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Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer
CEO
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About Me

Proptech Real Estate Influencer, Analyst, Journalist and Consultant; providing paid for consultancy, insights, strategies, thought pieces, PR & commentary on the Proptech & Real Estate world. 2020 Cohort Mentor for Reach UK. Unissu global advocate. 32-years previous experience as an estate agent/realtor, 18 years owning multi-branch agency, 14 years in senior corporate agency roles.

Building super brands by advising Proptech and Real Estate professionals with guidance to maximise enlightenment, growth, profitability, brand awareness and minimise risk, in an era of digital transformation. All of this, and a gruelling schedule of meeting clients in London and outside the UK, attending seminars, conferences, and events, together with my consultancy, journalist, analyst, and influencer roles, means that I have a heightened sense of what is happening across both the proptech and real estate space.

ABOUT Proptech-PR. We understand Proptech – because we are proptech – it is in our DNA, and we understand the Real Estate industry – as we are also experienced ex-property professionals, so we know how they operate and think too. Proptech-PR is uniquely positioned as we are seen as a trusted source of ‘thought leadership’ in both industries, a trusted and unifying voice, helping both sectors profitably connect.

A voice that is heard across the national press, (see our website Proptech-PR.com). Our knowledge is your strength, we educate, influence and open doors, utilising a vast network of key decision makers, and contacts both within the industries and throughout the world of media and journalism. We have influence within many trade associations and communities, as well as within the c-suite of the real estate and proptech sector.

So we are not a Public Relations company – in the normal sense that we promote and protect a brand - we are first and foremost a Proptech advocacy, which drives new business to clients. Choosing Proptech PR as a name under which we can push the global message of Proptech, the digital transformation of the real estate industry.

Please call 07535-029676, over 35-years of experience and networking, andrew.stanton@Proptech-PR.com. Unissu advocate. www.Proptech-PR.com.

my expertise in the industry

35 years.

Andrew Stanton's Recent Activity

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
90% of proptech companies that get funding that is not angel investment, fail, that is fail to ever make a profit, they may continue to exist, getting more and more rounds of funding, but ultimately the cash runs out. So, a 10% return for the investors. Interesting then, those who do not go for the big multi-million pound war chest, after all what do you need all that cash for? Development, marketing, well definitely not marketing, as my experience is that this comes a very poor third to the needs of keeping the tech staff gainfully employed, even if the company pivots its model so many times it shows little resemblance to the original pitch deck or elevator pitch dreamed up eighteen months before. In my limited time in the sector, I see two camps, huge sums of capital pouring into companies who make slow progress, burdened by expectation, bogged down by large teams, board members, chairs and all the trappings of a big successful business, but the solution is weak. Then we have low or no investment in agile, great solutions, with highly intelligent and engaged people, who will in time have a profitable product, not an mvp, that sees a proper return on investment. I agree with you James that the sector is both maturing, well here in the UK, there was an explosion of proptech companies in 2017, and at the same time, lockdown has now started a second gold rush for tiny concerns navigating real solutions that real estate requires, and addresses the ever changing trends that the property transacting consumer seems to adopt, which is ever in a state of flux.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 26 August 2020 01:26 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
All will know that since it's inception I have been an ardent critic of Purplebricks, mostly because it is a tech lite and real estate lite solution. A creature which has guzzled hundreds of millions. It by the start of 2020 had lost nearly 117M, had 363M flowing through it, and had cost 481M to run over the past five years, it had by that point raised 187M in different rounds to build the company, plus the extra 35M that it has just achieved from it's recent sale of the Canadian business, and it famously burnt through 90M of cash reserves between April 2018 to April 2019. So 152M in the kitty down to 63M the following year, and that cash at bank was down to around 31M this month, but the extra 35M from Canada is propping it up, to guzzle it's way through in the next two and a half years, maybe less. Putting cash and profitability aside - (there has never been a dividend), what the company has now got 100% right - is the appointment of Dr Stephanie Caspar to the board, with real estate in a state of flux, and the pandemic changing the way all verticals of business are conducted, there has never been a greater need for someone who can see what is going on, what the future holds and can de-risk the organization. Well done Purplebricks. For me real estate is now another data and technology industry, we at Proptech-PR know this as we see over 40 proptech companies a month, and if those in real estate want to be credible and survive, they need to ensure that in every boardroom, and in every c-suite, and in every real estate organization at least 25% of personnel who have digital credentials, visionaries, who have the skillset to understand that the consumer does business utilising data and technology. The old world built on paper and legacy systems has long gone. The appointment of a Digital asset to the board is in sharp contrast to the present rout that our own UK real estate finds itself in, with the present 'professional leadership vacuum at NAEA Propertymark who laud themselves as the ‘thoughtful, professional and regulatory arm’ of the real estate profession, for me they are doing a really good impression of a clown circus act. If ever there was a need to get the rank and file membership of estate agents to believe in the NAEA’s vision, it is now; the question is will they choose a 'dinosaur' or a 'digital' replacement for the CEO job. My worry is that a 'safe pair of hands' will belong to an aged relic, who has never heard of Gen-Z, the top customer of the next decade, does not see the shift in how they do things, has no clue about proptech, AI and the future, and will think giving out paper certificates of competency to eager faced estate agents, prepares the recipient in any way with the skills and mental mind set to trade efficiently into the 2030's. That is why Will Darbyshire and I set up Proptech-PR as the 'COUNTERCULTURE' to all of that old school, old boy, red tape network, based on legacy systems, closed and gated secret communities serving only to enhance the profit of the few - sacrificed on the altar of greed, stupidity and down right arrogance. Very soon we will be unveiling the Proptech-PR counterculture August manifesto, outlining the shiny new future being shaped by the bright and clever generation, who are redefining real estate, re-structuring it through mathematics, code and deep thinking, the last place you will find these people is in a wing back chair with a scotch and soda and an ironed copy of the FT. We are blessed to meet dozens of these ambassadors of the future, each month, shy and retiring, free thinking and almost half in the shadows, they will soon be vanguard of the system. Regulation and paper well, that is for committees and the government, and is grindingly slow, what we know is that within two years the real estate ecosystem will have some new guardians, agile of mind, and with limitless capabilities. If you want to know more let us have a conversation andrew.stanton@proptech-PR.com, 07535 029676.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 29 July 2020 07:18 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Where to start. Not with ROPA, headed by no doubt a great mind, but Baron Best was born just after WWII, and the person heading the present committee is a sprightly 70 years young. So, 145 years of knowledge between the two of them, not so great if half the global population is 26 years old or younger. The disconnect about how this young consumer wants, and does transact business, and will be transacting and is transacting real estate in all its verticals is a shocker. Omni-channel customer experience powered by AI and ML, the problems around data, ethics etc, and the vast explosion of proptech in the UK since 2017, when most of the phalanx of new tech companies started up, is not even on the ROPA agenda, hopefully for NAEA Propertymark avoidance of VAT is not there either. My view and who cares what my view is, I have only personally dealt with 18,000 sales in the past three decades, met 240 proptech CEO's and leads in the past two years, advised a huge swathe of the top performing CEO's in the corporate and non-corporate sectors, and I am working on about a dozen initiatives in and around - geospatial, digital-logbooks, ID, digitizing conveyancing, automating the whole of residential agency, as well as looking after Zara my very demanding co-director who needs two walks a day, so what do I know. Well I know a lot, and that is the rub, as Graham Norwood who himself has great insight being privy to many confidential situations knows. The wrong people are sitting in the right chairs, the chairs of power or latent power, the small concentrations of people making huge decisions based on bad data. Time to start again, and start with this thought - real estate - all verticals built and non built - what does the consumer of the 2030's look like, how will they be 'buying and renting' things, and what cradle should any organisation that has regulatory powers be constructing to ensure the growth of this sector. Real estate is a tech and data business ... get used to it - get a grip on it and help it along its way, maybe get some people on committees who are 18 to 25 years of age, and ask them how they are going to consume things in the future - everything else is irrelevant, committees; - a camel is a horse designed by a committee we do well to remember that.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 28 July 2020 22:25 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Perhaps the new head of the NAEA / Propertymark needs to be a VAT or Tax Inspector as in the recently released NAEA Propertymark annual report and financial statements for the year ended 2019, on page 14, appears this howler ... 'we (NAEA / Proptertymark) have identified that our tax position was not properly ordered and that has led to a significant payment to HM Revenue and Customs of outstanding VAT which has arisen through misdefinition of our liabilities and exemptions over a number of years.' So, how can anyone who has held senior office formerly, including the Financial officer be credible, and how can the NAEA Propertymark laud itself as a fit organisation to 'regulate' and give advice to the government on how estate agency is run, especially concerning financial matters such as anti-money laundering etc. In the same report NAEA Propertymark actually congratulates itself, about how important it is, quote, ... 'It is clear that those formulating new legislation value the input from Propertymark and indeed seek out information as to market activity and members views. Whilst a formal regulatory regime for the sector is as yet in the future, our strategy is to ensure Propertymark has a role in that future regulated world and will continue to be a regular presence at Government working groups specifically, amongst other aspects on Regulation.' My thoughts, it should immediately disclose how much money was paid to the HMRC, including no doubt a sum for interest, also was there a fine. Second it should apologise to the 17,000 members whose subscriptions went into paying off this huge error. Third, what role did the financial officer have and is their position tenable, fourth is the recent revolving door of those leaving in anyway connected to the VAT matter or is it other factors. Fifth, at this crucial crossroads in the pandemic new world of business, should this organisation be trusted to advise the government committees on what is appropriate, given its own inability to be financially compliant. Lastly, which accountancy firm does the books and have they been changed since the VAT debacle that stretched many years came into focus.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 28 July 2020 07:21 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 17 July 2020 13:19 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
During Lockdown I had predicted that completions in 2020 were likely to be 200,000 less than in 2008, the year of the global banking crisis. So around, 600,000 completions down from 1.1M in 2019. It will be interesting to see if the stamp tax holiday will create more sales, if it does then of course the amount of completions will be far higher than I had predicted, prior to government intervention. Clouds on the horizon are also that unemployment may start to play into the housing market sooner than later. On balance I take my hat off to the chancellor, but my biggest fear and I saw it in 1988, when I was an agent selling property, there may be a stampede to buy. But, as March is the end date for the stamp duty holiday and it takes on average 18 weeks for a sale to go through, it means that if there is a bounce in the market it will be until Christmas, as after that time there will not be the 'time' to get transactions 'completed.' The result a sharp spike in sales agreed, with usually house price inflation, followed by a very protracted period of fewer sales, usually with sale prices on the decline. Time will tell. Proptech-PR if you an agency and want to digitise some of that repetitive work, or realise that working from home could be a great answer but you are clueless as to how to go about it digitally, or you are a proptech company looking for clients or advice on how to build your brand or reputation, then give me a call or message me 07535 029676 andrew.stanton@proptech-pr.com.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 16 July 2020 07:04 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
It is a sad irony that Covid-19 is in many ways putting Geospatial back under the microscope, as a tool which was first utilised in a mainstream way nearly two-centuries ago to map out the French cholera epidemic of 1832. As at present Geospatial data and technologies, via apps and dashboard applications, are being utilised to fight the present global pandemic. But I get a little ahead of myself, what is Geospatial? It is mapping the world with numerous amounts of data sets, which Tomlinson half a century ago formulated into GIS – Geographic Information System, which allows analysis and strategies to be pulled out of the data. ‘A Geographic Information System (GIS) integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analysing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. GIS allows users to view, understand, question, interpret, and visualize data in many ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends in the form of maps, globes, reports, and charts.’ Then fifteen-years ago ‘Google Maps’ produced a public version, signalling a gold rush of new technologies. Timing also was a factor with new cloud computing, allowing Big Data to be meaningful, useful and have a commercial purpose. Today geospatial technologies are utilised across the real estate spectrum, from planning and the environment to asset management, and the actual way data is presented using many of the tools from the burgeoning visual tech industry is reshaping the way we understand the physical world we live in. Vector and Raster are the two data formats used to store geospatial data. Vector data use X & Y coordinates to determine the locations of points, lines, and areas (polygons) that correspond to map features, the boundaries, and centres of features, whereas Raster data, uses a matrix of pixels to define where features are located. Regarding application, in the world of real estate – some agents have heavily invested in Geospatial technology. Knight Frank developed ‘SKYWARD’, which utilised GIS software to establish that over 40,000 new properties could be built in areas of London, through building upwards without impinging on the existing skyline. Utilising Ordnance Survey data in a 3D-spatial format, and other data sets such as Land Registry; a real case of commerce and technology coming together. Geospatial has many applications, if you think about it is the science of integrating physical geography/cartography and data and then digitally extrapolating the new ways to solve old and new problems. What is most interesting to me is that its strongest manifestations are like relics from the computer gaming world of yesteryear. Where (VR) Virtual Reality, (AR) Augmented Reality and (MR) Mixed Reality seem to reign supreme, allowing a more youthful group of PropTech visionaries to see, and taste the world in a completely different way. Strapped into a comfy chair with an electronic headset. CTA For me, aged 57, and having over 30-years of front-line real estate experience before being a born again PropTech Prophet; I too perhaps see other large jewels that Geospatial can deliver, from the comfort of my armchair with a beer in one hand and two-eyes on the future. The quantum jump that the £6.5BN UK property industry can make if Geospatial PropTech is utilised to produce a Digital Logbook for every property. This Digital logbook would be a singular point of truth, a depositary not just for the paper lodged since 1832 at HM Land Registry, showing title, boundaries, etc, but includes all data both physical and paper generated that relates to a precise property. At a stroke, all keyholders in the buying and selling of property would digitally be in the same room, with access to all the information, the buyer, vendor, agent, solicitors, surveyor, and mortgagee. Digitise the paper led and archaic legacy-based conveyancing protocol and with automated processes the present 20-week white knuckle ride of uncertainty that is the precursor to most people buying a home, with 31% of them failing the first attempt, would be a thing of the past. An old man’s pipedream, maybe? Until you spend a few hours in the company of PropTech legends Riccardo Iannucci-Dawson and Craig Massey co-founders of Yourkeys, who have got the conveyancing process for new homes on PropTech digital roller-skates, with reservation to exchange in just seven days. All they are waiting for is the rest of the industry to catch up.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 02 July 2020 07:02 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Angus Brut, have you taken five minutes to understand what the Homesearch offering is? unlikely. Have you taken the time to understand that the real estate space has moved towards an automated and digitally efficient way of doing business, unlikely. Maybe if you took the time you would realise that the new portals have several advantages over the twenty year old Rightmove portal. I will try and keep it simple, in 2001 when Rightmove began, the Clio V6 Renault Sport also came out, by 2005 that version of the Clio was obsolete and no longer in production, nineteen years on Rightmove is still that Clio V6 Renault Sport. The consumer of property in 2020, buyers and sellers and tenants and landlords, do not want to ride in a Clio, they quite like the idea of something that is technologically of 2020's - the new portals. Woolworths were a great brand they became old fashioned, Mothercare, Thomas Cook, Debenhams, Beales, Carphone Warehouse, Laura Ashley, all dinosaurs. So back too your point Angus, why would someone from Gen-Z, those people who make up half the population of the globe see the benefit of an agent utilising a new portal, rather than a portal that has failed to evolve, for me it is a not difficult to see. In 2001, Rightmove was the portal, in 2020 it is one of many, and given it has alienated a vast swathe of agents, just because it has its 'stickers' sitting in many agents windows, like Thomas Cook it may wake up very soon to a day of reckoning, where it's customers - the paying agents - decide to place their inventory on a new cheaper more efficient site that performs, so 2001 Clio or 2020 Audi E-tron Sportback? I know where I am putting my money.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 28 June 2020 08:58 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Now I have to be careful on many levels, not least because I want to buy in Winchester possibly and I may be wrong but Andrew Richardson may be the Manager at Jackson Stops in that ancient city. And Angus Brut - I am not sure how informed you are about the credentials of many in the proptech sector. Take James Dearsley - global thought leader and exponent of Proptech, has he any experience in selling property? that will be a big tick, his co-founder Eddie Holmes any experience in property big tick, Andrew Stanton any experience in property, only 35 years, and in my company Proptech-PR there are five of us, and all have Proptech credentials and how many years of agency experience? that will be 85 years. I could go on, but exactly how many years of experience have you in the real estate trade? Moving on - Settled has gone, so has 1.2M and is that the end of Proptech? Well lets see Countrywide the 'bastion of traditional we do it this way' - legacy agency model built on paper and 'man/woman power, and is the largest agent by size in the UK over 690 physical offices. This grey dinosaur managed to have an operating loss of 212M in 2017, and an operating loss of 251M in 2018, and the full horror show figures for 2019 are not in the general domain - but in the notes of the General meeting of 23rd of December when the aborted sale of Lambert Smith Hampton was discussed Countrywide stated ... ' Even if the Countrywide Group is able to fully realise its strategic goals and turnaround plan, there is no guarantee that the Countrywide Group will return to profitability promptly, or indeed at all.' So I am guessing that the 473M operating loss of the two previous years is going to be followed by a stinker. Is this relevant, after all maybe Countrywide are not the normal agent on the high street, but having done an analysis of every single brand inside Countrywide, they are actually your typical agent. Trading from a large or prominently located office on the High street, usually a goldfish bowl and scattered around them are other agencies who if you rebranded their shop fronts would look the same. So here is where I share my very privileged knowledge and insight gained by talking on a daily basis to four or five proptech companies with a number of real estate companies thrown in. I am not a re-seller of shiny new toys for agents, we are Proptech-PR.com because I am trying to save the Dinosaur nation from extinction. We speak to companies with real solutions some based in the UK others around the world and take it from me - in 36-months Angus and Andrew - real estate in the UK will bear little semblance to what it is now. Examples - Riccardo Iannucci Dawson a 27-year old, (Yourkeys) who luckily has very little idea of the world that you Andrew & Angus live in, has provided a solution to getting new homes from reservation to exchange in 162 hours. Is this significant? Well unless you are on another planet and enjoy slow cash flow, inordinate delays, and most importantly upset and stressed clients this has to be revolutionary. Now if the Proptech solution is rolled out into Residential agency with a cancellation rate of 29 - 31% and that was to be reduced to 9%, and the 20-week sale cycle was reduced to 8-weeks, then a typical 100 gross sales a year at £3,000 which normally would give £300,000 - 29% cancellations - £213,000 of income becomes £273,000 of income, which across a 400 branch network is an extra 24M of income. A tiny glimpse into the near future - and given that 65% of Proptech companies were first registered in the UK in 2017 so 36-months ago - they are doing absolutely brilliantly. The big problem at the moment is not that Proptech is failing, it is that agents are failing to understand what Proptech is, and if anyone wants to contact me or James Dearsley or the ever growing band of enlightened ex-property professionals I think you would be amazed at the amount of advice and technical assistance that is out there. Proptech is not the enemy, it is an enabler - ignorance as ever is always the enemy.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 20 May 2020 22:44 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
You do frustrate me sometime Property Pundit by posting and stealing my thunder - I think it is a stroke of the highest level of arrogance and genius to raid the piggy bank that the agents created and use the funds to seek new customers. This is a PR disaster - not sure who does Rightmove's PR strategy - maybe they are a secret collaborator of the 'Say No to Rightmove' campaign. Because believe you me - if choice one was listen to your upset clients just complaints, and option two was stick your fingers in your ears - and up the ante by spending cold cash on finding new clients, option one would be a winner. You see Rightmove's achilles heel is that it's product is like British Leyland's 1970's Austin Allegro. In that in 2000 Rightmove was a shiny new thing, unseen by the public or the industry. But, in 2020 just as the chunky tin car of British Leyland, the one dimensional portal model is well - much like a second hand car. Users or drivers want the shiny new model of the 2020 period - the one that will endure maybe into the 2040's. Forcing agents to drive around in an Austin Allegro - and paying ever more money to do so - when agents can drive a new generation model, which is far cheaper to run and gives more miles per gallon and has phenomenal tech - but more importantly gives a much smoother ride for the fee paying end user the buyer or tenant - is the height of madness. My prediction just as video conferencing was a 'thing that some people did' and became a world wide phenomena with millions adopting it in a week, there lurks in some place a much better model than the present Austin Allegro, however much Rightmove tries to cling on to its heritage.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 10 May 2020 23:27 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 30 March 2020 09:49 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
As a Proptech Real Estate Analyst in many ways these times are the most interesting - for me the future is a cup of tea. TEA, Tech Enabled Agents, property professionals with a suite of digital tools to run efficient businesses, where Estate Agents and Proptech meld and just become 'agents'. Sitting in the opposing corner is an other model, technology to run a model where the agent is nowhere to be seen. This is the advanced model that Purplebricks is now looking to advance, a direct service where vendors self-list - removing that troublesome overhead of the Lister / Local Property Expert (those hardworking much pressured backbone of the online model). Gary Keller, yes he is not exactly a local agent - has for some years been developing technology to empower the agent, it seems Purplebricks is the exact opposite of this model. Who will win well for this onliner it looks like the cash is about to run out. In April 2018 Purplebricks had 152M cash at bank, this April that will have reduced to around 35M, that is a 117M cash burn in 24-months, or a £4,875,000 cash burn a month. I revealed on the 2nd of March in a Daily Telegraph article that in 2019 Purplebricks had 21,380 vendors who de-listed their properties. Leaving over behind 18M of fee they had paid upfront. Following this revelation the share price fell off a cliff. Marketing and selling property is all about trust, as Rightmove is now finding once that trust is lost - things soon unravel. I am extremely sympathetic to any person hit by this terrible situation we are now all facing, and I think Local Property Experts, those very hardworking, self-employed (debatable) workforce who props up this online Behemoth, are now going to find things even harder, a shame that all those millions went on Olympic adverts rather than a contingency fund to help them during difficult times. Doing the mathematics, Purplebricks unlike a traditional agent, has no 'pipeline of sales' to live off, its income is from upfront fees and cross selling of services at point of instruction. With lock down, the amount of new instructions for all agents will stall. As to changing to a leaner model, Puplebricks Achilles heel has always been its lack of physical offices, if it cuts its advertising - it ceases to exist. Without adverts on the tv, massive online spend - the fickle general public will soon 'forget' the brand, and maybe this is a bigger challenge than the £4,875,000 cash burn. Even with reduced overheads, it will eat through that £35M very quickly, but before it doers the market capitalisation will be so low that either a buyer will swoop in and buy the company, or Axel Springer will take it private and hopefully look at the model and start again.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 30 March 2020 08:47 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Rightmove has got it all wrong and now the trust has gone where does that leave everyone? In the past week I have had communication with or from over 500 property professionals, CEO’s, sole traders, men and women in the front line of the business, tech companies, other analysts, you name them I have been talking with them. As many know I have for some time said that the real estate relationship with Rightmove has become a toxic, abusive and one sided, and that a major fault line was pushing the two parties wider and wider apart. For sure since 2006 when Rightmove became a quoted stock, the share price had until a few weeks ago rocketed by 1,500%, and in February 2020 hit 691p a share, but now at 470p a share with a likely revenue hit of 75M plus, shareholders and the c-suite of Rightmove might realise that the gravy train has just hit the buffers. Many that I spoke to say that with over 130M visits a month to the Rightmove website, the brand strength and the public’s pre-occupation with ‘Property Porn’ means that as the Property Portal heavyweight, nothing can stop it. Well Covid-19 just has, faced with a long journey ahead agents looking at their fixed cost model of agency, suspiciously eye the large ticket cost of Rightmove, often in the top three of a branches costs after salaries. Agents now realise that with the proliferation of ‘free to list’ portals, their £1,100 plus as an average branch spend, is in fact nowhere near its true price point. The other thing that everyone talking to me says is ‘Rightmove has itself never moved’ in that it has no evolved, it is just digital shelves rammed with goods/listings supplied by the agents. How will it end? Well in January 2016 the share price was 402p, and in the following years it was 390p, 450p,474p and in 2020 642p (peaking at 691p a month later) so an adjustment to 470p was likely at some time in 2020 anayway. Now though – agents are going to leave Rightmove, and those that stay are not going to want to pay anywhere near £1,100 a branch. Luckily I am neither a shareholder or in the Rightmove c-suite, but if I was on the management team the first thing I would do is what I do … listen and engender debate, find out what your customer wants and needs and provide it – do not put your fingers in your ears and keep putting up the prices. Or people like Kristjan Byfield who is the kindest and gentlest and most considerate and well respected property and proptech professional will give you your P45.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 27 March 2020 12:28 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Yourkeys - reservation of a new home to exchange in 168 hours, standard time-frame for a sale in 2019, 19 weeks, that is some pretty good solid documented proof with numerous case studies. Imagine what that does for a new home builder/estate agent cash flow and what it does for the customer journey of buyers. Purplebricks an agency with no offices, listing 60,000 properties in a year, that is 60,000 vendors liking the idea of paying upfront, not a no-sale no fee model, that is pretty revolutionary. Very much a people-lite estate agency model, for sure not my favourite - but then I am not 60,000 consumers lining up with my wallet open. HB Reavis - smart buildings being constructed around the world, with use of AI and dital tech to make the 'work environment' a better place to be. Fixflo - changing the way thousands of renters and landlords connect and deal with properties, Digital street - HMLR digitising the data that it has held since 1862. The whole point is and this is from having dealt with nearly 16,000 residential sales over 3-decades - agency is a people business for sure - but people are transacting that business from the mobile in their hand, the days of buyers hopping into a negotiators car to view a dream home - belong to the 1980's, the Gen-Z and millennials use modern tech to transact everything as indeed so do you? Do I think arranging a mortgage will involve a buyer sitting in an office doing the paperwork in five years? No. Will automated feeds of the latest mortgage deals be available to every buyer, either on a property portal or similar yes. Will agents become depleted in number, just like the workers on the car production lines were replaced by robots yes, will paper be replaced by AI reading that paper and making the legal sector run 20 times faster - it is already happening, adoption of new practices is sometimes slow, but as Covid-19 shows, overnight all of the UK agents have become online agents - communicating using video calling and laptops from their homes. A month ago if Property Pundit you could have walked into any Bookies - well in fact with new tech - you could have logged into any bookmaker in 30 seconds, and I bet you would have got odds of 50,000 to one that the UK real estate market would not all go online with no offices, in the next five years - but here we are it happened overnight. And those who are going to trade well with tech savvy customers who by 2028 will be 90% of your client base will be reaping the rewards, pen and paper anyone, pick and mix at Woolworth's counter anyone? No seamless omni-channel service - that is what the consumer wants - and that is what good proptech will provide.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 25 March 2020 11:53 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Well what do you know last October I predicted that the 152M that Purplebricks had in the bank in April 2018, would dwindle down to 31M by April 2020. I must be a crystal ball gazer, or maybe a pretty good Real Estate Analyst to have been bang on the money. So, cash burn 152M in 24 months, is 6.3M cash burn a month, and that is with over 90M of revenue coming in from listings in the UK in 2019. As we know it also held onto over 18M of fee paid upfront from vendors who took their homes off the market in 2019, amazing that none of these complained on Trust Pilot. Lets do the mathematics, the share price is 34p, it started at 95.5p in December 2015, it used to have a market capitalisation of 1BN now it is now just 103M. If no properties can be listed for say two months, that is 10M plus cash burn, zero income, money at bank 21M, share price gets hit, market capitalisation gets hit, poor self employed LPE's leave as no income, no sick pay, so I can not see a happy resolution. Yes Axel Springer can go from holding 27.5% of the company to 30% triggering a play for a controlling interest, and the ToscaFund is cashing in some of its exposure, but who wants to run a company who burns through millions every month? No Olympics so that TV spend like some many wasted opportunities is just going to make things more difficult. I had always said by Autumn either Axel Springer takes them private, or there is a hostile bid, but as the company has never made a penny profit, or paid a dividend, why spend good cash - on this company - when there are so many other good sound propositions at a low ebb.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 24 March 2020 23:58 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 24 March 2020 23:31 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
On the 11th of February mighty Rightmove had a share price of 701p, yesterday the share price fell to 475p, a 32.6% drop, and over an 11% drop in the last week. They always say pride comes before a fall, in this case perhaps shareholders greed comes before the interests of the agents. Dissent and upset, and anger is now being focused on Rightmove, yes all shares are getting hit, but Countrywide, Purplebricks and now Rightmove are showing they are out of step with the very industry they are in - you cannot fool all of the people all of the time - and if there is a mass exodus from Rightmove, those in the c-suite maybe deserve to be reminded who pays their salaries and bonuses. So now today Rightmove reacts, pushing their chess piece across the black and white squares in what may prove to be a very bloody endgame, but as Harry Hill the elder statesman of agency and of course on the ground at the inception of Rightmove asks on another Linkedin post, 'will the 75% discount be enough?' Everyone knows I back agents - being one for 32 years, and in equal measure I now back proptech - setting up Proptech-PR as a body to get agents informed and modernised. I used my 2,500 database of agency decision makers yesterday speaking directly with and contacting nearly 300 decision makers who wanted to know which way to turn. I focused them all on Rightmove - telling them to be brave and take their moment - it was about paying a fair price for a service, and it was time to break the monopoly. I also said RM needed to cover the next 4 months and maybe just eat the cost 100%, I said agents need to see that as a collective they have the power. Looking at Rightmove's reaction I think they are now listening. But will agents ever trust Rightmove again? Also maybe agents need to look at the power of social media - as it has been used by many to get the attention of Rightmove, just think what it can do for your businesses - maybe portals are a nice to have and agents need to invest more in their own social media so they are in control.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 20 March 2020 12:20 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Rightmove do not upset a Viking - as you will find that this is a very wrong move. Those who know Kristjan Byfield will realise that he really cares about his customers, his business and his industry, self funding projects to enhance the rental sector. He is extremely bright and friendly and he is widely respected both as an agent and within the Proptech world where he is a director of the UK Proptech Association, so he knows a thing or two about technology and the direction of travel that the industry is going. Putting this to one side, and having seen him recently in his London office, he is typical of every agent, he just wants a fair deal, to be able to trade and do a good job. Though we were discussing his latest project we did talk about Rightmove and Kristjan said, and it is a conversation that I have heard countless times - the only reason agents stay with Rightmove is that if they do not - agents will tell vendors and this will make it less likely a landlord or vendor will use them. To an extent - this lies at the heart of the Rightmove abusive power relationship, the brand of Rightmove has 100% grown off the back of listings generated by agents, and for many years is a brand name that vendors have been conditioned to look for. Because agents in their presentation to vendors and Landlords are quick to state they use Rightmove. Now though, the tech savvy new breed of vendors and landlords unlike their fathers and mothers do not care where an agent lists, they care about the level of service they receive and if the agent in front of them is a good one. So perhaps agents need to stop championing Rightmove, that abuse high maintenance partner who erodes their brand, and utilise social media to gain their vendors and landlords. Because take it from me, if I want to sell my home or let my home out, it is my mobile I go to. Seventy three times a day I check it and I am on social media three and a half hours a day , and believe me I would not be going on Rightmove to decide who my agent of choice is to sell or let my home. No my choice of who to invite in would be whoever influences me - we are all now children of the digital age, there has been a seismic change. And Rightmove will soon realise that just like the Newspapers (remember when we thought no agent could trade without them) who held an abusive amount of power and who used to bill for classified adverts charging by the 'word', the internet has changed the rules and Kristjan Byfield the Viking is leading the charge - the only question is how long can Rightmove with its 70% profit margin stand at the barricade and ignore the ever increasing number of angry agents standing on the other side?

