The self-employed agency model will not be successful in the UK because the commission in this country is so low.
That’s the view of Simon Shinerock, chairman of the Choices agency group.
In an interview with Assist Inventories he says he understands how the concept of working from home and running your own business may appeal to some agents, but he insists the High Street and the traditional agency structure remains the most successful long term strategy.
“I can see how the likes of eXp [a US agency run in the UK by former online agency chief Adam Day] and Keller Williams [another US firm operated here by former Countrywide director Ben Williams] – and the host of copycats that have risen up alongside them - have created a sort of crèche for new businesses” says Shinerock.
“As I have said before; there are massive differences between the UK, North American and European markets. Notably the commission levels in the UK are too low for this model to really succeed” he continues.
“Instead, these companies are providing an unintended stepping-stone to the high street for the small number of exceptional agents that join them.
“In the longer run; the industry will continue to change – and it may look very different in a few years time. But while the fundamentals remain as they are; I don’t think these companies will achieve much success.”
The self employed model appears to have gained traction in recent months; in addition to the US-inspired agencies, Hunters and Spicerhaart have recently promoted this way of working, with agents using an established brand name but working their own hours, from home or a services office.
Several London-focussed agencies have also sprung up in recent years, including Agent & Homes and Harding Green.
The rest of Shinerock’s interview covers his personal approach to agency activity, and his take on the relationship between the human psyche and the housing market.
You can see the full interview here.