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Mike Riley
Mike Riley
Researching, testing and developing new consumer technology platforms.
1916  Profile Views

About Me

First agent in UK to generate £1m commission as hybrid agent.

my expertise in the industry

Romans - 14 years
Savills - 2 years
Capital and Coastal - 10 years
See https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelrileyux/

Mike's Recent Activity

Mike Riley
We could not be happier with the response we have had from agents directly and the words of advice from very senior agency figures whom we highly respect. ViewRabbit and the agents working with us are developing a "seed of scale" rather than sowing our field right this second. Getting it right, rather than big over the next few weeks is our primary focus. Sometimes we will be public about what we are testing and other times it will ruin the experiment if we are. As frustrating as this may be for the press and non-testing agents. We form all hypothesis with the belief that both the agent and the consumer needs to benefit. Sadly, the industry has never been able to shake off a poor reputation. We've all seen the raised eyebrow or heard the wisecrack when we tell people what we do for a living. We believe the system, not the agents, is at fault and we are developing technology and consumer propositions to aid pioneering agents to fix it. That is going to mean staring some sacred cows in the eye and pulling the trigger. It will be uncomfortable, baffling and infuriating at times. But, that's what needs to happen. The first of these is the existing free viewing process. A one size fits all solution for millions of people. Many of whom are not getting the ease and comfort of being treated fairly that they would like. Our view is that additional paid options with a different service promise attached will be welcomed by many of them. If we don't do this, a less agent-centric platform will, because the consumer is not a happy bunny. Join us on Twitter or see the ViewRabbit website for unedited updates.

From: Mike Riley 29 July 2021 07:16 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 16 June 2021 08:54 AM

Mike Riley
Thank you Andrew for your response. The "we all know its true" says a lot. A model where "priority viewings" or "early access" are paid, followed by a period of free viewings works. Agent's can even chose to discount the sellers fee with the proceeds, if they wish. The payment would be for the position in the queue, not the viewing itself. The successful buyer gets their booking fee refunded on completion, therefore no conflict of interest. Having just sold my own property, I'd rather have chosen the buyer who has paid to see my house (and therefore has proved some motivation) than the one that didn't. Moreover, I'd like an agent that is truly incentivised to carry out more viewings. As an agent, I would have liked an income related to my cost of sale, especially with sellers that withdraw their listing. As a buyer who has missed out on numerous properties, because the agent withdrew the house from the market for some of the reasons above, I would happily have paid for access. The public are getting used to scarcity and reserving timeslots online for all manner of things, not least going to the pub for a pint. As an industry we can chose to ignore this or use it as a catalyst to start changing our financial models in a different direction. It's time we took a good hard look at how our services are monetised, because if we really dig under it, the economic model of our industry is not serving the agent, seller or buyer. The seller paying upfront isn't the answer, as we know.... but tapping into the demand side and (not on a transactional basis), probably is.

From: Mike Riley 10 June 2021 09:25 AM

Mike Riley
Agents deserve to get paid for (surplus) viewings! When you include properties that fail to sell or are removed from the market, agents carry out a considerable number of viewings per completed sale. Yet the only viewing that actually generates income for us, is the one that results in the purchase. Regardless of how much interest agencies have for a property, they can only sell it once. Every additional viewing, offer and discussion with a potential purchaser, adds to our cost of sale. Many agents deploy a range of methods to minimise their exposure to this cost on popular properties. This includes Severely restricting times when viewings can take place. Restricting viewings to prospects in a certain buying position i.e. cash or with no property to sell. Stalling viewings from other buyers, when they are close to agreeing a sale. Placing the property under offer and taking it off the market as soon as possible, ceasing any further viewings. Not placing properties that are under offer back onto the market, even though a buyer is dragging their heels. Not relisting properties that are being undersold, in a market where prices have moved up rapidly. The malfunctioning and outdated economics of estate agency greatly influence the process for booking viewings and infuriate buyers. Given the shortage of property for sale and ultra competitive fees, charging for priority viewings is a means to offset that. Taking cash however..... is not the way forward and viewings are definitely worth more than a fiver!