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 19 March 2020 06:41 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
On the 17th of October 2019 I posted the following on my Linkedin account ... 'Following the recent (announcement of the imminent) arrival of Bruce Marsh to steady the wheel at Countrywide, whose share price dips below 4p, it was good news that Countrywide had done something new. But, it was potentially bad news Bruce’s very successful career to date, appears to lack any experience in the property sector, unless home DIY can be counted and of course Dixons. I do hope that in the words of Britney they have not ‘done it again’ as Countrywide had previously installed a CEO the infamous and long-departed Alison Platt whose background was also anything but estate agency. During her four-year reign there was a 90% drop in the company’s share price. At least with the current share price at 3.9p, no-one can really harm the present fortunes of the company. True Bruce and Dave Lewis as a double act turned the fortune of Tesco around, following a programme of redundancies and re-modelling. But, the difference between Tesco and the Behemoth of Countrywide, is that Tesco when turning its fortunes around was in the top three of retailers in the world, Countrywide sadly is not in the same league as many of its competitors. The jury is out on whether it can survive, (as an ex-employee I hope it does) or it will have a programme of asset stripping and be consigned to history as yet another example of ‘big business’ failing to adapt to the realities of the ‘click generation’ who want service, and brands that deliver. Less than a week later, and Countrywide welcome on board another face from Tescos, Amanda Rendle. Actually Amanda Rendle's background may well be useful, with a past including HSB, Masthaven Bank? (yes the experimental one) and currently a non-exec of The Royal Mint and Keep Britain Tidy, she may have access to copious funds - which CW desperately need, and if there is a rout, then at least she can help clean up the mess. It does astound me why the strategy at the top is - get someone from the outside of the industry to solve our problems and calm the stock market - Alison Platt - prime candidate - property industry knowledge zero - MD of Bupa - that was a good fit. Here is a suggestion - why doesn't CW put together a 'think tank' (I know very 1960's) of estate agents - and move the company forward that way. Where can they find these calibre of people with industry knowledge? - well - there are thousands of them in their business and if the look at the people they 'let go' in the past 60 months there is probably enough top talent there to make a start. My thoughts - share price will implode in Spring 2020, when CW looks for another life saving injection of cash, and then piece by piece CW will be sold off. Thoughts?' So, I was predicting end of Countrywide in the Spring, and I think we are fast approaching that point, as to the share price, it was 305p on the 28th of Feb, (there was a re-calibration of the share price) but it has dropped to 56p today - an 81% drop in just over a fortnight. Will others now do the honourable thing - resign or will they be pushed - that is about the only unknown factor that surrounds Countrywide at the moment, unless of course there are any other Tesco employees on the horizon.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 17 March 2020 21:56 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Where to begin - following on from my story in the Telegraph on the 18th of February which revealed the fact that Purplebricks had kept 18 Million pounds of vendor fee in 2019, for properties - (over 21,000 of them) that vendors took off the market as the onliner could not sell them, I am at loss why Nested who is burning cash like there is no tomorrow claims that online agency is the best solution. Share price of Purplebricks 108p - 18th February, truth known about the model, share price yesterday 62p. I think that is game over. Regarding online agents in general -Let me see - How many online agents who have ever made a profit - NONE. How many have ceased trading? Lots. Why do they cease trading? They run out of money. Where does money come from to fund them? Crowd funding, and more crowd funding, and private investors and if you are a big company the alternative investment market, maybe blue chip companies. How much has Nested had? Did you know that with an £165,000 outlay, a traditional agency with staff and cars and sales teams and all that boring stuff 94% of agents have, will from a cold start break even in 2 years, so pay all £165,000 back and from year three it will make profit, maybe £100,000 in year 3, climbing from there. So with 200M, the amount Nested has had I could have opened 1210 cold start traditional offices, which by year three would have paid back the 200M and in year three have bought in a massive positive stream of profit. And that is why an advert strapping a man to a wheel based stretcher on his way down a hill just about sums up the knowledge set of online agents - they seem to inhabit a different universe. Now maybe I am being harsh - surely there must be one online agent who has made a profit ... tepilo - no - gone, emoov - no - gone, hatched - no -gone, u-pad - no -gone, the list goes on ... emoov 2 - no profit yet, doorsteps - no profit yet, Purplebricks - no profit yet, Yopa - no profit yet, Housesimple - no profit yet and now a free service, easyproperty - original model - failed - new version in place. The only person who makes money when an onliner sets up is - a crowdfunder who takes a cut of money raised, property portals who list stock, and google and facebook etc who take lots of many advertising the projects. Last on the list is the customer experience. If you want a model that works - employ me - I can build a successful model, and the fee structure would be - cost to run the business plus 23% gross profit. And it would be a service that vendors and landlords and other clients would love. Not - let us cut out the expensive bits - offices etc -because in fact online/hybrids cost more to run than offices on the high street. Funded by - previous years profits - not continuous handouts. Proptech-PR.com

