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Yopa boss: 'The online agent label is a misnomer'

The gap between online and traditional high street agents has shrunk, the chief executive of Yopa has claimed.

Speaking at the Propertymark One conference in Wembley Arena this week, Verona Frankish said people should be careful about categorising agents into online, traditional, hybrid or high street.

She said it is even more unfair to tarnish Yopa agents with the same ‘Purplebricks brush.’


Frankish, previously managing director of lettings for Purplebricks, said: “There is a selection of quality of agents across the entire sector, just because one business isn’t deemed as successful, it is a bit dangerous to tar other agents with that brush.”

She said the online agent term is a “complete misnomer,” adding: “It is really important for the sector to offer choice for agents in terms of how they operate and also that consumers can select different models.”

Asked if she thought Purplebricks would survive since its takeover by Strike, Frankish warned that it may struggle if its service is made free as this “devalues the service.”

During the event, former online agency boss and now property commentator Russell Quirk took a straw poll to see if agents would back compulsory licensing to raise standards and help increase fees.

No audience members objected to this.

Quirk also confronted Rightmove director Miles Shipside about the portal’s fee hikes.

Shipside response that agents should focus on the value that they get out of the service.

  • Glenn Taylor

    advert for online agents

  • Andrew Stanton PROPTECH-PR A Consultancy for Proptech Founders

    Bit lost here, Purplebricks dwarved YOPA in terms of revenue generated and was sold for £1, so what is YOPA worth at present? On company check website - YOPA has net value of minus £1M.

    So I would not be worried what agents think about YOPA in terms of it being an online/hybrid etc, I would worry as CEO about getting it to make some profit pretty sharpish as it is the only remaining huge cash guzzler from the class of 2014. Word to the wise if in a decade an enterprise does not break even/make profit, probably its business model is flawed and the c-suite are just re-arranging deckchairs before the inevitable iceberg looms front and centre.


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