From: Mike Riley 10 June 2021 07:22 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 24 May 2021 07:06 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 14 May 2021 05:46 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 26 February 2021 07:41 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 19 February 2021 07:18 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 17 December 2020 11:30 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 16 October 2020 20:17 PM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 25 July 2020 08:12 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 22 May 2020 18:47 PM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 29 November 2018 09:43 AM

Mike Riley
There is a simple calculation for this business model which I overlooked in the initial dotcom boom. Over the last two decades I have seen companies constantly fail because of miscalculating this too.... ...it's the rather dull, but important "cost of customer acquisition", how much does it cost to get a customer to the site and them to generate revenue. Most companies seriously underestimate this and when your main income derives from referral fees, it is a vital number. It also increases rapidly with competition and as soon as anyone thinks your onto something copy cats will appear quicker than a long lost relative after a lottery win. In the late 90's when Amazon was really making a grab for customers, it was spending £70 per new customer.... which at the time seemed insane... the good thing was they had the cash to do it.... but more importantly, their shoppers repeat purchase year after year. That is unlikely to happen here. There is also another issue, one stop shops rarely work well, especially in one large transactions. They work better for lots of little purchases which don't warrant spending the time shopping around. Being heavily reliant on third parties to deliver the service to the consumer creates a fundemental flaw too. As soon as you do that you move the relationship to the supplier.... next time that person needs that service again.... they go straight to the supplier... cutting you "the introducer" out in most cases. So you lose the Amazon style repeat purchases. In most industries specialist and niche players are the ones that make the profit. It does raise an interesting question though which is worth a ponder with all low cost players.... which helps to prove/disprove the low fee and PB myth.... If an agent or a website like PB or YOPA were to offer their services totally for free, would their market share increase dramatically, would they dominate? If the answer is no, then it disproves their model. If the answer is yes, then we are all doomed! I reckon the answer is a resounding NO. The reason as we all know is, sellers in their hundreds of thousands, don't see fee as being the main motivator for using an agent and indeed see the opposite. It's about VALUE. Here is another one to ponder when you're walking to your car in the rain today..... Why was it last week that the seller of "Portrait of an Artist" by the painter David Hockney chose to pay a multimillion pound commission to Christie's Auction House to acheive the record beating £70m price tag for a living artist, rather than whack it on Ebay or Gumtree for a very low fixed fee? The principle answers to that is also why good agents charging % fees will probably be around for another few decades yet.

From: Mike Riley 21 November 2018 09:37 AM

Mike Riley

From: Mike Riley 07 November 2018 08:43 AM

Mike Riley
In principle, I agree with most of that. My view is we have a structural issue in the UK estate agency market which will continue to be exposed for all sorts of reasons. That the average "agency" can no longer keep most of the "agents" fee. There is going to be a serious talent crunch due to years of under investment by many agencies in training, poor and inflexible working conditions and low pay for many new recruits into the industry. The demand for talented agents is going to be very high and the company with the solution that provides those people with the best support and earning potential will win. We are now at a phase in the industry where companies providing an average solution to that problem with struggle to justify how they keep most of the agents earnings. The city and other investors are about to realise that they have seriously zigged when they should have zagged by backing an online advertising model. Then after the battle and all the waffle over the last 5 or 10 years about online and high street has calmed down, the dust is going to settle and when it does a load of hobbits will be standing there looking around ( a bit like The Good Estate Agency today and Ewemove and others) and say bloody hell we are still here, with even average agents earning more than they ever did working for an agency and enjoying more flexible working. Others will want to join them and realise what they have been missing. My bet is that the industry will finally realise that the majority of the ones left standing are going to be agents who keep most of the fees that they generate every day, not the agencies. I am now going to get my coffee and avoid any more Lord of the Rings metaphors this year. SImon we should have a chat, I concur with most comments you put on here.

From: Mike Riley 07 November 2018 08:42 AM

Mike Riley
Well done Rob, proving the "proper" hybrid model yet again. The industry and press need to stop referring to PB etc as hybrids or agents. They are advertising platforms with few bells and whistles added, no different to Autotrader really, hence huge media companies interest ( Axel Springers in PB or Northern and Shell in Emoov.) Being paid regardless of the result is not acting as an agent. They have proved that tech can be used much better and most importantly they have provided yet more evidence that the industry is changing from one of being employed to self employed. At some point the city will wake up and realise that the chips they have placed betting on a low cost model is the wrong trend to back. There is huge change afoot, but it isn't that one. Having earnt over £1m in commission working as a hybrid agent, I hope that more people in the industry will read this article and the one about my old Romans colleagues doing £140k in a month using an off the shelf online franchise. Then realise that they can either work less and earn the same, or work the same and earn at least double, by stepping away from being employed by an agency and becoming freelance. Doing it for themselves online or otherwise. Kinda like everywhere else in the world apart from the UK. PS Rob, the original hybrid claim is incorrect, you may want to edit that in future press. PPS £18k in a month as a top performer is amazingly low I thought. Agents working similar models have top performers breaking £30k per month on occasion and most I know of is £70k in one month by sole agent working from home on his own. I'd love to hear more success stories like that.... Any agent done over £100k in a month on their own working from home, someone must have?

From: Mike Riley 07 November 2018 06:16 AM

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