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 March 2020 08:02 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Dear Bob Owens, I think that I have been giving a balanced and accurate view of Countrywide's demise for some years. And these are the recent posts from October including the Daily Telegraphs article 25th Feb 2020 in which I used the now famous phrase, ''One wounded dinosaur looking to share a home ... Stanton says that Countrywide’s failure to embrace the so-called ‘proptech’ revolution has left it a “financially wounded dinosaur”. As a former employee of Countrywide 1985-1989 - at a point they were the number one agent - I am saddened by the lack of leadership that has been shown in recent years. In case you missed any of my factually correct observations Bob, here they are, in chronological order. 17th October - Andrew Stanton’s thoughts - Following the recent arrival of Bruce Marsh to steady the wheel at Countrywide, whose share price dips below 4p, it was good news that Countrywide had done something new. But it was potentially bad news Bruce’s very successful career to date, appears to lack any experience in the property sector, unless home DIY can be counted and of course Dixons. I do hope that in the words of Britney they have not ‘done it again’ as Countrywide had previously installed a CEO the infamous and long-departed Alison Platt whose background was also anything but estate agency. During her four-year reign there was a 90% drop in the company’s share price. At least with the current share price at 3.9p, no-one can really harm the present fortunes of the company. True Bruce and Dave Lewis as a double act turned the fortune of Tesco around, following a programme of redundancies and re-modelling. But, the difference between Tesco and the Behemoth of Countrywide, is that Tesco when turning its fortunes around was in the top three of retailers in the world, Countrywide sadly is not in the same league as many of its competitors. The jury is out on whether it can survive, (as an ex-employee I hope it does) or it will have a programme of asset stripping and be consigned to history as yet another example of ‘big business’ failing to adapt to the realities of the ‘click generation’ who want service, and brands that deliver. Less than a week later, and Countrywide welcome on board another face from Tesco's, Amanda Rendle. Actually Amanda Rendle's background may well be useful, with a past including HSB, Masthaven Bank? (yes the experimental one) and currently a non-exec of The Royal Mint and Keep Britain Tidy, she may have access to copious funds - which CW desperately need, and if there is a rout, then at least she can help clean up the mess. It does astound me why the strategy at the top is - get someone from the outside of the industry to solve our problems and calm the stock market - Alison Platt - prime candidate - property industry knowledge zero - MD of Bupa - that was a good fit. Here is a suggestion - why doesn't CW put together a 'think tank' (I know very 1960's) of estate agents - and move the company forward that way. Where can they find these calibre of people with industry knowledge? - well - there are thousands of them in their business and if the look at the people they 'let go' in the past 60 months there is probably enough top talent there to make a start. My thoughts - share price will implode in Spring 2020, when CW looks for another lifesaving injection of cash, and then piece by piece CW will be sold off. Thoughts? Stanton's thoughts - 30th October - Today Countrywide is in the dock again this time it has a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors disciplinary meeting about 10M of diverted funds. At a tribunal RICS’ will state that £10,093,866 of unclaimed client funds in Countrywide’s lettings division, has been taken out of its client account, and put into its own account, and that Countrywide has grossly failed to look after/safeguard the clients’ funds. RICS' also says that there is a systemic, prolonged lack of professional obligations to the RICS's client money guidance, it will be interesting what defence Countrywide put forward. This 10M sitting within the company raises two issues; the shareholders and prospective shareholders have a false image of the shape of the company's finances, and is it time to get rid of those responsible, the chief financial officer and or his predecessor, together with anyone else, including those 'helpful' accountants who sign off the annual accounts. The liquidity of the company or not is certainly a factor for shareholders, though at less than 4p a share for some time I do not think many people have been buying CW shares. The equally disturbing factor is the lack of governance - and what have the financial officers of the company been doing - or not doing? With a multi-million pound rescue cash injection last year, a great chunk of which has been eaten through with monthly running costs of this great lumbering beast, when the 10M is subtracted from any 'cash' at the bank - will Countrywide have to 'sell the silver' to raise capital to continue trading? For me it is a race against time, sell off assets and cut offices, or wait and the costs of running the business will eat you and the assets and some offices will be sold or rebranded. Though I am not sure who apart from the incumbent staff in the form of a MBO, would want to buy the company as it clearly will not be making profit anytime soon. Countrywide - Fines, Bonfires and who shapes regulation of estate agents? October 30th 2019 – Andrew Stanton’s thoughts - Following today’s ruling by RIC's, is it time that Countrywide got rid of its rotten apples? Back in August 2018 Himanshu Raja - Chief financial Officer at Countrywide, was until it was voted down to receive £7M of company shares, and Paul Creffield Group GMD was to receive £8M of shares. This was at a time that the scandal of the £10M funds was known to the company, but not disclosed to the shareholders. Then in early Spring 2019, Countrywide were fined £215,000 for Anti Money Laundering lapses, and now they have been fined another £100,000 for financial irregularities. Given that Mr Creffield is himself fully supportive of RoPA, and a single regulator. Is it not time for him and Himanshu to do the honourable thing? Two months ago Mr Creffield when asked about RoPA said, … 'We're really supportive of regulation because we believe it will help create a level playing field with all agents expected to have the same expertise, It'll be good for the consumer too.' More worryingly for all parties, including perhaps Baron Best who heads up RoPA is Mr Creffield's further comments regarding RoPA, ' Because of Countrywide's scale, we've been consulted frequently (by RoPA) on proposals during their preparation, and we've conducted some pilot projects.' Now if the new regulatory framework that a forthcoming government may back comes into being in the form of RoPA, should some of its architects be coming from Countrywide's top management team. For me they would be the last people I would look to. If Paul Creffield advocates root and branch industry regulation - then Countrywide should itself be a beacon of this industry change, at present it is a bonfire of vanities, which given the proximity of November the 5th is very apt. Matches anyone. This article was first published on the 5th of November 2019. - Following on from the recent £100,000 fine and costs, awarded against Countrywide regarding their mismanagement of lettings funds, there is a far more alarming and arrogant strand of sentiment enshrouding the whole debacle. If you read all of the documentation on the case, it seems unless I have got it totally wrong, Countrywide between 2008 and 2018 had in place a policy agreed at CEO level to keep the untraceable lettings funds in the company account, all 10M of it, rather than keep it safe in a separate account, from which the funds should have been distributed elsewhere. Paul Creffield when alerted to it, fully co-operated with the RICS investigation, but - Paul Creffield did not become CEO, discover the deceit, and then report it as a whistle- blower. No it was an outside audit that picked up on the situation, which if let undetected may well have continued. In fact if you look closely at Paul's statement in mitigation he seems very much to make the case that because Countrywide does billions of pounds worth of mortgages a year, have a massive RICs presence, and has a huge 800 (?) strong office presence with many branches in all the towns and villages, it would be a travesty if Countrywide were too badly damaged by the affair as it would possibly upset the property industry as a whole. (TOO BIG TO FAIL). In other words - Countrywide had in place by its own admission a questionable practice, the internal transfer of client funds, which was company policy. Then by chance an outsider found out about it, and of course if you are the CEO of the day you are going to be as helpful as you can, but I think that to play the card of TOO BIG TO FAIL, is a dangerous one. Because if Countrywide is founded upon financial services and has within in very notable and trustworthy RICS personnel, shouldn't the bar be set higher rather than lower, as a warning to all. The panel in their judgement under mitigating and aggravating matters, actually states that Countrywide were using the fund to inflate their profit provision. As a matter of balance I am told by those who know that Paul is a very good at what he does, but I wonder if the matter had not come to light, would anyone at Countrywide have seized the nettle. Also where does this leave the likes of former CEO's Alison Platt (90% fall in the share price) for example, and the auditors and the Chief financial officers? You may not think it but I actually love Countrywide and I am a big fan, it is just a shame that all the talent was sacrificed during various regime purges, maybe they should invite some of those who can do the job back, as I feel unfortunately there are other icebergs about to present themselves in front of HMS Countrywide. 19th February 2020 - There have been loud rumours that possibly due to financial constraints, Countrywide Plc and LSL are thinking of a merger. Though there is no proof of this, for several days there have been whispers especially following the harsh pruning of the LSL operation. A few days ago I did on social media entreat Countrywide to follow the strong strategy of LSL, cut out the dead wood, but a merger is another plan for sure. LSL has multiple brands, including Your Move under its umbrella, Reids Rains etc, and a huge financial services operation with a large e-serv RICS operation as well, so it is hard to see how two giant agencies with massive personnel could easily merge? Maybe it is no more than a rumour - but with the 38M deal to sell off assets stalling and the share price of Countrywide at a dangerously low point, something has to give. In contrast LSL share price has risen in the last 6-weeks from 200p a share to 343p a share - indicating something big on the horizon. I have tried contacting the LSL media contact Twitter account, but it was last used on the 12th of Dec 2016, so not much help. If anyone is in the know please let me know. The Daily Telegraph ... 25th February 2020 - 'Open to offers: One wounded dinosaur looking to share a home ... Stanton says that Countrywide’s failure to embrace the so-called ‘proptech’ revolution has left it a “financially wounded dinosaur” ... and that any merger with LSL is really a hostile takeover, with LSL setting the terms.' The traditional high street model is battling against declining sales and the rise of online challengers ... analyst Andrew Stanton warns: “Estate agencies of the future will be based on captured data and analytics which provide a clear narrative of what the customer likes and wants.'

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 10 March 2020 21:20 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 03 March 2020 01:13 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Well it was 21,380 withdrawals that I reported to Vinjeru MKandawire senior reporter at The Daily Telegraph, for my story that ran under her name today in the Daily Telegraph- though a little surprised we ended up with 18 Million. As Purplebricks charge £999 or £1,399 upfront plus £X for viewings. So 21,380 withdrawn in 2019 x £999 = £21,358,620 of fee retained by Purplebricks, add in some £1,399 and £X for viewings you are going to get nearer to mid £24M plus retained. Then of course they ceased trading in USA & Australia in 2019, so how many vendors lost their upfront fees, I think it could be thousands, so maybe we are at £28M. No idea why the regulators do not put a stop to this? RoPA want to get teeth and regulate - our friends in Wales NTSEAT do not seem to want to know and the NAEA have no comment. Much talk of needing to bring professional standards in - but wholesale damage to credibility of the sector taking place. I see 2 more online/hybrids are looking for crowdfunding - no wonder the public are sick of the industry. Silver lining. Purplebricks share price graph over last 5 years now resembles a 'Purple Dinosaur' started at 95.5p peaked at nearly a fiver in 2017 and traded at 85p yesterday down from 107p the day before. Vic Darvey I feel is for high jump and not an Olympic one. (Two Andrew Stanton Proptech-PR.com Dinosaur stories in Daily Telegraph in 6-days - the other being Countrywide - 'failure to adopt proptech ... has left it a financially wounded dinosaur ' will there be a third one next week and who might it be?)

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 03 March 2020 00:36 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I was at the NAEA on Thursday and they were going on about new forms ... so in a quite moment when button holed in the exhibitors area I said to a senior bod, 'This just shows the disconnect that exists in the real estate space in the UK, and why we are going to have more dinosaur situations very soon.' Committees are staring at their navels while people like Riccardo Iannucci-Dawson who is 27 years old, has with his co-founder Craig Massey a man of my age - coded their way using proptech to a place where properties exchange in 168 hours - 7 days - yourkeys.' Later on I someone kindly said they could talk me through the new bits of paper that the NAEA are dreaming up and the RoPA group. I just said, ' do you realise right now within two miles of this building there are dozens of bright people solving all the problems, using mathematics, data, machine learning artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain applications, the days of talk talk of the last century are being replaced by a technological revolution which is outstripping trade organisations, quasi institutions that help the real estate industry, and outstripping the Victorian pace at which the Brexit bound parliament can enact property legislation.' 'Time for less dinosaurs, less ivory towers, less we know better because we are the property professionals and more - How do we make ourselves relevant to the needs of our clients and customers. How can technology be our friend, how can we digitally transform our businesses into fit for purpose vehicles that will make profit and help the industry move forward. Time to hang around the new kids on the block, who I meet daily in my work, as I take the time to find out what is really going on.' He went off to get some more sandwiches and a cup of tea ...

