteed sale, laid off 20 per cent of its workforce because of a drop off in business according to a technology publication.

This was despite the fact that in 2018 Nested raised £120m in one funding round and £80m in another, as well as earlier funding when the company launched.

Nested operates in London only - although in 2017 it told Estate Agent Today that it hoped to expand to cover Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge and Manchester the following year. 

You can see one of the new TV advertisements below.

  • Michael Riley

    No worse than petty agencies say about each other most days of the week. Do they think the consumer hasn't heard the "all the others agengies are rubbish, so use us were great" line before?

    As for their ad. Strapline most decent agents will help their clients neg. on their next house.... so not sure thats big news either and at worst a conflict of interest if their client is buying and selling through Nested.

    The future.... does not look like this.

  • Chris Arnold

    When will estate agencies realise that TV advertising is a waste of money. Its not a mass market medium such as selling cars ,- it's community based. There is also an overwhelmingly trend for people to watch on-demand and to fast forward the annoying ads.
    And, of course, there is never any message in the ads. It's only about visibility.


    We don't want them to catch on it's a waste of money, we want them to do much, much MORE cc purplebricks et co

    Matthew Payne

    I remember when Your Move heralded their £3m national TV advert, prime time, Corrie slot etc. They got 5 calls from the campaign and 3 of them were staff checking the number was working.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Where to begin - following on from my story in the Telegraph on the 18th of February which revealed the fact that Purplebricks had kept 18 Million pounds of vendor fee in 2019, for properties - (over 21,000 of them) that vendors took off the market as the onliner could not sell them, I am at loss why Nested who is burning cash like there is no tomorrow claims that online agency is the best solution. Share price of Purplebricks 108p - 18th February, truth known about the model, share price yesterday 62p. I think that is game over.

    Regarding online agents in general -Let me see - How many online agents who have ever made a profit - NONE.

    How many have ceased trading? Lots. Why do they cease trading? They run out of money. Where does money come from to fund them? Crowd funding, and more crowd funding, and private investors and if you are a big company the alternative investment market, maybe blue chip companies.

    How much has Nested had? Did you know that with an £165,000 outlay, a traditional agency with staff and cars and sales teams and all that boring stuff 94% of agents have, will from a cold start break even in 2 years, so pay all £165,000 back and from year three it will make profit, maybe £100,000 in year 3, climbing from there.

    So with 200M, the amount Nested has had I could have opened 1210 cold start traditional offices, which by year three would have paid back the 200M and in year three have bought in a massive positive stream of profit.

    And that is why an advert strapping a man to a wheel based stretcher on his way down a hill just about sums up the knowledge set of online agents - they seem to inhabit a different universe.

    Now maybe I am being harsh - surely there must be one online agent who has made a profit ... tepilo - no - gone, emoov - no - gone, hatched - no -gone, u-pad - no -gone, the list goes on ... emoov 2 - no profit yet, doorsteps - no profit yet, Purplebricks - no profit yet, Yopa - no profit yet, Housesimple - no profit yet and now a free service, easyproperty - original model - failed - new version in place.

    The only person who makes money when an onliner sets up is - a crowdfunder who takes a cut of money raised, property portals who list stock, and google and facebook etc who take lots of many advertising the projects.

    Last on the list is the customer experience. If you want a model that works - employ me - I can build a successful model, and the fee structure would be - cost to run the business plus 23% gross profit. And it would be a service that vendors and landlords and other clients would love.

    Not - let us cut out the expensive bits - offices etc -because in fact online/hybrids cost more to run than offices on the high street. Funded by - previous years profits - not continuous handouts. Proptech-PR.com

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Accounts filed June 2019 show losses that year of nearly £10.3m up from £3.6m the year before. With adding in a TV campaign, these figures are only going one way. Sad to yet again see a 'disruptor' feel the need to attack our profession- rather than become part of it whilst focusing on it's USP. They have a major USP to plug- focus on that! Putting yourself up against an entire industry is a tough win- as numerous companies have proven to date.

  • Noel Wood

    Interesting but how is that going to work? Quite often we have in house chains. So I suppose the explanation goes, 'Yes Mr & Mrs Vendor, thank you so much for your kind instructions to sell your home. Now we have another client, we have just agreed a sale on their home and we have promised to negotiate thousands off their next purchase. Your home is exactly what they are looking for and, perhaps once they have viewed the property we can talk about reducing your price from day 1. Just sign here and we shall get things moving and .....errrr...... get you the best price we can.'


    In a nutshell. Plenty of good agents will take a look at your potential onward purchase if only to assure you you're not over-paying and they may even offer to do additional (unpaid) negotiation on your behalf. Never make something a USP unless you can follow through on every occasion.

  • icon

    The WORST agents, high street and online, put tons of effort into criticising other agents instead of focussing on providing the customer with solutions to their needs and answers to their questions. This marketing campaign will do nothing more than build another whining, moaning, bitching and dishonest brand from yet another company that claim to have the answer to a problem that does not exist. Great marketing campaign whoever came up with it. Genius! What's wrong with building a brand based on honesty and integrity? Maybe Nested could try that before building a brand that moans about other agents using false claims and accusations. How do they know if all other agents do 'half a job'? I bet 90% of agents don't do half a job as you claim. In fact, I bet 90% of agents do more than Nested. I think ASA needs to step in here.


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