A company in the German Axel Springer publishing empire - which also invested in Purplebricks in the past - has put £5m into another UK online agency.
The agency is Nested, which had already secured £20m in a previous fund-raising exercise.
Nested’s model formerly offered a 'guaranteed buy' of a vendor's property if it did not sell within a set period for a minimum price, but now the agency is promoting what chief executive Matt Robinson calls "our Modern Estate Agent offering”.
The Modern Estate Agent concept is a mix of traditional agents ‘in the field’ and the intensive use of technology - this has been tested so far in five areas of London (Walthamstow, Wandsworth, Greenwich, Battersea and Islington) and the company says it’s going to roll out to the rest of the UK later this year.
The funding is from Axel Springer’s AVIV Group, a 100 per cent subsidiary of the Springer publishing empire, which majors in digital activities in estate agency, car sales and classified listings; it’s particularly active in Germany, France, Belgium and Israel, and describes itself as “one of the world’s biggest digital classified players.”
Robinson says the current home-selling experience for British sellers is poor and he claims “it’s not at all clear what your agent is even doing.”
He adds: "There are some great agents out there, however, the tools traditional agents have and the services they can offer to customers are antiquated. That’s why we’ve built a truly modern estate agent where we hire the best local agents out of traditional agency and support them with unrivalled technology and unique features like our buying agent, chain management and advance. The result: a far better experience where you know you’re getting the best possible outcome for your sale.”
Robinson says an example of Nested’s “tech edge” is the agency’s newly-enhanced mobile app “which give home-sellers instant access to every aspect of their sale from viewing feedback and scheduled viewings to even showing what actions your agent has taken to generate enquiries and how many times they have chased up specific enquiries. All at the tap of a button instead of playing phone tag with your agent.”
Dr Marc Rustige from Axel Springer says: “We are firm believers in the opportunity to modernise and digitise estate agency services. From our global market scan we could see that Nested were building out a powerful offering that combines a superb experience for home sellers and buyers. We are already seeing the success of their approach with strong growth in local market share across London.”