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 29 February 2020 23:07 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Simply put, Property Portals Rightmove, Zoopla, etc are the exit lounge for property and rental property, and social media is the import lounge for gaining vendors and landlords. But now social media is increasingly becoming the go to place to find your next rental or property to live in. Gone are the days when agents newspaper advertising was both the product, houses for sale and to let, and their branding. The beauty of social media, is that in the same household you can send a different message to different people, so unlike a newspaper advert - universal in its reach - but a blunt instrument - a bespoke piece of social media can really engage the correct target audience. This is why new estate agents (this term includes letting agents) who are of course using social media are killing the market, overturning established legacy businesses in medium sized towns. Customers - vendors and landlords - are being influenced by these companies. That is why I in my consultancy spend a large amount of time talking about having a bespoke social media solution, and maybe cutting portal spend and using social media to get the brand out there, so when you sit with the landlord or vendor, your brand is already inside their head. And just posting on your Facebook, twitter or Instagram account may be doing very little to grow your digital footprint, you need to pay for a digital marketeer, to ensure that 'copy' which also needs to be produced gets in front of the correct people at the correct time. For those who think social media is for children, here is a fact, half the globe is now populated by Generation-Z. This is your up and coming client, they use apps for everything and look at different and emerging platforms Tik Tok. They speak on mobiles only 38% of the time using social media for all their other communication, if your business is founded on the telephone (Alexander Bell's invention in the 19th century) you are going to be increasingly out of the loop. If you want some sound advice on this topic contact me estate-agency-insights-strategies.co.uk it might just increase your profits by 35% over the next 12-months.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 17 February 2020 15:59 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Rightmove makes huge profits because they are a tech company, and whilst they have a minimal cash burn on new development, their core product, the listing of property is not an ever-increasing cost. Like many such companies, a product or service is developed, and it catches on, and the cost to roll it out to new clients becomes relatively minimal after the initial start-up phase of the business where usually there is a multi-million-pound investment to produce the winning model. As a maturing business it is clear that because it holds a monopoly situation, it can adopt a pricing policy that it chooses, with some agents paying far more for an identical service, which means they subsidise others. Also, online agents who cover vast swathes of the UK probably have a pricing plan very different to that of an agency with 200 offices in the high street. What underpins the Rightmove model and is its strength and weakness is that it is the continued patronage of the agents. The problem for Rightmove is that if agents become a disillusioned collective who feel they have been paying through the nose, and in fact have been subsidising perhaps corporates or online agents, then a very dangerous schism may appear. I am not suggesting this is the case, and perhaps as this debacle grows there may be more transparency, but, the day of reckoning is coming, because the new generation of proptech solutions might in a single leap make the provision of a digital shop window on the internet at a unit cost of £1,200 plus a month to be a costly nice to have. Rather than the cosy core essential that is ‘exceptional value for money’ it may well be for the present, but not if you are subsidising the rival agent next door to you.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 February 2020 09:31 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
AI has come a long way from its origins 65 years ago, and whilst it is an ever increasing arena in essence the replication of the neural pathways of the human mind in machines sums it up. And it is the application of this concept which underpins much of the technology of today. James makes the point that in partnership AI and humans have a great result, but I am going down the other path, AI will soon leave humans behind, a bit sci-fi? let me explain. Simply put, Artificial intelligence is built upon mathematics, statistics, probability, information engineering, hooked up with applications to then perform processes. So, back in the early 1990's being an avid chess player I bought a Kasporov chess computer game, it was cutting edge. I played against 'Gary K' most days and worked my way through the levels, much like AI and machine learning, where computers through processed data become smarter. Then came the day that at the top level I could beat the computer. Here is the kicker, the advance of computers capacity, the little brain in my computer game, increases in a non-linear fashion, doubling annually. Aided by advances and the cost of tech coming down in real terms. In the 1960's IBM computers sent us to the moon, the IBM computer of 2020 capacity wise is many thousand times more capable. So, though the human touch, the agent helping James with his rogue tenants is needed in 2020, given that AI will be able to teach itself to be even cleverer, might in five years, it be AI that detects problems in a rented environment, via controls / sensors from the smart tech family of proptech, which through AI results in the tenants being guided towards repairing damage or similar, without human intervention? Decades away? I do not think so. What will happen to humanity, hopefully, if the boring mundane sand that clogs up our every day life is filtered by AI, we can focus on some bigger problems, saving the planet, looking after those in need of care, it will just take a re-adjustment of some of our own neural pathways to human learn different and better ways of doing things.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 February 2020 08:08 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Regarding the assertion Rightmove - there is no alternative there is no choice and it is a consumer led proposition, I do not think this to be the case. Also, though Rightmove has enjoyed a dominant position for a long time, at grass root level, the relationship between agent and property portal is becoming increasingly fractious and disconnected. Anecdotally, and I meet hundreds of agents, everyone feels that Rightmove is expensive, and that year on year increases which see a massive profit margin for the portal, give very little return to the client agent. And the noise if becoming louder. The Achilles heel for Rightmove, is that the vendor and buyer do not demand that they see their home listed for sale on Rightmove. It is agents who 'fight it out' on the listing battlefield who present the proposition that an agent without Rightmove is not a credible agent. Many agents realising this, are developing both their brand and their marketing around social media, putting funding into this arena. Not only does it differentiate the agent, unlike Rightmove which makes all agents equal, in the sense that agents brands are stripped away, replaced by tiny digital property adds, neatly stacked by price and postcode across a vast digital platform - it actually drives business directly to the agent. Social media is in it's infancy in the real estate sector in the UK, yes some agents post on the various social media sites, but when CRM's come of age and it is an integrated part of their functionality, I think that the day's of Rightmove supremacy will be numbered. Because, Generation-Z, as a consumer is both relentless and fickle. Just because agents in the sitting room of prospective vendors properties have been conditioned and may feel that Rightmove is a must have, and an agent without it is a weak agent. Generation-Z is probably going to be looking for their next home on Tik Tok or some other social media platform, oblivious to the 'way mum and dad or older siblings used to go about searching for property'. Take a look around the globe, America, Australia etc, property portals yes, but personal service and brand built upon social media is becoming increasingly more relevant. After all consumers do all of their business on their phone, as an influencer in the proptech and real estate sector, 90% of my business comes from Linkedin, five years ago it would have been 20%. Rightmove will only continue to be 'the property brand' as long as agents do not develop their own property brands, and a key strategy I would suggest is not to pay even more money to them for enhanced awareness of their site, put that money into social media, it grows brands it grows businesses. And there are also number of new contenders in the property portal space such as PropertyHeads, headed up by visionary Ben Davis, which has more functionality and is based on a social media and multi-function concept. As well as OpenBrix - CEO Adam Pigott - whose portal is built on the blockchain to decentralise the control, and cannot raise prices that is not agreed upon by the majority of the members on the site - so a completely inclusive listening approach.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 February 2020 06:59 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Where to begin with this young James? So many strands let us have a go at addressing them. Solicitors are risk averse, status quo for them is not so much a rock group as a way of slowly engaging with the world, let us carry on as before and not do anything that will frighten the horses. Adoption of any new practice is slow, and whilst the whole of the conveyancing infrastructure is undergoing a quiet seismic shift, with the young blood building legal practices on and around tech to facilitate the paper pushing exercise of transferring title, there are equal numbers doing a King Canute and sitting at the seas edge saying the tide is not coming in, as it pools around their ankles. Lidia Quinlan would do well to take some time to visit some of the more enlightened legal practices who are not kicking proptech into the long grass, in ten years these companies will be the leaders in the field and companies proud of their paper driven processes will I am afraid go the way of Blockbuster video stores. On the topic of cyber crime being high on the agenda of concern, a recent law society report stated that 85% of legal firms in the UK did not have a basic and robust anti-money-laundering system in place. They do well to be worried. The irony - and young James Dearsley will support me on this hopefully, technology could remedy this. It could safeguard companies in the legal sector, but this would require a change of mindset, the employment of people within legal practices who could engender the culture change required and introduce the technology required, as most c-suite people simply do not have the time or knowledge to bring such change. On the matter of fees, I am an analyst and consultant, and the first thing agents say is 'I can not put my fees up because of the competition.' I always say forget the competition focus on the customer. If she or he is super happy, what you charge is irrelevant. People spend money when they are happy with the service or product, if you build your business around the client, not what you think they want, but really around what they want, you can charge a going rate, which should be the cost of running your business plus a healthy margin for profit.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 06 February 2020 12:40 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
But it is not comprehensive enough, what is needed is a comprehensive property DNA pack. To front load a property, ensuring that from point of sale onward exchange can occur more quickly. With 18 weeks being the usual time frame for a sale, to get over the line, despite all the tech in the sector – something is not going right. Many in the property sector are scrambling for answers from Land registry and digital street and hackathons and shared perspectives. But as Taylor Wessing legal luminaries in the digital field, both in the adoption of tech and embracing proptech firms, stated yesterday, exchanges are governed by the slowest component in the chain. Solicitors are risk averse, so tech is a slow go for many legal firms, which means, great have more information on property as in the PIP initiative, but if you have a conveyancing practice who is not tech ready, then you are in for a long haul. Piecemeal solutions are helpful, but the antiquated property sector it is a bit like a poor relative of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The model is not good, so more and more data is fed in and bit by painful bit until the digital ‘brain’ recognises it must change its approach to achieve the required outcome. Luckily reform will not come from the legal sector, but from the younger generation coding their way to solutions which will set fire to the paper lead conveyancing industry. Things are moving extremely quickly in this sector and with blockchain looking a likely contender to resolve the antiquated system, by the time the TA6 property form is up for a new rendition it will most probably be AI composing the document in a digital format so instantaneous execution can be fulfilled.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 02 February 2020 15:14 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
A comprehensive property DNA pack is long overdue to front load a property, ensuring that from point of sale onward exchange can occur more quickly. With 18 weeks being the usual time frame for a sale, to get over the line, despite all the tech in the sector – something is not going right. Many in the property sector are scrambling for answers from Land registry and digital street and hackathons and shared perspectives. But as Taylor Wessing legal luminaries in the digital field, both in the adoption of tech and embracing proptech firms, stated yesterday, exchanges are governed by the slowest component in the chain. Solicitors are risk averse, so tech is a slow go for many legal firms, which means, great have more information on property as in the PIP initiative, but if you have a conveyancing practice who is not tech ready, then you are in for a long haul. Piecemeal solutions are helpful, but the antiquated property sector it is a bit like a poor relative of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. The model is not good, so more and more data is fed in and bit by painful bit until the digital ‘brain’ recognises it must change its approach to achieve the required outcome. Luckily reform will not come from the legal sector, but from the younger generation coding their way to solutions which will set fire to the paper lead conveyancing industry. Things are moving extremely quickly in this sector and with blockchain looking a likely contender to resolve the antiquated system, by the time the TA6 property form is up for a new rendition it will most probably be AI composing the document in a digital format so instantaneous execution can be fulfilled.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 02 February 2020 14:30 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I must profess a personal interest with Offr, in the sense that two of the directors Phil Farrell and Robert Hoban, were plying me with several pints of Guinness recently in a hostelry in London Bridge. Putting that aside, and unlike Guinness which is said not to travel well across the water, Offr certainly does. I have been following the fortunes of this company for some time, and as a person very much in the know as my day time job is networking with all sectors of the proptech and real estate industry, meeting CEO’s, project managers, data scientists, captains of the finance, banking and legal industry and more, I love it when someone gets it right. And Robert, Phil have definitely got it right, with their offering – Offr. In between the pints Phil and Robert said their biggest problem was articulating what their service was. I suggested it was ‘two taps – Offr’ – meaning with two taps of your smart phone you can offer on a property, this is an integral part of their service. It also suggests that the service is instantaneous and seamless, the modern consumers touchstone. Phil rightly said, two taps seems more like Michael Flatterley, but after another pint of the black stuff I said well what is the Offr proposition? With an Irish gleam in his eye, Phil then said that Offr is a service for agents that runs alongside their existing business, it enhances it, and gives transparency to all parties, with a dashboard system that allows all stakeholders to be super connected. They went on to say that they had looked at the slow model of real estate, all the sticking points, and they had digitally engineered a better model with the buyer and the vendor at the centre of all things. Also, a transparent and time specific way of agreeing sales, still on the traditional private treaty basis. But, where buyer’s are pre-qualified before they offer (Offr), and at point of sale, within seconds the memo of sale can be produced, and all parties who offered and were unsuccesful would be instantly told. Then the proptech in the Offr solution really kicks off, with all ther stakeholders in the sale, buyer, seller, solicitors, all on a dashboard system able to see in real time the progress of the sale. For me – though I am no longer selling property, if I was I would use Offr (not the drink talking) because – it works – at point of pitching for the business in front of the vendor the Offr solution will gain vendors, and it will run along the existing way the agent works, it will also support a higher fee. So, more instructions, a better listing fee, a quicker sale being agreed and a speedier more transparent route to exchange. And a great experience for the buyer and seller My advice – look on the Offr website today and get in contact with these two Robert or Phil, they may not buy you a pint, but, they will transform the bottom line of your business for the better.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 30 January 2020 07:06 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I believe in education, qualifications and developing yourself, as everyone now is very much their own person and own brand. But, I am not sure that Boris is up for regulation of the sector, the recent Liverpool debacle with licences in landlords being shut down, shows perhaps a retrograde element creeping into the property sector. Also, whilst I support development of property professionals (agency is a profession) I think RoPA may be jumping the gun, as it could be 24 months or never before Baron Best who is 75 years old gets his vision through government. For me the key skills RoPA should be instilling is the ones that teach agents how to handle the tsunami that is the digital transformation of the industry. It is clear agents need to be compliant and conversant with all regulations and provide a service based on professional etiquette, but having recently see Mark Burgess hold forth with his Iceberg Digital summation of where the industry is going - think more amazon or google or Netflix rather than high street agencies taking professional photography and thinking this is cutting edge. You soon start to realise that the industry is very much at a tipping point, where industry visionaries arguably have more to offer than industry regulators however well meaning their intention is. Remember half of the global population is now Gen Z so if your agency is geared to, and markets to the baby boomers or older millennials who are 40 now, in a few years your customers will not be doing business with you.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 28 January 2020 11:45 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Reservation agreements, given that 28% to 32% of residential agreed sales fail, any mechanism to minimise cancelled sales should be embraced. But, when you drill down into the figures, and find that of the 32% that fall through, less than 30% of these do so because the vendor or buyer goes back on the deal. It is clear that other factors need to be addressed. As the major factors for a sale going off are: - adverse surveys, finance problems, problems with legals and problems in a chain type sale. To my mind, the immediate payment of a non-refundable local authority search fee, at point of a sale being agreed, and monies on account by the buyer with the search paid for immediately. With an equal commitment made by the vendor if buying on, is better than any 'deposit'. Or, maybe a meaningful 5% deposit, but, given the legal sector will say this is unfair, and cause complications later as a squabble develops due to adverse survey or defective title, I think this is just a minefield. The real solution is simple, replace the slow pace of the transaction with new thinking, get the mathematicians, data scientists to sort the problem, and build a proper system. So, that at point of sale, the title, the property, the finance, the survey, the searches, the identity of all concerned is all put together in a sealed digital process, where and exchange can be instantaneous. The blocks to this road map, land registry (I know digital street exists), the present conveyancing process based on paper and preserving the status quo and there being no risk in the process, and the present lending system. Estate agents are 'introducers' like Amazon they do not make anything - they facilitate commerce, the transfer of title, but, they do not engage in that process. The good news is that Gen-Z are going to by their force of numbers - (half of the global population is now Gen-Z) - make the digital transformation of the real estate a reality. Just because mum and dad patiently waited 18 weeks to complete on their home, after choosing to buy it, does not mean that the tech savvy generation who are already re-shaping the world by bringing in more efficiencies will be passive passengers held to ransom. No, just as Greta Thunberg is showing, if enough people say there is a better way, solutions will be found.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 27 January 2020 20:33 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Strangely I find myself changing hats from being an estate agent, bemoaning the slowness and inadequacies of HM Land Registry, to being a real estate and proptech analyst and consultant. And in so doing actually being an advocate of their present position and more specifically the focus they have put into their research and development project Digital Street. This collaborative initiative which has been running some years, and which anyone from the real estate sector in the UK can join in with, (I applied) is making progress. Maybe it is time if estate agents want change to be faster - they take time out and support the Land Registry cause, as at present the Law Society, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, HM Revenue and Customs, large legal firms, as well as professionals across the industry are working towards the same goal, speeding up and digitally transforming the sector. The big problem is speeding up land searches is a tiny part of what is occurring at the Land Registry which began in the early 1860's. The changes taking place are massive, complex, but will result in an information dividend that is hard to imagine, as Gareth Robinson, Head of Data Management for the project stated in November 2019, 'The next evolution of the Land Register needs to: • be composed of structured, computer-readable data, held in a single logical data store – structured data is easier for machines to access and read; more structure means we can automate things more easily and design new services • be able to identify party, place and interests uniquely, so we can improve the integrity of our registers and enable simple searches • be able to manage relationships both within and between titles, to make it easier to see, for example, which register entry relates to which deed • include digital title plans; this will enable customers to access information using a map and find information without having to read through lengthy register entries • make sure all titles offer up to date, current information.' I have a feeling this will not be achieved overnight, but, the good news is that there are commercial reasons driving the engine of change, a large byproduct of which will be a good fix for speeding up the 'broken' conveyancing system in place in the UK at present.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 20 January 2020 09:27 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 16 January 2020 12:23 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Simon Bad Boy Shinerock - you are correct. Handcuff you to a lamppost and let you have nothing but a charged mobile (tech) you will do deals because you are extra-ordinary, you will out list outsell and make more profit than anyone locally. This is true of many star rated agents, it's just in their blood. But, proptech the silent helping hand will aid the people in the industry who are not as gifted as you are. An example, a medium sized town I know well now has a very skewed property market place, some of the dominant old brands are doing ok, but the new agents some just two years old, are head and shoulders above them. Why - the way the new businesses are structured and the amount of tech within. A further eye opener for me was recently going to the annual Negotiator awards dinner at the Grovesnor. Time after time images of 'internal office shots showing the teams' was flashed up on the big screen, and time after time the winners were - well people who did not even look like the agents I used to remember, their dress code was different, their work environment was different, and there were fewer and fewer old school agents picking up those awards. Everyone knows Simon that you run a very successful agency, amongst other things, but, I think if you were not handcuffed to a lamppost and you were starting over again today - your blueprint for the business and the role of tech to run it would be significantly different, because your brilliance can not be replicated, not even with a digital twin.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 15 January 2020 22:16 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
A little history, two of the most highest paid executives back in back in August 2018 -Himanshu Raja - Chief financial Officer at Countrywide, was until it was voted down to receive £7M of company shares, and his colleague Paul Creffield Group GMD was to receive £8M of shares. This was at a time that the scandal of the £10M Lettings funds was known to the company, but not disclosed to the shareholders. Then in early Spring 2019, Countrywide were fined £215,000 for Anti Money Laundering lapses, and now they have been fined another £100,000 for financial irregularities. Given that Mr Creffield is himself fully supportive of RoPA, and a single regulator. Is it not time for him and Himanshu to do the honourable thing? Some months ago Mr Creffield when asked about RoPA said, … 'We're really supportive of regulation because we believe it will help create a level playing field with all agents expected to have the same expertise, It'll be good for the consumer too.' More worryingly for all parties, including perhaps Baron Best who heads up RoPA is Mr Creffield's further comments regarding RoPA, ' Because of Countrywide's scale, we've been consulted frequently (by RoPA) on proposals during their preparation, and we've conducted some pilot projects.' Now if the new regulatory framework that a forthcoming government may back comes into being in the form of RoPA, should some of its architects be coming from Countrywide's top management team. For me they would be the last people I would look to. If Paul Creffield advocates root and branch industry regulation - then Countrwide should itself be a beacon of this industry change, at present it is a bonfire of vanities. Following on from the recent fine and costs, awarded against Countrywide regarding their mis-management of lettings funds, there is a far more alarming and arrogant strand of sentiment enshrouding the whole debacle. If you read all of the documentation on the case, it seems unless I have got it totally wrong, Countrywide between 2008 and 2018 had in place a policy agreed at CEO level to keep the untraceable lettings funds in the company account, all 10M of it, rather then keep it safe in a separate account, from which the funds should have been distributed elsewhere. Paul Creffield fully co-operated with the RICS investigation, but - when Paul Creffield originally discovered the deceit, he hid the fact. And it was a whistle- blower, via an external audit that picked up on the situation, which if let undetected may well have continued. In fact if you look closely at Paul's statement in mitigation to the RICS tribunal. He seems very much to make the case that because Countrywide does billions of pounds worth of mortgages a year, has a massive RICS presence, and has a huge 800 (?) strong office presence with many branches in all the towns and villages, it would be a travesty if Countrywide were too badly damaged by the affair as it would possibly upset the property industry as a whole. (TOO BIG TO FAIL). In other words - Countrywide had in place by its own admission a questionable practice, the internal transfer of client funds, which was company policy. Then by chance an outsider found out about it, and of course if your are the CEO of the day you are going to be as helpful as you can, but I think that to play the card of TOO BIG TO FAIL, is a dangerous one. Because if Countrywide is founded upon financial services and has within in very notable and trustworthy RICS personnel, shouldn't the bar be set higher rather than lower, as a warning to all. The panel in their judgement under mitigating and aggravating matters, actually states that Countrywide were using the fund to inflate their profit provision. As a matter of balance I am told by those who know that Paul is a very good at what he does, but I wonder if the matter had not come to light, would anyone at Countrywide have seized the nettle. Also where does this leave the likes of former CEO's Alison Platt (90% fall in the share price) for example, and the auditors and the Chief financial officers? Were they looking the other way? You may not think it but I actually love Countrywide and I am a big fan, it is just a shame that all the talent was sacrificed during various regime purges, maybe they should invite some of those who can do the job back, as I feel unfortunately that extremely soon the final iceberg is about to present itself in front of HMS Countrywide. And the recent concept of selling off part of the company just before the new year (asset stripping) to raise money to fund a revolving line of credit, that just sinks the company into deeper debt as it haemorrhages yet more money, is a very bad strategy, it keeps the lights on - but who cares - those in the C-suite are unable to use that light to see what is obvious - immediate change at the top.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 January 2020 22:57 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Mike DelPrete makes an off the cuff comment, but when analysed in the round, Purplebricks is not really doing very well, it's current market cap is 378M down from a market cap in excess of 1.3BN in the past. It has never made a profit. Yes, on paper the UK arm has made profit, but if you then factor in the multi-million pound losses elsewhere in it's empire, zero profit, and a big red number. Mike may have forgotten that it has burnt through a cash stockpile a year last April 2018 of 160M, to have only 41M left by December 2019. And it is currently still burning 3M a month. Despite massive upfront cash-flow. So, in 14-months without fresh capital from outside investors things are going to get pretty interesting. Mike's assertion that cost of acquisition is sub £400, is meaningless in itself, if as the company accounts show the actual cost of running the operation far outweighs the inward cash flow. Add to this that seven major online UK agents have ceased trading in the last 24-months, none of which made profit, and many made multi-million pound loses, I am not sure that acquiring clients for sub £400 is a triumph for anyone. Lastly, Purplebricks originally had 7M private investment, then 45M from the AIM flotation and 135M from poor Axel Springer, as well as tens of millions of revenue from vendors paying upfront fees, but where has all the money gone? Mostly, on marketing costs to keep the brand front and centre, and those adverts are killing the revenue streams, once the brand is off air, and off the digital highway, it will soon be forgotten, that is it's Achilles heal. Brand awareness can only be bought for so long.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 January 2020 22:21 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Totally agree James, to sustain, grow or exit your business it all adds up to the same thing, you need to have a business founded upon tech. The senior partner, CEO, may well be the font of all information, but if they are not going to be in the mix - retirement, doing less hours etc, then unless what is in their head is digitally flowing through the veins of the company and can be seen dashboard style by the sales team / prospective buyer of the business you are on to a loser. That is why by comparison Lettings businesses are easier to sell and quantify, as they are so data driven and proptech is the hidden digital framework. A prospective buyer of such a business can feel and experience the value of the business in about 15 minutes, residential agency is more nebulous. I am in the middle of going through a comprehensive consultancy process with a really switched on 'older' generation CEO with a great profitable business. And he is giving me free reign to get the correct balance of digital transformation into his multi-discipline organisation. And his team are 110% behind it, why, all those processes that eat their time will be gone, so they can be less stressed and have more time to give personal service and generate new business and close new business, and the owner gets a business fit for purpose. Wisely, the CEO had worked out, if he did the Emu thing - head in sand all the years of building the big asset, the business would be for nothing, especially as the new kids on the block, use tech as they grew up with it. My advice, get good 360 degree advice - which is what I do, advice on proptech is as vital as consultancy advice on all the other aspects of the business, arguably more. Second actually adopt the advice. Third - relax your business is in good shape and you are in the driving seat, rather than worrying about being behind the curve.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 10 January 2020 09:26 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 07 January 2020 00:03 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 05 January 2020 12:41 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
