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Market share of self-employed agents ‘rapidly growing’ – research

The market share of self-employed agents has grown by a third in the past year and by 500% since 2018 even as online brands decline, new figures suggest.

Data provided by TwentyEA, part of the TwentyCi group, found that by October 2023, self-employed agents, such as those working for brands including eXp and Keller Williams, had launched 1.8% of all new instructions in the last year. 

This is despite the older model online agents seeing their market share drop 36% in the last year and 52% since 2019.  


TwentyEA said self-employed agents operate similarly to the likes of a Purplebricks representative and appear to be gaining back the ground that the older online brands have been losing. 
The overall market share of hybrid agents has been falling across all new instructions since 2019 and has decreased from 7.6% in 2019 to 5.5%, this overall drop hides the rapid growth of self-employed agents who are a subset of online agents, the research said.

While online agents have average instruction prices which are lower compared with traditional agents, self-employed professionals are instructing at price ranges which cover and exceed the instruction prices of the top 10 UK agent brands, TwentyEA said.

Katy Billany, executive director of TwentyEA, said: “While at first glance the market share of online agents has fallen, this trend masks the astonishing momentum behind the growth of self-employed agents who now account for almost 2% of all new instructions. 

“This is not an insignificant achievement given the largest traditional branch model brand, William H Brown, has a market share of 1.4%.  

“Many agents may dismiss the growth because they believe hybrid agents appeal to the lower end of the market, but that’s not the case with self-employed agents who are pricing competitively against the top 10 agent brands.  

“Gaining a competitive edge has never been more important and key to this is an agent’s understanding of what’s happening in their marketplace and their ability to identify the right opportunities with a targeted strategy.”

The research also highlighted that in the past year, 83% of all instructions came from vendors whose properties were not currently or recently on the market, with 64% not on the market in the last five years. 

Billany added: “Many of the newer self-employed agents are winning instructions with a promise of excellent service but this should be a standard practice. Having the right data at their fingertips to prove their performance levels is key for agents to win over their competition, whether that be the branch next door, or a hybrid agent.”


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