Online agency easyProperty has announced four new areas to its portfolio to build on its existing 41 locations - and it’s seeking new licensees.
easyProperty’s chief executive officer, David Brierley, says the online/hybrid agency model is transforming the sales process.
“Big changes in consumer behaviour means that many traditional types of estate agency businesses will struggle to reopen and stay open. At easyProperty we are revolutionising the whole estate agency industry.
“We are delighted to be adding Glasgow, Edinburgh, Paisley and Hamilton in Scotland to our portfolio and we already have a strong presence in Liverpool, Cheshire, Manchester, Portsmouth, Plymouth, North West London, Surrey, Lincoln, West Yorkshire, North and South Wales” he adds.
There has been a glut of announcements in the past two years of agents and agencies shifting to self-employed hybrid models.
Most recently the Spicerhaart group recently unveiled its Partnership programme for sister company haart; this involved the closure of 23 branches and so-called partner agents working from home or from haart’s Local Property Centres and supported by a national call centre.
Its Butters John Bee brand, which dates back to 1856, has now followed suit.
Now easyProperty’s Brierley says his brand, too, is seeking confident individuals to build their own business under a trusted umbrella at a very low cost of entry.
“We are part of a large family of brands, so 98 per cent of consumers instantly recognise the iconic orange logo – and that means licensees have a head start.
“We are looking for forward-thinking, determined, confident individuals with the communication skills and desire to own and build their own businesses, but they don’t need a £100,000 investment and they don’t need to risk everything.”
There are three levels of partnerships available for licensees, says Brierley.
“You can become part of the easyProperty revolution in three different ways – as a local partner, area partner or regional partner.
“All partners have an exclusive geographic area to work in and have the economic rights to operate and generate income from their patch and pay a monthly licence fee of £175 per area, which makes it a low-cost start-up with no prohibitive costs.
“They own their businesses and have the ability to create an asset that can be sold for profit at a later stage.
“We provide a ‘business in a box’ and partners can choose how, where and when they work. They have the autonomy to make decisions that are right for them, their business and the area in which they operate.”
Brierley explains the difference between each level of partnership.
“Local partners operate a single estate agency in a maximum of three territories It’s the type of partnership that would suit an experienced estate agent who has operated as a negotiator or senior negotiator.
“Area partners are responsible for acquiring ten areas and recruiting and managing up to ten individuals. Experienced estate agents who have been branch or senior branch managers would fit this role.
“Regional partners are responsible for 10-plus areas and recruiting and managing a large team. This is ideal for those who have previously been senior branch managers or have worked as area or regional managers.”
The easyProperty brand is allied with the easy family of brands which includes publicly quoted companies, easyJet and easyHotels.
It’s also backed by by billionaire entrepreneur Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, who founded the easyJet airline.
“No more prescriptive fees, chasing for updates or trudging down to estate agents’ offices. easyProperty gives you all the local knowledge and the services of a dedicated expert, a choice of ways to pay to suit every pocket, and an online sale to track your sale” states Haji-Ioannou.
easyProperty has three consumer packages all of which offer what the firm calls "a full-service experience that will benefit customers" including an upfront charge of £795, a split fee of £395 then £895 on completion, and a no sale, no fee of one per cent including VAT.
Brierley concludes: “The idea is to concentrate on local areas and grow organically turning region by region in the residential sales arena the colour orange.
“The interest in our model has escalated over the last few months and each month sees a greater number join our ranks as the realisation that the traditional model needs to change. The pandemic has seen a huge shift in consumer behaviour and our online presence is the new and only way forward.”