As they say Graham, statistics can prove anything you want them to, but here are a few pre-Christmas thoughts. Purplebricks have over 500 Local property experts/listers who are self-employed owning their own company. This means that on average they each have listed for their company around 30 properties currently for sale. 16,000 instructions divided by 500 LPE’s. Purplebricks unlike most other agents, turn each instruction into upfront cash, typically a spend by the vendor of £1,300, so that 16,284 of listings means close on 21M of fee in their bank, and that is just for listing. So, a good model for their cash flow. But, why then do Purplebricks lose/burn around 3M more each month than they get as income? In April 2018, they had 150M sitting in their bank according to their annual accounts, in the next 12 months despite taking to the market thousands of properties, they managed to burn through 7.5M of cash each month, more than their incoming cash, a staggering 90M burnt through in the year, leaving them with only 60M in the kitty by April 2019. In their latest financial report, they have burnt through another 19M since April, leaving just over 41M. Which if they burn through 3M a month, means they will run out of cash in 14 months. The reason perhaps Purplebricks has so many instructions is that it is ‘buying the market’ which is fine if you have the cash to keep the company moving forward, but unless there is another round of capital funding to underpin the company, it simply will run out of cash. It was alright when private investors and the founders pumped their own money into the company, followed by capital generated by listing on the the Alternative Stock Market, etc, but, with the share price in the doldrums in real terms, and six major online agents withdrawing or being forced to withdraw I feel there is little appetite to get fresh investment. The most likely outcome is that Axel Springer will take them private, re-jig the model, make it cheaper to run and it will service a certain sector of the market and type of vendor who is price sensitive to fee. Perhaps, the lesson for other agents is that taking a fee of some description upfront, sale or no sale is not a bad idea, it helps with offsetting costs, gains commitment from the vendor and should help cash-flow, all positive things. Back to statistics, having a huge market share of property for sale, is also not really a sign of anything, as we know that Connells or the Skipton building society – will return multi-million pound profits at the end of its financial year, whereas Countrywide who in this snapshot has only 11% less stock for sale is unlikely to be in the same position. Turnover Graham, as you know is vanity, profit is sanity.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 19 December 2019 12:45 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I wish Mark and Richard well with their crusade to enlighten property professionals, though many will know I have some sceptical views about the 'online' sector, I do fully embrace that the digital revolution is here to stay both in agency and all parts of our life, and it needs to be demystified. To help those out there who need a little bit of digital guidance, all I can say is that back in the mid 1980’s when I became an estate agent I was at that time an avid reader of science fiction. My favourite book was ‘Machines that think’ a compendium of short sci-fi stories, about future worlds, with a forward by the famous author Isaac Asimov. Though it was published in 1984, many of the stories had been written in the 1940’s and 1950’s and described future utopian or dystopian worlds full of new technology and the role of artificial intelligence, robots and data. Fast forward to nearly 2020, and I am still in the estate agency or property industry, and many of the advances that the sci-fi writers had predicted 70-plus years ago are now part of this world. And within the property sector there is now Proptech – or as I call it science fiction for agents. Let me explain, Proptech is a vast sprawling vista of different new technologies operating within the sphere of property, it is not just digitization, it is re-imagining and interconnecting all the strands within the sector. It covers property, its design, planning, build, sales, renting, asset management, and the way in which humans interact with property. Where the customer or end user’s experience can be analyzed, distilled and digitized into a solution which enhances service levels and the experience of the consumer, hopefully driving a profitable outcome for the owner of the technology. It could be a property with sensors – a talking house or providing seamless systems to replace archaic systems within estate agency, in fact a big problem in Proptech is seeing the wood for the trees and knowing which technology will succeed and which will not. Proptech is many things including; - Deep Learning, Artificial intelligence, Big Data, Intelligence Augmentation, The Internet of things, Machine Learning and Blockchain. The driver is to use data to streamline processes and deliver maximum revenues. (Note that many of these terms would not look out of place in one of Isaac Asimov’s books, I Robot.) Online agents are Proptech, so too is Fixflo in the rental sector, or Offr a new way to buy and sell property quickly and transparently in the residential property sector, the arena is vast but it is not too important to try to define Proptech, better to see the financial advantages that it is bringing. Just as Fintech exploded onto the scene in the past 15-years, where massive amounts of money were invested into Financial technology, Proptech is now starting to have the same levels of investment, in both the UK and the rest of the world. The big problem is that many UK estate agents see Proptech or the sub-division of Proptech that applies to them as Sci-fi. Some agents are very conservative, I was too, and slow moving to make changes to their businesses, they fear change. They feel bamboozled by the terminology and the complexities of Proptech, with many agents say it all sounds a bit costly, and it is not too certain which bit of Proptech works and produces a profit. Which is a shame because many property agents, residential and lettings, would benefit from automating the dull boring administrative type parts of their businesses, their property management systems. In the mid-1990’s I was an advocate of early Proptech using ‘Estate-Craft’ a bespoke software package which was the forerunner of many operating systems now. I realised that a salesperson using the system was worth two ‘pen and paper’ salespeople, because a lot of the repetitive work was taken out, and databases allowed quick matching of buyers to properties, and speed in commerce is always vital. For me the Proptech revolution which spans much more than the annual £6.5 BN residential sales market in the UK, is on the move. Offering its hand in partnership to ‘forward thinking’ estate agency companies. Creating a way of trading akin to Amazon where the customer experience is put front and centre. Some companies have fully grasped that outstretched hand, others sit and wait. And I wonder why? As now estate agency can be based on captured data and analytics which provide a clear narrative of what the customer likes and wants. So, a personalised service, with connection across digital platforms and smart phones, plus the important face to face engagement with salespeople can be provided. Another good reason to investigate and adopt ‘Proptech – science fiction for estate agents’, is the rise of the Millennials (born in the late 1980’s and 1990’s) and the rise of Generation Z or Gen Z the generation born just after the Millennials. These will soon be the volume property industry clients, and they form the digital technology generation, which Wikipedia ominously states are ‘comfortable with Internet and Social media’. That I feel is an understatement, and whilst Gen Z may seem a great name for a sci-fi novel, it might be prudent to start connecting with proptech industry giants like James Dearsley, or Eddie Holmes co-founders of Unissu. Unissu is trusted by almost 100,000 users to quickly discover, research, and buy PropTech solutions from around the world, it represents the interests of over nearly 8,000 companies, it connects you with an international community of market-leading institutions and individuals, to get agents ahead of the Proptech game. Eddie and James are always up for a conversation, and they are both ex-property professionals so they know the property game from your viewpoint, and their advice is free - click Unissu.com - and start the conversation today.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 17 December 2019 10:25 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 December 2019 06:30 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Great words of wisdom James, especially going to a proptech event, I think it will really open a person's eyes in a good way to the possibilities and solutions out there. Also, I know there are a lot of property professionals who are unsure of Proptech, or maybe anti - what I would say is that Tech, cannot be ignored. It is a two prong movement. Clients adopt new tech and interact and buy things using it (web, smart phone etc), so agents need to keep up with this tech revolution going on in the customer sector, at the same time agents need to spend 10% of their budget on getting their tech working for them to stay competitive within the sector. I have clients who have a great single branch business, making 300K profit, with an established team and little tech apart from your CRM, and the CEO asks what need is there for worrying about the advance of tech? Well, even if you put zero £ in to your tech budget, in the next 5 years your new clients and customers who have stopped coming into branches already, will be buying and selling and renting and doing all the associated processes through emerging tech; you might be the 'best' agent in the area, but if your clients 'can not find you' to do business your tech savvy new agents will be eating your lunch. Some CEO's think I am being alarmist, but I say go to the annual Negotiator awards in 2020, and in the evening, when you look up at the winners screen, you will see time after time, companies that get the top spot are a new breed of agent, what they have in common is they are either adapters or new businesses that have just started and all have a digital heartbeat and proud owners or CEO's who get the shape of the future.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 11 December 2019 14:55 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I only have sight of accounts to March 2018, which was a long time ago, but at that point, in the previous year they turned over 2.5M and made an operating loss of 13.5M. Or put another way, for every £1 they generated as cash flow it cost them £5.40. So, not a model making money. Since June 2019, they are doing the job of selling for free, so that lowers the cash flow coming in, but their pivotal strategy is to make profit by capturing data from buyers and referring people/data to the financial and conveyancing services sector, mortgages, insurances etc. What strikes me is that if you are running a company on tech and no physical offices, why is it costing £13.5M to run, and I assume that the cost in 2019 / 2020 will be North of £10M, so will the referral fee income cover that spend and some? I do not think it likely. Also, as only 12% of vendors see the fee as a factor when instructing an agent, I do feel that for 78% of vendors charging a fee is no issue - as long as the House Simple proposition is viable and results in good marketing, good service, excellent after sale agreed service and a seamless omni-channel experience for all clients, buyers and sellers. If the tech is merely a digitalization of the old model of agency, which is hardly seamless and often has major problems, and if there are not enough humans to hand hold the public - which is a key part of a property professionals core role, then even if you give the public the offering for free they may well vote with their feet and use the local agent with 4-sales people with 30-years experience each, who live in the area, and can give service that has a higher level of value.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 11 December 2019 11:18 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
If you believe Proptech is the future within the property industry or not, what is inescapable is the need to know what your client wants and how they want to transact business with you. And now at last with the real cost of tech reducing, these answers can be found Proptech has been seen by some as a smorgasbord of solutions, pick the right one and your are in the winners enclosure, for me proptech is the synthesis that has come about because the property client of today wants an omni-channel, seamless, service driven model, not the model of agency that I came into back in the mid 1980's, which still proliferates. I agree, the whole model within the property sector has changed, there needs to be a collaborative and engaged and enlightened approach, where the property industry and the proptech industry become an equal marriage, as envisioned by James Dearsley and Eddie Holmes of Unissu and others. It is no coincidence that some corporates are in very serious danger, the reason, they had no insight or strategy to move their business model on. Clearly, everyone is doing business from the instrument I am tapping away on, and if I can understand it, then all property professionals need to, as it is no longer business as usual. I deal with a lot of extremely good property professionals, hugely experienced, well respected and running extremely profitable businesses, but, at a recent annual awards ceremony I was struck by the number of 'younger' and 'different looking' businesses with quirky dress codes and 'non-agency looking working places' and these were a sizeable section of the of the prize winners. So, if the old guard does not embrace change - sadly I think - they may well be outflanked by the data savvy new kids on the block.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 04 December 2019 01:06 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
A flipside, to the debate of having millennials in your workforce, (and lets face it as a millennial could be 39 years of age, you definitely have some of them), is the way that the millennial 'buyer' and the even younger and more tech savvy GEn-Z buyer is changing the whole property game. I fully embrace the need that millennials have for a quick omni-channel response to everything, including the sale and purchase of property and all the processes in-between. However, I am a little nervous that the millennials unstoppable appetite for services and goods, instantly at the click of a button, is now driving the property sector too fast and too hard. Clearly, many companies are now being set up to feed a new type of savvy, consumer, but, the danger in the property sector is the lack of maturity in some of the business models. For example, iniatives like Mojo Mortgages, may well be on trend for these clients a fast track way to get a financial mortgage advice, but, they in turn are reliant on a tie up with Monzo bank, which itself is a new fintech / Proptech company with no high street presence, whose origin can be traced back to Crowdcube, (another recent online fintech company) and an instantaneous crowdfund of over £1M. Since then Monzo has had further injections of capital, and its valuation has skyrocketed, but, so too have the number of issues regarding its service and security, all documented in the financial press. These may be teething problems or not, time will tell. I suppose what I am saying is that – at the very fast rate that some things are changing in the ‘traditional' world of agency – many co-operations and inter company collaborations are sometimes founded upon organizational foundations which are less than five-years old. And this lack of tried and trusted maturity, can cause problems, if any of the ‘jenga block’ partnerships fail to deliver and need to be removed, and it is often the poor shareholders and users of the service who are the losers. Recent Fintech peer to peer lenders like ‘Lendy’ failing with over £160M of losses, may be in a different financial sector to mortgage business regulated by the FSA, but, with Metro bank also in the doldrums, what they had in common was they sought to be disruptors of the banking sector, instead they may well be the victims of it. I am all for change, and making the transaction of property a better, quicker and faster and more enjoyable path. Having previously been an estate agent for over 30-years I often dreamt that there must be a better way of doing property. With the proptech revolution in full swing I am sure the industry will get there - but the irresistible force of the millennials and Gen-Z with their needy, challenging and inquisitive mindset, may well be as much a help as a hinderance, until a new and tested pathway of what 'new estate agency' looks like in the 2020's and beyond becomes established.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 25 November 2019 21:44 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Rightmove makes huge profits because they are a tech company, and whilst they have a minimal cash burn on new development, their core product, the listing of property is not an ever increasing cost. Like many such companies, a product or service is developed and it catches on, and the cost to roll it out to new clients becomes relatively minimal after the initial start up phase of the business where usually there is a multi-million pound investment to produce the winning model. As a maturing business it is clear that because it holds a monopoly situation, it can adopt a pricing policy that it chooses, with some agents paying far more for an identical service, which means they subsidise others. Also, online agents who cover vast swathes of the UK probably have a pricing plan very different to that of an agency with 200 offices in the high street. What underpins the rightmove model, and is it’s strength and weakness is that it is the continued patronage of the agents. The problem for Rightmove is that if agents become a disillusioned collective who feel they have been paying through the nose, and in fact have been subsidising perhaps corporates or online agents, then a very dangerous schism may appear. I am not suggesting this is the case, and perhaps as this debacle grows there may be more transparency, but, the day of reckoning is coming, because the new generation of proptech solutions might in a single leap make the provision of a digital shop window on the internet at a unit cost of £1,200 plus a month to be a costly nice to have, rather than the cosy core essential that as Michael states is ‘exceptional value for money’ it may well be for the present, but not if you subsidising the rival agent next door to you.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 19 November 2019 07:26 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Actually, the industry is getting ever nearer to legally binding exchange of contracts at the click of a button. That is a reality. The only question is - will it be the accepted model adopted by all? And if so will it lead to vendors selling direct to buyers, with estate agents becoming listers, and after that have no real role. Everyone knows that you can buy at auction by bidding online and then unconditionally exchanging on a property. Yes, it would be sensible if the buyer had viewed the property, downloaded the legal pack, engaged a solicitor and had a survey, but, if in a financial situation where funds are available a buyer can today exchange if registered with the auctioneer and has the means to complete. Offr and other Proptech solutions are narrowing the field, and even though I was an agent for over 30 years, and have dealt with thousands of sales, I personally feel very comfortable with the concept of a more click and buy process, which is becoming the inevitable end game to the property game of chess that has been playing out for the last decade. It is all around you the Millennials and that means anyone 39 years and younger, and the Z - generation who are the next in line, do not go to shops, do not go to estate agents, they connect using mobiles, I-pads, computers, and maybe 5 different ways of communicating, they are not going to wait for anything, they demand like an advancing army of smart ants, an omni-channel experience, seamless, and fast. That is why so many businesses in all sectors are struggling, and the big challenge here is not will this become the model, but, will solicitors adapt or become obsolete, will land registry ever get itself truly digital and digitalized, because the Fintech sector has already got all the solutions for instant mortgage or property funding, due to being an early investor in the tech sector.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 18 November 2019 12:57 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 15 November 2019 17:02 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
IS RIGHTMOVE MAKING THE WRONGMOVE? First published 22nd October 2019 There are many agents grumbling about the way Rightmove is treating them, and some commentators have actually used the term abused. This seems a harsh term but looking more closely - the real possible abuse that is arguably at play, is the fact that Rightmove possibly charge agents different amounts, for the same service. So a new agent that wants to use Rightmove, pays more than an existing client for the identical service, and though it would seem sensible to discount to a multiple branch enterprise, many agents would be staggered at how little some agents in their town, village or city are paying, when they are paying substantially more for the same service. Now Rightmove can use any model they choose - if agents are unhappy - well they can choose not to list on Rightmove, but this economic advantage/disadvantage plays fast and loose with agents who are at present under considerable financial pressures. Maybe agents should set up an anonymous forum and post how much they are charged per branch/office and what level of service they are provided, I think this would be enlightening for all. No-one minds paying for a product or service, but some argue that the many customers at Rightmove may be subsidising the minority. Personally, I think that within three-years Zoopla who are re-aligning their model and who are substantially cheaper than Rightmove, may well offer 'self-listing' for the general public. As one of the online property portals jockey for market share and domination. Given the cost, I think many agents would 'eat' the fact that they are listing on a site with the 'self-listing' general public, as Zoopla's cost base is much lower than Rightmove. If Rightmove tried to launch this iniative, it would possibly cause a rebellion as agents would not want to pay a premium rate and compete with self-listing vendors. Estate agency, and by this I mean the whole property sector - is undergoing a period of change, just as other industries are. New technology is pushing this along and the customer or consumer is king (or queen) once again and they want service at the click of a button. And if enough of them want to market their own homes, because it is easy (obviously I know it is anything but easy) then this sentiment may change things. Lastly, the imminent departure of Scott Forbes , the present Chairman of Rightmove, who has been in place for nearly a decade and a half, may be the sign that things may not stay on the up for Rightmove for ever. Maybe, producing profits of over 65% a year, can not be sustained, especially in the property sector where many agents are trading on a margin as low as 3 or 4%, and in some cases a serious minus number.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 15 November 2019 10:25 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
It's me I am back again, I have just had a look at Purplebrick's annual accounts, and they have gone from their last year end April 2018m 152.8M cash in the bank to only 62.8M cash in the bank in April 2019, since which time they have had some hefty bills to pay to close down operations overseas. So that is a 90M burn in a year, which given they had income from upfront fees of probably 100M plus is not good news, that's a burn of 7.5M a month, I bet the executive toilets are made out of gold. Also, and I find this fascinating the way the company sets out its spreadsheet, Revenue 136.5M, cost of sales (56.6M), gross profit 79.9M, gross profit margin 58.5%, BUT THEN THEY ADD IN ADMIN AND MARKETING COSTS admin costs 61m, marketing costs 70.7M, and we get the operating loss of 52.3M. Call me stupid and many do, but the admin and marketing costs (Purplebricks adverts on multi-media, all the head office staff costs) are costs before any profit, just as in a traditional agent where you have income, expenditure and gross profit, you do not record a profit in the accounts and then add in the incidentals like your 60% staff costs or your advertising budget of 15%. Maybe, Purplebricks shareholders are not familiar with balance sheets. With only 60M in the war chest it will be interesting to see the interim accounts mid December and the full accounts next April, I think that mountain of cash at the bank may well be down to 20M, and then we will see if Purplebricks wins any golds at the Olympics.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 November 2019 10:11 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
It's me I am back again, I have just had a look at Purplebrick's annual accounts, and they have gone from their last year end April 2018m 152.8M cash in the bank to only 62.8M cash in the bank in April 2019, since which time they have had some hefty bills to pay to close down operations overseas. So that is a 90M burn in a year, which given they had income from upfront fees of probably 100M plus is not good news, that's a burn of 7.5M a month, I bet the executive toilets are made out of gold. Also, and I find this fascinating the way the company sets out its spreadsheet, Revenue 136.5M, cost of sales (56.6M), gross profit 79.9M, gross profit margin 58.5%, BUT THEN THEY ADD IN ADMIN AND MARKETING COSTS admin costs 61m, marketing costs 70.7M, and we get the operating loss of 52.3M. Call me stupid and many do, but the admin and marketing costs (Purplebricks adverts on multi-media, all the head office staff costs) are costs before any profit, just as in a traditional agent where you have income, expenditure and gross profit, you do not record a profit in the accounts and then add in the incidentals like your 60% staff costs or your advertising budget of 15%. Maybe, Purplebricks shareholders are not familiar with balance sheets. With only 60M in the war chest it will be interesting to see the interim accounts mid December and the full accounts next April, I think that mountain of cash at the bank may well be down to 20M, and then we will see if Purplebricks wins any golds at the Olympics.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 November 2019 10:09 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
If tracksuit Vic, is correct, and his company sells three times as many properties than any other agent - why has the company made ‘a full-year operating loss of £52.3 million.’ this year? Vic is a little prone to throw away lines - 'the company is not for sale’, just at the point Axel Springer is likely to take the company private. Maybe the three times was just another off the cuff comment. For me, and I have been crusading on this point for two years, is what is the conversion rate of listings to exchanges? I have read Purplebrick's company statements in the past boasting of a 73% and the 81% conversion rates, but no proof. The reason this is important to know is that in a pay upfront model, sale or no sale, if half your clients get no exchange on their property - shouldn't that be something that Vic talks about. I even offered a £1,000 of my own money for anyone from Purplebricks to prove this 81% conversion rate, not a single taker. Why? because I feel it likely they complete on average on every second property they list, in line with industry norms. My proof - click on rightmove today - see how many Purplebrick properties are listed for sale and how many are sstc - the ratio around 50%. Is this a true figure well, given that 28% of the sstc will fall through and rightmove keeps sstc on site for a number of months, any skewing of data about balances out. Put it this way, if you were selling 80% of your stock then around 80% of your stock on rightmove would have a sold sticker on it - that is not the picture I can see. I am more than happy for someone to prove me wrong, any takers?

