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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Hybrid agency rolls out nationwide - but with only 70 agents

A hybrid agency that charges no fees to vendors but instead relies on referral fees for income has officially rolled out nationwide - but it still has only 70 agents.

Over Christmas Estate Agent Today reported that Strike’s chief executive - former Rightmove senior figure Sam Mitchell - was boasting on social media that the company was now nationwide

In a statement issued yesterday the agency, formerly known as Housesimple, confirmed the move saying: “There are now estate agents on the ground up and down the country to provide a full estate agency service including valuation, photography, floorplans, negotiations and sales progression, alongside the existing virtual offering.”

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Estate Agent Today asked for details of what “up and down the country” meant - specifically asking how many agents it had covering Greater London, and where its nearest agents were in relation to farther flung locations such as Penzance in Cornwall and Berwick upon Tweed in Northumbria.

We were told that Strike currently had 70 agents but was in the process of recruiting more. Currently Purplebricks’ website claims it has “over 600 local experts based all over the UK."

We were also informed by Strike that it had 15 agents covering Greater London, with more being recruited in response to “phenomenal demand” and that there were agents “within an hour’s travel” of both Penzance and Berwick upon Tweed. 

In its general statement to the trade press yesterday, Strike claimed it was the UK’s fastest growing agency and that it was amongst the fastest to get a sale agreed - typically 40 days.

The statement goes on: “Using Strike and avoiding estate agent fees could save sellers over £4,779 in commission, based on the national average house price. It’s estimated that Strike sellers have saved a total of £81,300,000 in fees. 

“The digital-first estate agent promises homeowners the simplest, most intuitive way to buy and sell homes from listing to completion, via the free mobile app, with optional add-ons available. Strike earns a fee from partner companies advertised on the platforms every time someone uses them. The services include free mortgage advice and removal services.”

Sam Mitchell says: “From day one we knew the potential in what Strike could achieve and our regional launch has proved the thirst for it. Since our last funding round, we’ve continued to invest in technology so there’s a seamless selling experience. We’re confident we’ll be the obvious choice for anyone looking to sell this year who wants a straightforward, no cost option, that puts them in control.”   

To date, Strike claims to have sold £5.42 billion of property and has helped 56,681 people to move.  

One of the investors in Strike is Channel 4 Ventures which last July contributed to an £11m fund-raise by the online agency.

A statement from Channel 4 Ventures regarding the nationwide launch states: “Strike is shaking up the sector like no other and revolutionising how people move home. There are many synergies between our brands, and we’re excited to give access to our influential marketing platform to help Strike reach even more sellers across the UK.” 

You can see Strike's new TV advert below.

  • jeremy clarke

    Agents within an hour's drive of Penzance! Real experts then! No details on how agent gets paid? How motivated will that agent be having travelled an hour to an appointment only to find that the viewers don't turn up and they have an hour's travel home again? Anyone who values their greatest asset would be foolish to even consider this type of agency, stay local, use the local agent's knowledge!

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    They get a basic then commission based on targets, I looked into it there targets are 40 sales per month! They cover a huge area too, not sure the targets are even humanly possible taking into account, travel, photos, viewings etc.

     
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    I signed up with Strike about 4 months ago to sell a 4 bed in Surrey. Despite lots of viewings, the property didn't sell, despite huge demand and high prices round here. I also didn't realise and wasn't specifically informed, that deep in their Terms it states that you're signing up to a 13 week sole agency agreement, even if you don't actually sign anything when they sell your house for free". Therefore, asking a local agent to sell it wasn't an option until the 13 weeks were up. On the phone, Strike were sloppy and generally unhelpful, giving out the wrong address a few times to buyers. Their process of negotiation doesn't work either, because if they're selling a house for free, they're not incentivised to actually sell it, are they? The only thing they did well was put it on Rightmove. The day after the 13 week agreement was up, I put the property on the market with a local agent on 1% for £25k above the price that we'd been marketing with Strike, and it sold at full price that same day. In my view, the hybrid model doesn't work, because it doesn't sufficiently incentivise the agent to actually sell the property.

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    Would be interesting to see what their business plans would be if the proposed referrals fees ban ever gets put in place.

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    Any model that derives 100% of its revenue from upsells and referral fees without adding any value is flawed in my opinion. If the gross revenue comes from 'upsells', 'referral fees' and other moral hazard income, and the agent pushing the moral hazard gets a cut of a cut, that would likely leave slim pickings for the agent travelling 2 hours back and forth to Penzance and a very hard sell to the unwitting vendor! A target of 40 sales per month in Cornwall is fantasy. It would be great to see details of any individual agent with 40 listings in the region...or any). Can Strike stop using a well outdated stat from 2019 to claim a 2% closer to asking price success rate. That's 3 years an a pandemic out of date.

  • Algarve  Investor

    A lot of hot air and smoke and mirrors, it would seem.

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    Do we count the 0% commission from selling via the Modern Method of Auction as a different proposition?

  • Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

    HNY

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