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Another online agency aims to take 10% market share

Strike, formerly known as Housesimple, is the latest online agency to claim it’s going to secure a 10 per cent market share.

The ambition was articulated by former Carphone Warehouse boss Andrew Harrison, in an interview in The Times  over the weekend. 

Strike’s sell-for-free service relies on customers buying ancillary services which earn Strike high referral fees.


Under its free guise it launched in Yorkshire and the North West in June 2019, followed by Nottingham and the North East in 2020. More recently it expanded into the central region and had announced plans to go national by early 2022. 

Over Christmas it was announced Strike had gone nationwide, albeit only with 70 local agents operating on the ground across the country. The latest Times article suggests this figure may have risen to 80.

Harrison - an investor in Strike and its company chairman - says the agency’s ‘free’ proposition means “we didn’t have to spend tens and tens of millions on marketing”.

“Our number of valuations and listings has doubled in the last month. The last four weeks have been quite a whirlwind” Harrison tells The Times.

He claims Strike has overtaken high-profile brands such as Savills, Foxtons and Knight Frank in terms of share of listings - and he also claims Strike will break even by the middle of this year.

“We’ve got 16,000 Trustpilot reviews at an average of 4.7. We sell houses faster than anyone else and we sell houses for more than other people” he adds.

“We’re investing behind a brand that we think is going to be a big one. We’re prepared to make big bets.” 

He believes that Strike can take 10 per cent of the overall market following an £11m cash raise last July and an £8m raid in December.

Harrison’s prediction is not the first from a high profile online agency.

Purplebricks’ chief executive Vic Garvey has in recent months repeatedly set the 10 per cent target as a public ambition; in 2018 online company Emoov put itself up for sale five months after a reported £100m merger with two rivals, having suggested a goal of a 10 per cent share.

In late January the businesses consultancy TwentyCi reported the market share of all major hybrid and online agents combined was just 6.7 per cent.

Colin Bradshaw, chief customer officer at TwentyCi, said: “Such a considerable underperformance in a buoyant market will clearly raise significant interest in the viability of the business model that has failed to gain traction with 93 per cent of sellers last year. “

  • C B
    • C B
    • 14 February 2022 01:24 AM

    How does he substantiate the claim that they sell houses ‘for more than other people’?

  • Rob Hailstone

    Random fact: Crooner Dean Martin, when hard up, once sold 110% of himself to various clubs and speakeasys. Luckily he made enough money to buy it all back before the heavies turned up.

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    I admire Andrew Harrison's optimism - maybe though the reality that Purplebricks has got through 500M in the last seven years and has a share price of just 20p on the AIM, will focus his mind that an 11M injection of capital is unlikely to get Strike anywhere.

    My humble advice, use that 11M that has just been pumped in by investors to keep the lights on at Strike in a better way, by giving 200k to 55 exceptional traditional agents who will cold start 55-branches, who will return that capital in 28-months and will actually show profits thereafter. Looking at the financials, Strike has burnt through 56M, and helped just 56,000 people to move to the end of 2021 according to their PR. Which means each mover got £1,000 of Strike's cash, no company can absorb that cost of acquisition.

    As to market share - average completions each year are 1.2M, so Strike's average rate of helping just 5,000 plus people to complete annually is microscopic, or about the size of 50 small branches completing on eight sales a month. The difference being those branches will be charging a fee for each sale, rather than Strike's freemium model.

    I am surprised that Strike actually say they are a free service, in that 'accompanied viewings' a core service, offered free by many agents up to point of exchange, are a charged item ... a bit like if Strike were selling cars, they no doubt would be free, but engines and wheels would be provided at an additional cost. The public as ever are making their own mind up.

    Simon Shinerock

    Excellent summary Andrew, the only way Strike would work is as a charity and there are better causes


    Why do you think he cares? Buy market share through mass marketing of cheap fees, funded by other people's money who are sold on hype and market share. Take a big fat salary and dividends for doing so and when the thing falls apart, move on. How do you think these people make a living?

  • Algarve  Investor

    Oh dear. These companies don't help themselves, do they?

  • icon

    Only 10%? Seems pretty low given they don’t actually charge anything!?

    I guess that’s what they estimate to be the percentage of the population who will entrust the sale of their most valuable asset to a company that values its service at £0…

    Next they’ll start paying vendors to list their homes.

  • icon

    'Next they’ll start paying vendors to list their homes.'; only a matter of time before this 'revolutionary', 'disruptor' & ''game-changer' idea is attempted.


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