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 November 2019 09:38 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Rightmove may well be out of step and be seen as the Wrongmove. There is definitely dissent being muttered by many of my clients, with many agents grumbling about the way Rightmove is treating them, and some commentators have actually used the term abusive when describing their relationship with the portal. This seems a harsh term but looking more closely - the real possible abuse that is arguably at play, is the fact that Rightmove possibly charge agents different amounts, for the same service. So, a new agent that wants to use Rightmove, pays more than an existing client for the identical service, and though it would seem sensible to discount to a multiple branch enterprise, many agents would be staggered at how little some agents in their town, village or city are paying, when they are paying substantially more for the same service. Now Rightmove can use any model they choose - if agents are unhappy - well they can choose not to list on Rightmove, but this economic advantage/disadvantage plays fast and loose with agents who are at present under considerable financial pressures. Maybe agents should set up an anonymous forum and post how much they are charged per branch/office and what level of service they are provided, I think this would be enlightening for all. No-one minds paying for a product or service, but some argue that the many customers at Rightmove may be subsidising the minority. Personally, I think that within three-years Zoopla who are re-aligning their model and who are substantially cheaper than Rightmove, may well offer 'self-listing' for the general public. As one of the online property portals jockey for market share and domination. If you look at other countries, agents do list against self-listing vendors on main portals it is just that at present the UK does not. Given the cost, I think many agents would 'eat' the fact that they are listing on a site with the 'self-listing' general public, as Zoopla's cost base is much lower than Rightmove. If Rightmove tried to launch this iniative, it would possibly cause a rebellion as agents would not want to pay a premium rate and compete with self-listing vendors. Estate agency, and by this I mean the whole property sector - is undergoing a period of change, just as other industries are. New technology is pushing this along and the customer or consumer is king (or queen) once again and they want service at the click of a button. And if enough of them want to market their own homes, because it is easy (obviously I know it is anything but easy) then this sentiment may change things. So, maybe the real battlefield is not the annual rise in subscription to Rightmove and their 60% profits each year, it is making sure that your agency is adopting the new wave of proptech tools and systems to future proof your business. Yes, Rightmove is causing a chill out there and agents are cooling towards them, but there may well be a far colder arctic winter coming for agencies who wait too long to prospect the new way of doing business. Which will be high levels of face to face service backed by technology which allows an omni-channel service to the ever demanding general public, who are turning their backs in droves on businesses based on old trading models rooted in the last century.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 November 2019 06:43 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 07 November 2019 12:13 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Hi James, how does the reporting stink? If you read all of the documentation on the case, it goes like this, Countrywide between 2008 and 2018 had in place a policy agreed at CEO level to keep the money in the company account, all 10M of it. Paul Creffield when alerted to it, fully co-operated with the RICS investigation, but - Paul Creffield did not become CEO discover the deceit and report it as a whistle- blower. No it was an outside audit that picked up on the situation, which if let undetected may well have continued. In fact if you look closely at Paul's statement in mitigation he seems very much to make the case that because Countrywide does billions of pounds worth of mortgages a year, have a massive RIICs prescence, and has a huge 800 (?) strong office presence with many branches in all the towns and villages, it would be a travesty if Countrywide were too badly damaged by the affair as it would possibly upset the property industry as a whole. (TOO BIG TO FAIL). In other words - Countrywide had in place by its own admission a questionable practice, the internal transfer of client funds, which was company policy. Then by chance an outsider found out about it, and of course if your are the CEO of the day you are going to be as helpful as you can, but I think that to play the card of TOO BIG TO FAIL, is a dangerous one, because if Countrywide is founded upon financial services and has within in very notable and trustworthy RICCS personnel, shouldn't the bar be set higher rather than lower, as a warning to all. The panel in their judgement under mitigating and aggravating matters, actually states that Countrywide were using the fund to inflate their profit provision. As a matter of balance I am told by those who know that Paul is a very good at what he does, but I wonder if the matter had not come to light, would anyone at Countrywide have seized the nettle. Also where does the leave the likes of former CEO's Amanda Platt for example, and the auditors and the Chief financial officers? You may not think it but I actually love Countrywide, it is just a shame that all the talent was sacrificed during various regime purges, maybe they should invite some of those who can do the job back, as I feel unfortunately there are other icebergs about to present themselves in front of HMS Countrywide.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 05 November 2019 12:39 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Any measure to reduce failed sales is to be embraced including reservation fees, which many in the industry have seen before. Fundamental buyer’s remorse though is a harder thing to overcome, and no study has been done to quantify this factor and there seems little chance to remove it from the property sale equation. On the positive, due to advances in the proptech arena, companies like Offr are putting together solutions to minimise both the period of time taken to get to exchange, whilst equally as importantly having buyers fully qualified at point of sale, and the property pre-packaged conveyancing wise, with a fully transparent offer process leading into a seamless post sale agreed process where vendor seller and the agent and the conveyancing process is front and centre. It is not a criticism but a sad reality that many agencies have become front loading, win the instruction, list it, sell it to a buyer, send out the memo of sale, and then... there seems often - a black hole of nothingness for weeks, and it is at this point the sale process is at its weakest and the fall throughs occur. RoPA are keen to see the fuller adoption of pre-conveyanced property prior to point of sale, some may mutter it is HIPS mark 2, but the difference is with proptech innovations which were not around before, far from hindering the sale process, motivated vendors can meet motivated buyers, on a business model where an omni channel approach of accountability means that post sale being agreed there is no longer that mysterious black hole where nothing seems to be going on. With dashboards, and mobile phones, the stakeholders in the sales, the agent who carries the cost of aborted sales, the vendor and the buyer and the conveyancer who also have to absorb lost costs when sales fail, will actually in real time be interconnected, rather than sitting waiting for ‘something’ out of their control to happen. Whilst not all sales can be saved, pre- qualification of buyers, and pre-registration of properties, and an integrated, interconnected and transparent process which the agent and the other stakeholders are equally a part of, may well with the new technology that the millennials and generation z take for granted, move the industry away from the old model. A model where agents sell property, solicitors do the legals, to a more enlightened, transparent and collectively biased process where all parties board the train at the same point and have a ticket to the same destination. Now that is a train ride that most estate agents whose margins are being squeezed would definitely like to be on.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 05 November 2019 06:36 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Is it time that Countrywide got rid of its rotten apples. Back in August 2018 Himanshu Raja - Chief financial Officer at Countrywide, was until it was voted down to receive £7M of company shares, and Paul Creffield Group GMD was to receive £8M of shares. This was at a time that the scandal of the £10M funds was known to the company, but not disclosed to the shareholders. Then in early Spring 2019, Countrywide were fined £215,000 for Anti Money Laundering lapses, and now they have been fined another £100,000 for financial irregularities. Given that Mr Creffield is himself fully supportive of RoPA, and a single regulator. Is it not time for him and Himanshu to do the honourable thing? Two months ago Mr Creffield when asked about RoPA said, … 'We're really supportive of regulation because we believe it will help create a level playing field with all agents expected to have the same expertise, It'll be good for the consumer too.' More worryingly for all parties, including perhaps Baron Best who heads up RoPA is Mr Creffield's further comments regarding RoPA, ' Because of Countrywide's scale, we've been consulted frequently (by RoPA) on proposals during their preparation, and we've conducted some pilot projects.' Now if the new regulatory framework that a forthcoming government may back comes into being in the form of RoPA, should some of its architects be coming from Countrywide's top management team. For me they would be the last people I would look to. If Paul Creffield advocates root and branch industry regulation - then Countrwide should itself be a beacon of this industry change, at present it is a bonfire of vanities, which given the proximity of November the 5th is very apt. Matches anyone.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 30 October 2019 19:11 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Over half a billion pounds spent / invested in online agents in the UK. Profit ZERO. Reason - the cost of capturing a new client and running the online model costs 23% - 32% more than the fee being charged. That is why Purplebricks have just hiked their fees up by another £100 a unit, closing the gap between online fees and traditional fees. All online agents continue off the back of upfront fees and referral fees, sale or no sale, those online agents seeking no fee or no upfront fee will be out of cash within 12-months. Traditional agents are still mainly going down the no sale no fee route. Personally if I set up again today, I would go the 'charge the client for the service provided' route with regular monthly payments for work done so far. £x for listing, £x for exposure on websites, £x for viewings, £x for agreeing a sale, £x for qualifying buyer, £x for dealing with sale up to exchange - which in terms of hours is most costly part of process, £x for exchange, £x for aborted sale. So as the weeks tick on - the vendor is incentivised to reduce price, if the property has been fully and professionally marketed without a buyer being found. This would mean agents could charge 'lower' fees as they would be invoicing all vendors, rather than just invoicing the 50% of vendors who get to exchange and building in the cost of the 'other' property that they marketed but failed to sell. Eg, you list 10 at £400,000 at 1% = 10 x £4,000 potential fee or £40,000. You sell subject to contract 7 and 2 fall through before exchange, so you invoice 5 at £4,000 = £20,000. So you have shouldered the cost of marketing the other 5, and got no money from the vendor as a fee. In the alternative version you list 10 at £400,000, and you charge all 10 a fee based upon the work you actually carry out. 12 viewings, one aborted sale and then a re-sale, 30 hours of sales progressing etc. Five sales go through and five do not, but because every vendor is paying something then the fee to all could be less, so instead of 1% payable to the 5 who exchange, you charge in real terms 0.6% to all 10, so that is 10 x £4,000 x 0.6% = £24,000 income in and each vendor as an average is paying 40% less than the a 1% fee. Happy vendors and more income in, as well as a steady income flow, if all vendors are billed on a monthly cycle, much better than waiting five months for a fresh instruction to become a paid for invoice.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 30 October 2019 07:48 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I mentioned Vic Darvey CEO of Purplebricks who is a very bright man, and so I thought it right to show some balance on pay upfront online models. But, when he says things like the company is ‘not for sale’, or the company is going to change how it charges customers - the question I am going to ask is … Is Vic there? As I think he might be a little light on strategy. For me, the only great thing about Purplebricks for investors in its shares, was that on paper it seemed to be the mother of all cash cows. It appeared, and that was always the illusion, that with a positive cashflow from upfront fees, that it would once established make huge profits, without a costly bricks and mortar empire of offices, populated by expensive employed staff. The truth, now the smoke and mirrors are no more and the business model is clear for all to see, is that you can strip out the staff costs, the managers the negotiators etc who sell property and just have listers (even better if they are self-employed), but if your business campaign runs on a multi-million pound spend on television, web, radio and every media medium – it does not matter how much cash you are getting upfront, if the spend per unit listed far exceeds the cash you get in. Close scrutiny of the annual accounts of Purplebricks show a worrying conclusion that gross profit runs at about 45%, but when ‘marketing costs’ and ‘admin’ costs are added in that 45% gross profit becomes a negative figure. Purplebricks were closer to making profit when their turnover was 50M plus, they made a 5M loss. They then bragged that when turnover doubled, they would hit profit. Instead the 5M loss grew into a multi-million loss. The only thing keeping the Purplebricks empire afloat is the model of cash upfront, win or lose for the vendor. This pays the Local Property Experts and covers some of the costs of the business. If Vic feels that he is going to change the model, the cash input will dry up, and if the company has to wait 5-months for properties to sell and complete, from point of instruction, those multi-million monthly costs will eat the company and Vic alive. Perversely, I am not a luddite, I like new technology, and online agents (in concept) but I think that proptech should deal with the backroom stuff, as it does for many online and traditional agents. Allowing estate agents to have more time to be agents, to spend face to face time with clients, rather than be a replacement for them.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 29 October 2019 16:54 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Peering through the smoke and mirrors, this is an average upfront fee model of £1,039 (if there are 10 viewings) per listing. Plus referral fees on top for I assume conveyancing and finance. The 140 sales is an irrelevant figure, as the business runs I assume on instructions and upfront fees. So, 140 sales is probably 200 listings in 6 months (140 = 70% of total listings the rate of unexchanged sales generated). That is 33.3 instructions x £1,039 = £34,598 + referral fees, approx. £11,500 = £46,098 income a month. Or £553,176 per annum income - not profit. Costs - 25 members of staff, average salary £25,000, plus car or car allowance plus taxes etc, £687,000 a year. 40 outsourced staff, average £8,000 a year, £320,000. Total £1M. Typically wages = 60% of company costs, so running costs for all other parts of company will be another £665,000 a year. So total costs a year for company to break even are 1.65M, or £137,500 a month. To break even - at £1,384 a unit, they need to list 100 a month, at present they are listing 33.3, so they need to triple their instructions to break even (and that is without paying any of that 1.2M back). The other kicker is that the pay upfront model - has failed - even Vic at Purplebricks has seen that the general public will not do repeat business if they pay in advance and get no sale, and have to pay twice with a second agent who charges on results / exchange of contracts. Especially as in the industry agents on exchange on half of their stock. I assume and it is not clear in the piece - that Imovehome is a pay up front and pray model, rather than a pay on results model, if not - well an awful lot more than 1.2M is going to be needed to be injected in the coming months. Even if you could triple your through put of instructions - what else will increase? - yes you got it - staff costs and running costs, so the break-even will be in excess of 2M, which means no profit ever.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 29 October 2019 16:37 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 22 October 2019 09:27 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Whilst I respect Iain's viewpoint - the real possible abuse that is arguably at play, is the fact that Rightmove charge agents different amounts, for the same service. So a new agent that wants to use Rightmove, pays more than an existing client for the identical service, and though it would seem sensible to discount to a multiple branch enterprise, many agents would be staggered at how little some agents in their town, village or city are paying, when they are paying substantially more for the same service. Now Rightmove can use any model they choose - if agents are unhappy - well they can choose not to list on Rightmove, but this economic advantage/disadvantage plays fast and loose with agents who are at present under considerable financial pressures. Maybe agents should set up an anonymous forum and post how much they are charged per branch/office and what level of service they are provided, I think this would be enlightening for all. No-one minds paying for a product or service, but some argue that the many customers at Rightmove may be subsidising the minority. Personally, I think that within 3 years Zoopla who are re-aligning their model and who are substantially cheaper than Rightmove, may well offer 'self-listing' for the general public. As one of the online property portals jockey for market share and domination. Given the cost, I think many agents would 'eat' the fact that they are listing on a site with the 'self-listing' general public, as Zoopla's cost base is much lower than Rightmove. If Rightmove tried to launch this iniative, it would possibly cause a rebellion as agents would not want to pay a premium rate and compete with self-listing vendors. Estate agency, and by this I mean the whole property sector - is undergoing a period of change, just as other industries are. New technology is pushing this along and the customer or consumer is king (or queen) once again and they want service at the click of a button. And if enough of them want to market their own homes, because it is easy (obviously I know it is anything but easy) then this sentiment may change things. (E-A-I-S)

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 22 October 2019 08:40 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I think that Adam Day is and was a giant in the way he thought about agency, he was the torchbearer for a new type of estate agency, and it saddens me that he is now recruiting people who in about 16-months will possibly find they have poured their money into the eXP adventure, with a nil return. Can I back this up? Well, the industry has four main models (with some variants), model one,self-employment, set yourself up and work for yourself possibly employing staff . Model two - corporate agency/or independent agency where you work for the 'boss' - this can be very lucrative and is low risk, many earn more than self employed estate agents running their own show. Model three - franchise agency, pay a lump sum to join the club, then a percentage of turnover (not profit) every year to be part of the group, in return receive training, CRM and have red tape dealt with. Model four - Umbrella - a hybrid of the franchise system, a quasi-franchise/self employment. To my mind and I know there are many exceptions, the winners in these models are - franchisors - they are taking a constant amount of money regardless, if franchisee fails they get another to fill the space. Employed people, they get job security no risk of their own money being lost - yes they can lose there job, but re-employment is very easy in the agency sector. Then and it is more tricky to say who are winners - the self employed can be real winners - but they can be losers, if not financially they may not enjoy the pressures of running a business and being an agent. But, I have always thought that at the bottom of the list, those with most to lose are your eXP type agents. Probably not capital rich, and yet they will have to pay money out and at the same time they really are in the self-employed mode, so a double whammy. Thoughts anyone?

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 18 October 2019 10:55 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
First off, I like Rollo's thoughts and I enjoy hearing different view points, but, I am a little lost at the his thought that 'self-employed' is the new future for estate agency, as there are 8,700 self employed estate agents out of 17,800 agents in the UK, ie, private individuals or partnerships who run their own businesses. Many of these self-employed agents have been in place 30 years or more, some more recently. Then there is the franchise model, a person sets up, either under their name or a brand name, and they pay a fee to join the franchise, 1k to 50K as a one off payment, they then pay 5% to 35% of turnover (money banked to the franchisor, usually with some kind of override, say paying an extra 5% or more of any monies banked over 150k in a year. The franchisee gets all the red tape dealt with, CRM provided, training and the support of the company and other branches. The other model is corporate agency, a person goes and works for a large network of offices owned by a bank or building society, or a self-employed person who has grown his or her kingdom so large that there are many offices, and there needs to be an army of people to run the empire. There is an umbrella model, which is currently on trend, a hybrid of the franchise system. Where I do embrace that there is a change in the industry is that there appears on the face of it a left wing revolution taking place - and stay with me while I explain. I am fully aware that property is not exactly a Marxist goldmine. It may be the millennial generation or generation Z, but in many industries, people want as Rollo so aptly puts it 'freedom' to do their thing, as well as do work when it fits in with this. Also, as property grandee Chris Watkin has been teasing out in his debates, managers of estate agents and listers of estate agents seem on the face of it to be generating the wealth but only getting a small amount of the reward. So, here is the socialist rhetoric - the ownership and non-ownership of the means of production is central to his distinction between capitalists and proletarians. So the manager or the lister may be creating tens of thousands of pounds of profit through their labour, but it is the estate agency owner - (or the mill owner in the classic theory) who gets the lions share. The vibe in the air is that managers and listers can cry freedom and liberate themselves by rising up and carrying out the work for themselves, and in so doing re-define when the work is done and how much they get paid for the work. But, this is utopian, as if you work for yourself, you need 118K of capital to set up and survive, until you get out of year two, as no cashflow in for first 5-months, or if you work under an umbrella or a franchise, you have to factor in maybe an extra 30K of costs to buy in plus another 30K each year you trade. So, you are in the grip of the capitalist system. Speaking as a retired estate agent with over 30 years of industry experience, who took the plunge and set up on my own agency, my advice - if you are the type of person who likes risk, is willing to work twice the hours of agents in corporate agency (many of whom are brilliant agents), then in year three you will earn double what you earn now, but, you will have to have deep pockets. The other factor at work, is that in theory with the advances in proptech (I am an advovacate and had in 1996 one of the earliest versions) a single person could run a whole agency on their own, supported by technology. But, the monthly cost or burn, of your CRM etc is usually far higher than employing two members of staff and using a couple of laptops. That is why the glorious revolution will never come, there may well be great managers and listers and property managers and negotiators who want to run their own business, but if and when they do - they will follow the same mould as the business they leave behind. Yes, they can take an afternoon off for a child's birthday, yes they can work from home, or their car or the coffee shop, but, agency is increasingly more about the customer - as the boss of IKEA has recently commented, and businesses need to spend more time with them and that means more hours on the clock, the exact opposite of the 'red revolution ideal' of working for yourself so you can fit me time in around the work. Andrew Stanton estate-agency-insights-strategies.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 17 October 2019 13:34 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
If anyone wants to set up their own agency - here are the figures based on an office in the high street, if you go serviced office or work from home, or coffee shop, broadly speaking costs are about the same as you pay more in terms of online presence for your business to grow the brand. The question is why would you want to pay 30k a year to KW on top of this? Here are the figures; it costs 30k to acquire premises and kit the office out and have all the IT hardware, systems, and office furniture in place. Then it costs 18K a month to cover the overheads, for a team of four-sales people and their salaries, cars, website costs, and all other costs to run the office and sell properties. A traditional agency trading 50-miles from the capital will then market and sell property in all price ranges, mostly from £200,000 to £600,000, and as the brand matures they may specialise in both the mid-range and the top end range £800,000 to £1.5M. On average they sell property at an average price of £360,000 and they charge 1.1% plus VAT, or around £4,000 plus VAT, £4,800 in total on a no-sale, no fee basis. In the first 12-months of trading – Year One - if they sell a property day one, the cheque for the completed sale arrives five-months later, and as they spend the first month getting property stock on the market, it is in their second month real sales begin. So, after six-months of trading they have spent 30k on setting the office up and 108k on running costs, that’s 138k, and probably they have received only 5k in on commission from completed sales. Over the next six-months their outgoings are another 108k, and the commission from completed sales dribbles in, plus VAT, at a rate of, 5k month six, 7k month seven, 10k month eight, 12k month nine, 14k month ten, 18k month 11, and 20k month 12, total 86k. So, 236k spent out, and 86k cash flow in. Profit; what profit? there is no profit, they are now minus 160k for the first year. Over the next 12 months – Year Two - office costs are 19.5k a month, and income from completed sales is 26k a month. So 234k spent out, and 312k cash flow in. Profit; 78k for the second year. In the next 12 months – Year Three – office costs are 20k a month, and income from completed sales is 28k a month. So 240k spent out, and 336k cash flow in. Profit ; 96k for the third year. On a serious note if you have a business that is in the doldrums or you are in the first stage of running your agency business, just reach out and I am more than happy to give free advice. That is right, free advice backed by 34 years of agency experience, all of it in the UK.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 16 October 2019 12:02 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 16 October 2019 11:50 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I want to start by saying that I admire anyone who gets off their bottom and tries to do something, as in the case of hardworking Ashkay. But, I think the words 'endless possibility with the internet' is a truer reflection of what is now gripping the business sector, as there is an awful lot of misdirection and as Mr Trump likes to put it fake news out there. For a kick off - I do not think Ashkay is a millionaire, and I am sure he will not mind me saying this, he has sold shares in his jointly owned company for over £800,000, and he and his family member retain a substantial amount of shares. But the company is not listed on the stock exchange or the AIM so the shares he holds are without value. Regarding the present value of Doorsteps, I think the annual accounts are due in September so I reserve judgement as to what profit has been made in the last year, but I would be surprised if it has made any profit. Which means that Ashkay has lots of shares in a company that does not make any money and is propped up by crowdfunding. What I am trying to convey is that - a lot of harm has been done to estate agency, because the outside perception of the general public is that property professionals are millionaires, when in fact most are for the hours they work on a minimum wage. Perhaps, then, people in the public eye such as Ashkay, would be better off encouraging the 'youth' to focus more on having a solid education, rather than dreaming up the next big thing on the internet, which inevitably these days seems to be funded by numerous individuals who dig into their own pockets and fund enterprises which never make a profit or give a dividend to them. Personally, having qualifications and a degree, back in the day when only 5% of the country had degrees, opened doors for me, so I still think that as a back up in case the internet does not bring riches … get as much education and learning under your belt.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 15 August 2019 06:54 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
There is always one - and usually it is me but if the article is a simple case of arithmetic, then let's start by getting the figures correct. UK completions do fluctuate annually between 1 million to 1.2 million, so correct. The number of agents 16,500, I think that a little low, but close enough, and of course 5,000 pure rental agents who from time to time sell the odd property. But, 10% of property that completes each year does so with no agent involved, so David Westgate's main thrust is in fact even more pertinent, lots of agents chasing 900,000 completions. Where will it end? - Well they always say that what happens in America, comes across the pond, and did you know 75% of realtors only sell 2 or less properties a month, and only the top 5% of realtors earn over 300,000 dollars. So pretty slim pickings (not the cowboy). This then could be the future - in the UK. As could the American multi-listing system … I fully agree that there is more competition - Since 1985, when I first became an agent, there has been a 500% increase in estate agents and only a 74% increase in housing stock. In answer to how many how many estate agents are trading within a 10 mile radius of large town, which I use when discussing with my clients the need to sharpen their approach to getting new stock, in say a town of 180,000 inhabitants, I tell my awe inspired clients that there are 221 Estate & Letting Agents, 71 Letting Agents only, 71 Estate agents only 363 agencies in total – trading in a 460 sqm radius which is an agency every 1.25 miles. (Plus online agents.) But, I am not sure that in the future there will be less agents, I think there may well be more, and these will be single individuals 'property people' who list and sell and are at the core of a geographical area, the property specialist, low overheads, hi tec, but also available, knowledgeable and charging a fee that covers costs and a margin on top to make it worth while to do the job. Vendors and Landlords do not want cheap fees, they want service and value for money, perhaps Proptech can be the salvation of the industry after all.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 18 July 2019 14:06 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Having just read the 56 page report, it seems based on the premise that as the general public do not 'trust' estate agents and property professionals there is a need to regulate. Lord Best who oversaw the report I know has a major background in property matters - but not perhaps a working knowledge of the industry at ground level. Apart from the obvious new levels of red tape, the cost of the new regulator to be paid for ultimately by the agents and property professionals, and the cost for training that the new report calls for, which once again will hit the profitability of all agents, I am struck that the report is saying that the present bodies who regulate the property profession are not fit for purpose, not really a ringing endorsement for those hardworking people. Given the government has not resolved Brexit, after three years, I think that this issue of more regulation for the property industry may well be kicked into the long grass as other more pressing issues come to the political fore. especially after next Monday evening. As a person who helps and develops agency businesses I am all for training and professional standards and codes, but - why does the government want to add more regulation to the property sector? Should car sales people, double glazing sales people and MP's not also have extra regulation based on the same premise that this report has, that a low percentage of folk do not trust them. Many MP's when elected have zero training or competency of being an MP, and yet they make decisions from the first day they arrive at the house, decisions that have ramifications for their constituents, maybe they need to have formal qualifications and annual tests to prove they are a 'fit' person as detailed in Lord Best's report on estate agency professionals.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 18 July 2019 07:29 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 13 July 2019 22:47 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 July 2019 08:10 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 09 July 2019 22:36 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Vic Darvey has obviously been speaking to Ashkay Rupareilia of Doorsteps who in his original pitch on crowdcube stated that by 2020, that's five months away online agents will have 20% of the property market. The reality is that Doorsteps has raised over £889,000 from poor private investors with two rounds of cash raising at crowdcube, and the company has failed to make a penny profit. I think it is time that 'fake news' regarding online agents as being the future of agency should be faded out - and people start to look at the reality. They tell me Ashkay is a millionaire, but is this true? His company is valued at 18M, (how?) and he has sold some shares of an unlisted company for £889,000. If the company stock/shares was listed on the stock market or even the Alternative stock market and the shares had real value, then the holding that Ashkay and his relative has would indeed make him a millionaire, but holding massive amounts of shares of an unlisted company - which is set to need further funding is just another empire built on thin air. Looking at the Purplebricks figures, just released Vic Darvey would do well to look at the actual running cost of the Purplebrick operation. In 12 months PB have burned through 90M of their cash. Or burnt 7.5M every month for the last 12 months. A year ago they had 152.8M of cash, now they have 62.8M. Regarding the UK arm of the company, the supposedly profit making part, the Purplebricks balance sheet is very creative. In the period 2017 – 2018 (3rd July) it states that in the UK it made 74.4M in revenue, and the cost of sales was 31.3M, giving a gross profit of 43.1M, or gross profit of 57.9%. But, then in the next line down in the accounts, when admin costs of 19.5M are added in, and marketing costs of 21.4M are added in the operating profit is 2.2M (not 43.1M). 2.2M as % of 74.4M revenue = 2.9% return. Also, it had 152.8M cash as a war chest to trade forward. In the period 2018 – 2019(3rd July) it states that in the UK it made 90.1M in revenue, and the cost of sales was 33.3M, giving a gross profit of 56.8M, or gross profit of 63%. But, then in the next line down in the accounts, when admin costs of 24.8M are added in, and marketing costs of 26.7M are added in the operating profit is 5.3M (not 56.8M). 5.3M as % of 90.1M revenue = 5.8% return. But, the company as a whole had no longer got 152.8M cash as a war chest to trade forward, this had reduced to 62.8M over the 12 month period. So, the company had burnt through 90M in 12 months, or 7.5M a month. Given that Axel Springer injected over 130M into the company in the recent past, when the share price was three times its present level, it is unlikely that a further round of funding will happen, which means that even with closing down operations in Australia and America, commissary to all those self-employed realtors, the cash burn will continue for the scaled down Purplebricks model, with over 30M a year used in tv and other advertising alone, to keep the brand alive. Even if the cash burn is only 3M a month, in a year that is 36M, and as can be seen increased revenue in the UK, has only yielded a wafer thin return, so even if the average fee was to rise another £100 and revenue was 120M in the UK next year, the admin and marketing costs will grow even larger, and it could be a case that they make a 5M profit, but the cash to trade forward will dwindle by year end 2020 to only 26.8M or less than 9 months of capital to trade forward into 2021. What the accounts actually show is that the true cost of the sale for the Purplebrick online brand is prohibitive, as in;- In 2017 – 2018 is 74.4M monies in, 31.3M + 19.5M + 21.4M monies out, or 74.4M monies in, 72.2M monies out. Giving a true cost of sale of 97% of revenue generated. And in 2018-2019 is 90.1M monies in, 33.3M + 24.8M + 26.7M monies out, or 90.1M monies in, 84.8M monies out. Giving a true cost of sale of 94% of revenue generated. So the other money or cash washing around Purplebricks – comes not from making vast trading profits, but from raising capital from private investors and then from investors, private and blue chip companies when it was launched on the Alternative Investment Market. The allure of the company and its perceived value is that it has few fixed tangible assets or employees, though HMRC are likely to think that the Pimlico Plumbers have a lot in common with the self-employed LPE’s, but without high street premises (those assets), the company is forced to continue spending a multi-million budget on reminding the public that they exist. Am I anti-Purplebricks and online agents? No, I just feel sorry for the investors backing them, and as each online agency fails, Emoov, Tepilo, etc they damage the reputation of the industry as a whole. Vendors losing upfront fees paid in good faith and self-employed hard working estate agents losing their livelihood and investors losing their life's savings. The only winners are the banks and finance houses and brokers putting together these online companies who are charging vast fees, that is where a substantial amount of revenue disappears to. Lastly, Chris from my experience most estate agents I have dealt with over the past 33 years do not have a mentality of get em on get em sold. The mentality is do a good job each and every day, the actual listing and selling part of agency is only a small part of the process, it is the other multi-component parts of an estate agents day that most agents take a great pride in. As most agents are sole traders or a joint partnership, these people take a huge pride in what they do, as it is their name over the door, and their money on the line if things get tough. That is why many independent agents deliver massive profits each year as they are part of the community, they do not need to fake it - they are it.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 04 July 2019 08:44 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Cash Management Cash Generation and Cash Burn. In 12 months PB have burned through 90M of their cash. Or burnt 7.5M every month for the last 12 months. A year ago Purplebricks had 152.8M of cash, now they have only 87.8M. Regarding the UK arm of the company, the supposedly profit making part, the Purplebricks balance sheet is very creative. In the period 2017 – 2018 (3rd July) it states that in the UK it made 74.4M in revenue, and the cost of sales was 31.3M, giving a gross profit of 43.1M, or gross profit of 57.9%. But, then in the next line down in the accounts, when admin costs of 19.5M are added in, and marketing costs of 21.4M are added in the operating profit is 2.2M (not 43.1M). 2.2M as % of 74.4M revenue = 2.9% return. Also, it had 152.8M cash as a war chest to trade forward as of July 2018. In the period 2018 – 2019(3rd July) it states that in the UK it made 90.1M in revenue, and the cost of sales was 33.3M, giving a gross profit of 56.8M, or gross profit of 63%. But, then in the next line down in the accounts, when admin costs of 24.8M are added in, and marketing costs of 26.7M are added in the operating profit is 5.3M (not 56.8M). 5.3M as % of 90.1M revenue = 5.8% return. But, the company as a whole had no longer got 152.8M cash as a war chest to trade forward, this had reduced 62.8M over the 12 month period. So, the company had burnt through 90M in 12 months, or 7.5M a month. Given that Axel Springer injected over 130M into the company in the recent past, when the share price was three times its present level, it is unlikely that a further round of funding will happen. Which means that even with closing down operations in Australia and America, commissary to all those self-employed realtors, the cash burn will continue for the scaled down Purplebricks model, with over 30M a year used in tv and other advertising alone, to keep the brand alive. Even if the cash burn is only 3M a month, in a year that is 36M, and as can be seen increased revenue in the UK, has only yielded a wafer thin return, so even if the average fee was to rise another £100 and revenue was 120M in the UK next year, the admin and marketing costs will grow even larger. And it could be a case that they make a 5M profit, but the cash to trade forward will dwindle by year end 2020 to only 26.8M or less than 9 months of capital to trade forward into 2021. What the accounts actually show is that the true cost of the sale for the Purplebrick online brand is prohibitive, as in;- In 2017 – 2018 is 74.4M monies in, 31.3M + 19.5M + 21.4M monies out, or 74.4M monies in, 72.2M monies out. Giving a true cost of sale of 97% of revenue generated. And in 2018-2019 is 90.1M monies in, 33.3M + 24.8M + 26.7M monies out, or 90.1M monies in, 84.8M monies out. Giving a true cost of sale of 94% of revenue generated. So the other money or cash washing around Purplebricks – comes not from making vast trading profits, but from raising capital from private investors and then from investors, private and blue chip companies when it was launched on the Alternative Investment Market. The allure of the company and its perceived value is that it has few fixed tangible assets or employees, though HMRC are likely to think that the Pimlico Plumbers have a lot in common with the self-employed LPE’s, but without high street premises (those assets), the company is forced to continue spending a multi-million budget on reminding the public that they exist. All financials taken from the Purplebricks - accounts as posted today.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 03 July 2019 21:53 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
If a double glazing company received an upfront payment/fee, on the promise that they would install a double glazed window, say at a cost of £1,000 to a client. And in a year they had 65,000 customers, but only installed 31,200 windows failing to put the other 33,800 double glazed windows in - I think the company would have major issues with trading standards. So, if an online agent receives an upfront fee, on the promise they will provide a service that allows a vendor to complete on the sale of their home, say at a cost of £1,000 or probably more. But only completes on 48% of sales - why does trading standards not take issue? When Emoov failed, twentyci, stated that sales rates of instructions to sales was low, and from this I extrapolated that completion rates would have been less than 40%, so 605 of vendors paying out good money for no return. I am not saying that online agents should not charge upfront fees, but they should give accurate conversion rates to potential vendors before the vendors part with their cash. Purplebricks say they convert at 80% from instruction to completed sale, I am offering £1,000 to anyone who can prove this, as I think they convert at nearer 50%, which means last year nearly 35M of fee was paid by vendors who did not get sold, or in the case of a double glazing company did not get a double glazed window put in. It is time that 'transparency' was the order of the day - if clients are paying cash upfront based on trust; on the no sale no fee basis, which over 90% of estate agents use -the trust is balanced the other way with the agent taking the risk that if they do perform a fee will be forthcoming.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 02 July 2019 11:33 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Stanton’s £1,000 Purplebricks Conversion challenge. I have never been frightened to put my money where my mouth is, and in response to Lee Wainwrights ex-CEO of Purplebricks statement that Purplebricks completes on 80% of instructions they list. I Andrew Stanton – property analyst, consultant and journalist, from estate agency insights and strategies – throw down a £1,000 prize gauntlet to any former or present employee of Purplebricks, who can prove this statement to be true. Since 2017, from my own in-depth analysis I proved that Purplebricks only completes on 48% of the instructions they list or less. And I have repeatedly asked for proof that this is incorrect and found no takers. I can give you an up to date example, on Rightmove 27th June 2019, Purplebricks had in one area Meridian, a total of 3,159 properties showing as either for sale or under offer. 1,844 listed for sale, and 1,315 listed sold subject to contract, so only a 58% conversion rate, which allowing for a 28% cancellation rate on the 1,315, gives 946 completions or a conversion rate of only 29%. I am willing to lodge £1,000 with EAT, for 28-days, and the first person from Purplebricks, who can show the EAT team proof that Purplebricks does complete on 8 out of 10 instructions they list, will receive the £1,000. The only rules are that, the conversion rate must be over a 12-month period, and if any LPE seeks the £1,000, they must have listed for more than 12-months. So, Jan to Dec 2017, 96 properties are listed by an LPE, Stanton would require verification that 77 of these addresses completed having been sold by Purplebricks; at any point after they were listed. Purplebrick’s in their company annual statements have been stating that they have been completing at a rate in excess of 80%, and some months ago I contacted National Trading Standards Estate agency team, querying this. Stating they probably only completed on 50% or less of property listed. Which meant over £35M was paid out in upfront fees from vendors last year, who failed to achieve a sale. The response was that that until the public complained no action could be taken. I am not singling out Purplebrick’s about completion rates on property listed, this is just an industry norm that agents only complete on 50% of the properties they are instructed on. Given this ‘truth’ perhaps there might be merit in charging a marketing fee on all instructions, based on services rendered. Any person wishing to claim the £1,000 reward, please contact Graham Norwood who can act as referee, if I am incorrect I am more than happy to pay up and shut up. The clock starts ticking today the 29th of June. I will let you all know if I had to pay out.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 29 June 2019 11:50 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Stanton’s £1,000 Purplebricks Conversion challenge. I have never been frightened to put my money where my mouth is, and in response to Lee Wainwrights ex-CEO of Purplebricks statement that Purplebricks completes on 80% of instructions they list. I Andrew Stanton – property analyst, consultant and journalist, from estate agency insights and strategies – throw down a £1,000 prize gauntlet to any former or present employee of Purplebricks, who can prove this statement to be true. Since 2017, from my own in-depth analysis I proved that Purplebricks only completes on 48% of the instructions they list or less. And I have repeatedly asked for proof that this is incorrect and found no takers. I can give you an up to date example, on Rightmove 27th June 2019, Purplebricks had in one area Meridian, a total of 3,159 properties showing as either for sale or under offer. 1,844 listed for sale, and 1,315 listed sold subject to contract, so only a 58% conversion rate, which allowing for a 28% cancellation rate on the 1,315, gives 946 completions or a conversion rate of only 29%. I am willing to lodge £1,000 with EAT, for 28-days, and the first person from Purplebricks, who can show the EAT team proof that Purplebricks does complete on 8 out of 10 instructions they list, will receive the £1,000. The only rules are that, the conversion rate must be over a 12-month period, and if any LPE seeks the £1,000, they must have listed for more than 12-months. So, Jan to Dec 2017, 96 properties are listed by an LPE, I would require verification that 77 of these addresses completed having been sold by Purplebricks; at any point after they were listed. Purplebrick’s in their company annual statements have been stating that they have been completing at a rate in excess of 80%, and some months ago I contacted National Trading Standards Estate agency team, querying this. Stating they probably only completed on 50% or less of property listed. Which meant over £35M was paid out in upfront fees from vendors last year, who failed to achieve a sale. The response was that that until the public complained no action could be taken. I am not singling out Purplebrick’s about completion rates on property listed, this is just an industry norm that agents only complete on 50% of the properties they are instructed on. Given this ‘truth’ perhaps there might be merit in charging a marketing fee on all instructions, based on services rendered. Any person wishing to claim the £1,000 reward, please contact Graham Norwood who can act as referee, if I am incorrect I am more than happy to pay up and shut up. The clock starts ticking today the 29th of June. I will let you all know if I had to pay out.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 29 June 2019 11:48 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Stanton’s £1,000 Purplebricks Conversion challenge. I have never been frightened to put my money where my mouth is, and in response to Lee Wainwrights ex-CEO of Purplebricks statement that Purplebricks completes on 80% of instructions they list. I Andrew Stanton – property analyst, consultant and journalist, from estate agency insights and strategies – throw down a £1,000 prize gauntlet to any former or present employee of Purplebricks, who can prove this statement to be true. Since 2017, from my own in-depth analysis I proved that Purplebricks only completes on 48% of the instructions they list or less. And I have repeatedly asked for proof that this is incorrect and found no takers. I can give you an up to date example, on Rightmove 27th June 2019, Purplebricks had in one area Meridian, a total of 3,159 properties showing as either for sale or under offer. 1,844 listed for sale, and 1,315 listed sold subject to contract, so only a 58% conversion rate, which allowing for a 28% cancellation rate on the 1,315, gives 946 completions or a conversion rate of only 29%. I am willing to lodge £1,000 with EAT, for 28-days, and the first person from Purplebricks, who can show the EAT team proof that Purplebricks does complete on 8 out of 10 instructions they list, will receive the £1,000. The only rules are that, the conversion rate must be over a 12-month period, and if any LPE seeks the £1,000, they must have listed for more than 12-months. So, Jan to Dec 2017, 96 properties are listed by an LPE, Stanton would require verification that 77 of these addresses completed having been sold by Purplebricks; at any point after they were listed. Purplebrick’s in their company annual statements have been stating that they have been completing at a rate in excess of 80%, and some months ago I contacted National Trading Standards Estate agency team, querying this. Stating they probably only completed on 50% or less of property listed. Which meant over £35M was paid out in upfront fees from vendors last year, who failed to achieve a sale. The response was that that until the public complained no action could be taken. I am not singling out Purplebrick’s about completion rates on property listed, this is just an industry norm that most agents only complete on 50% of the properties they are instructed on. Given this ‘truth’ perhaps there might be merit in charging a marketing fee on all instructions, based on services rendered. Any person wishing to claim the £1,000 reward, please contact Graham Norwood who can act as referee, if I am incorrect I am more than happy to pay up and shut up. The clock starts ticking today the 29th of June. I will let you all know if I had to pay out.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 29 June 2019 11:43 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
On the 18th of October 2017, I proved that Purplebricks converted only 48% of listings to completed sales, the full article is on my website estate-agency-insights-strategies for anyone who is interested. I was in contact with Anthony Codling at that time and sent him my analysis plus a comment that using PB was the same as same as flipping a coin, ie a 50% chance of losing your fee paid upfront. Anthony also did his own analysis based on tracing a sample of instructions and seeing what amount completed as recorded at Land registry. Despite requests from Purplebricks, they have never disclosed their conversion rate, but the failure of Emoov (1) last year does give some interesting insights into the online model. I also posted a comment some months ago that ... ' If you look very closely at this independent analysis commissioned by Purple Bricks by the data experts twentyci which cover the financial year 2017 to 2018, available online on the Purple Bricks website under investors on the title page, there seems to be some contradictory claims. In the twentyci report, and I quote 'Purple Bricks were looking for a reliable, respected and independent data source to establish answers to a set of questions about their performance in the financial year 17/18′ And Purple Bricks are … ‘No1 at selling houses: 81% of listings sold within 12 months’ Then there is a helpful graph in the same report which shows an annual picture of Purple Bricks results, it shows 64,000 new instructions, 48,000 properties sold subject to contract and it shows 38,000 properties exchanged. Now the ratio of exchanges to new instructions 64,000 to exchanges 38,000 is 59%, so Purple Bricks are not selling 81% of the instructions. But the worrying thing is, if the company gets 59% of vendors exchanged, it fails to get 41% sold or exchanged but still charges them on average £1,100 as an upfront non refundable fee, which is 41% of 64,000 vendors at £1,100 or 28.86M of fee for nothing. Readers of this are going to say the figures are wrong and skewed etc, but twentyci also did a similar report on Emoov and Tepilo, post the recent failure of these two online companies. And the WHICH organization recently had sight of this twentyci report and said that the conversion rate of the online pay upfront company was 53% of instructions to sold subject to contract, if you then discount the 53% by 30% the usual industry fall off for cancelled sales you get to an exchange rate of around 37%. This is available on the WHICH site online. In this piece by WHICH, it is stated that the ‘Major online estate agent Emoov, which also owns Tepilo, has gone into administration, potentially leaving thousands of home-sellers out of pocket by as much as £2,995. James Cowper Kreston, the firm appointed to act as administrators for Emoov, says the company currently has 5,000 properties listed for sale or sold subject to contract. Of this total, around 80% have paid upfront for the service and are at risk'. The big story is that instead of focusing on the financial sector and banking and PPI, maybe Trading standards Powys, should be looking at PBI - and looking to refund the 50% of clients who paid fees upfront in good faith and got a cake in the face. By my reckoning their are tens of millions of pounds paid by vendors in good faith that has been squandered on 20M plus a year media advertising on the brand alone, which should have been used to 'market' and successfully allow vendors to complete. This money should go back to all clients who received no sale. I think Chris Watkin is a top boy - and he injects debate into the property arena, what beguiles me is that the property bodies, and regulators sit on their hands whilst misery is being dealt out to vendor victims. I make my living out of analysing all aspects of the property world, but in a former role I personally oversaw the marketing of over 8,000 instructions, thousands of which I personally listed, and the conversion rate was always the same, list 10, sell 7 subject to contract, of which 2 fall through prior to exchange, 5 exchange - 50% conversion. In a very hot market, you might sell 8, but 28% are always going to fall through. So, if Mr Wainwright has any figures that he wants to show me, that contradicts the industry norm, please give me a call.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 25 June 2019 11:25 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I am a great fan of Graham, and I find all that he writes gives both sides of the story, but I am a bit baffled regarding the figures quoted by Karl Rusk. Who I have no doubt is a very hardworking estate agent. The first point is that 'turnover' was £60,000 year one, £145,000 year two, £290,000 year three, and projected £400,000 year four. Was this Karl's personal turnover, ie, in year one did he turnover personally £60,000. Being 25% commission on the instructions he personally listed, with Purplebricks obtaining the other 75% of the fee or £180,000. Or does the £60,000 turnover year one represent, 61 instructions signed up at an average fee upfront of £975. From which Karl would have received 25% , or £15,000, but as he would have a guarantee over-ride of £2,000 a month he would have earned £24,000 as his turnover. Out of which he would have to run his car, pay his taxes and pay for his holiday and sickness cover etc. In year two if £145,000 turnover is the total fee earned, 25% to Karl, 75% to Purplebricks, at an average fee of £1,200 that would represent 121 instructions from customers paying upfront. So, Karl would have received £36,250 as his turnover before car costs and tax, given that all of these were his own instructions and not fractionalised instructions from LPE's working in his territory. In year three if £290,000 turnover is the total fee earned, 25% to Karl and 75% to Purplebricks, at an average fee of £1,300 that is 223 instructions from customers paying upfront. So, if all these 223 instructions were Karl's that would give a turnover figure to Karl of £72,500. But, if you work 48 weeks a year (as you take 4 weeks holiday) and you lose two weeks in December and two weeks in January as no one lists their home then, that leaves 10 months to list, so Karl is listing 22 instructions a month, which given that the industry conversion rate of MA's to instructions is 32%, means Karl went to 69 MA's a month. In year four if £400,000 was the predicted total fee earned, 25% to Karl and 75% to Purplebricks, at an average fee of £1,4000 that is 285 instructions from customers paying upfront. So, 100k turnover for Karl, but he was visiting 838 properties to generate his 100k. So 83 MA's a month. Having followed the rise and decline of many online agents, including Purplebricks, I do think at the heart of the business is the same muddled pattern when it comes to figures and profit and loss. Each unit that Purplebricks markets (and do not get me started on that) or lists costs Purplebricks the fee they receive upfront and an extra 12 to 18% more than the fee they charge, so although they have great cashflow, as no sale does not mean no fee, they can never make profit. And profit pays the bills, pays dividend's to the shareholders and keeps the share price buoyant. All I know is that from speaking to many ex-LPE's they annually turned over on average £24,000 to £28,000, out of which they had to pay for their own holidays and run a car, and they would go to around 100 MA's a year, not 838.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 24 June 2019 23:15 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Truth hurts - hyperbole = are exaggerated statements, my statements are based on facts. So, statement one - market capitalisation was at its highest 1000m today it is 303M, statement two - share price today dipped to 96p at 11.48 am, its highest share value was 523p, statement three - all of the shares that the Bruce's held have been exchanged for money - so cashed in, statement four Michael Bruce has left the company as it has a new CEO, statement four on 3rd of June 2019 Woodford's investment vehicle was suspended for 28-days, and on 25th of June he is up to see the regulator to explain amongst other things his operations in Guernsey, and why he circumvented the usual financial norms risking heavily other peoples money, Statement five - closures - according to the FT PB ' in Australia, which last year the group predicted would be the first of its international markets to turn a profit, Purplebricks is leaving entirely. The US operations meanwhile face a strategic review and material cuts to investment in marketing and other overheads. The board will “more closely [consider] the opportunities and risks associated with a materially scaled back business” there. That leaves just the UK and Canada.' Statement six - Purplebricks complete on only 48% of the properties they list - this is perhaps the biggest statement of fact that everyone should get their head around, meaning that 52% of revenue is generated from clients who get nothing in return - not even a cake. Statement seven - well hopefully Truth Hurts you are getting the picture - the truth does hurt and that is why Purplebricks will soon have burnt through its cash mountain, with an annual 26M spend on brand awareness advertising alone - those cake adverts do not come cheaply.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 20 June 2019 12:43 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I am amazed that purplebricks will be looking to put any money into an Olympic vanity project when its market capitalisation is down by over 60%, its share price is only 20% of what it was at its height, all the Bruce clan have divested themselves of their shares, Michael Bruce has exited the company, Neil woodford’s equity company has been suspended and he is up before the regulators later this month. Add to this the closure of most of the overseas operation of the company and the fact that despite taking millions in upfront fees from vendors who failed to get a sale the company has yet to make a penny profit or return a dividend. So, the Olympic tie up is being funded not from profits, but by the 50% of vendors who continue to pay upfront for a service ... the successful sale of their property, which they will never actually see. At some point trading standards will scrutinise the business model and realise this is not an equitable situation. Maybe if axel springer take the company private, and change the model, maybe actually employing the poor long suffering local property experts, and maybe adding some sales people to actually *sell’ the property that is listed then purplebricks might survive. If the share price goes below 96p the original opening price which seems likely, I think that the falling share price will underpin the recent d decline of this dot com business. Which may well go the route of tepilo, emoov, (version-one) hatched, etc, all of whom ceased trading less than 12 months ago, and did nothing but burned cash and lined the pockets of the advertising and marketing industry, and created losses for many unlucky shareholders, and created hardship for those who were not paid salaries when some companies closed overnight, unlike the orderly exit of hatched, which had an enlightened management team who decided to cut their losses and focus on traditional agency, which they do so well.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 20 June 2019 06:49 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 19 June 2019 16:03 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Pricing and price falls is often a minefield of mis-information, are asking prices falling or selling prices falling? My own take on where prices are in the south east, is they will sell for about the value they did in mid 2017. At the point the government manipulated the stamp duty bands once again, which saw a spike in transactions and sales prices achieved, and brexit had yet to take a hold. Based on this I recently took advice from an excellent local agent derrick bell, from giggs and bell in Luton who dealt with the probate sale of a family member, and instead of listing at 2019 asking prices, we listed just above 2017 selling prices, the result a sale agreed in 12 days from being listed on the major portals. Yes, the final selling price was lower than the listing price, but a sale was agreed. The point is - statistics, and I spend my life as an property analyst, can be used to prove most things, and zoopla supporting a softening of prices is a general truth, but in a brexit housing market, which itself is based upon a market that has been rising since 2013, it is not unlikely that a boom bust price adjustment is likely, as house inflation tends to go in 8 to 10 year cycles. And I like many have sold in the 1988 broken market onwards, know that what goes up will come down ... a bit but over two decades property usually increases by two and bit times it’s original value, which even allowing for inflation is the best financial return out there, and a better return than renting.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 18 June 2019 07:50 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 June 2019 07:41 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
First a wave of IT personnel redundancies, then branch closures, now sales progression personnel, very soon even the top executives in their ivory tower will feel the reality that making multi million pound losses is a really stupid idea and decide to exit or be helped on their way. If you look at the composition of the board and their lack of industry knowledge, or the sound bites that have been coming out since the departure of Platt from supposedly experienced directors - it is clear that this slow motion car crash could have been minimised 6-months ago. A one off - closure of non-profit making offices (a big list) the sale of some of the assets (a smaller list) a one off programme of redundancies - with perhaps franchises being offered to the brave who could make marginal offices profitable if not constrained by ingrained and out dated practices. Countrywide - the clue is in the name - maybe it should be less of huge flabby loss making empire sprawling across the country - and cut itself down to size - and become a lean keen selling machine. Another major problem it has, is that CW t is top heavy with many middle aged and older personnel - I am not being ageist I am 56, but young blood often helps, because in 10 years - the usual cycle of a successful business these people become the mature advocates whose core values carry companies into profitable times. In the mid 1980's when agency exploded in the UK with banks and building societies buying up small independent agents to sell their financial wares, lots of 20 something estate agents joined the industry, and their work, motivation etc powered the movement. Many of these people are now in high places, but estate agency has changed and CW is a classic example of a business being run as though we were back 35 years ago.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 12 June 2019 11:25 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Axel Springer - that is the interesting factor - they paid for shares a year ago at three times the level they are now able to buy shares at - so on the one hand - a great time to gain control of the business - but on the flip side - having a controlling interest of a business that does not make profit - is that a logical step? Well done to the Bruce's - Purplebricks has been Goldenbricks for them, and even Mr Woodford is ahead of the game (in terms of getting money out of Purplebricks), though it is questionable that his daytime job - running an investment portfolio of only a limited amount of companies - which has dropped by over 60% in value in recent times - will be scoring points with those investors who invested with him). Purplebricks if it survives in its present form might limp along hoovering up those vendors who want to play Russian roulette with an upfront model, which pays off 50% of the time, if the property listed is 260k in value or less - but a pure online agency - is not going to be the system of the future for a 'contact sport' like estate agency - the human factor is still an extremely important part of the mix. Countrywide - less than 4p a share - when it was over 530p a share in the last 5 years, this leviathan is already dead, it may make it to September - but I think a fire sale of any assets will come well before this, together with a mass of closures. A real shame - but out of this will come the new wave of agency - many capable survivors will set up and provide excellent service and be rewarded with financial rewards many times greater than they now earn, as they will follow their own path, utilising the skills they have and the training that corporate agency gave them.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 10 June 2019 20:17 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
With a media frenzy around Neil Woodford - apparently even Radio 2 Jeremy Vine is commenting on NW's fall from grace - the only question is - will a new investor jump in? Will Axel Springer buy more shares, or will the 'online disruptor' become another dot com dream and be allowed to rest in peace. As stated previously with a traditional agent, 160K of seed capital utilised to start and fund a cold start estate agency branch will in 36 months be paid back in full plus a profit of 5%, in 48 months profit will be 20% plus. Given the tens of millions that 'online disruptors' have squandered, with 5 large online concerns closing or failing in less than a year, I could have used all the lost money and have built a traditional 1,000 branch agency in the UK, and would actually be paying a dividend to shareholders. Until people realise that tech is moving forward in every industry, and just to say we have an online model that is better than a traditional model - does not cut the mustard, especially when online estate agency is actually more expensive to run than traditional estate agency. After nearly 5 years, PB has never made a profit, still charges all vendors an upfront fee, and still only completes on 50% of the properties it lists, and the need for more funds to prop it up as it burns through millions on advertising to keep the brand name alive is one of the reasons that it has failed. If the public thought PB was a good thing - it would not need to rely on running adverts telling everyone how brilliant it is because it does not charge commission.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 06 June 2019 07:23 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I wish you well with your new enterprise, but I would advise a different approach to selling property for no fee. I deal with a huge volume of new start businesses and give them advice and usually they do low fees in an attempt to gain business. Many are started by seasoned professional persons such as yourself who if employed would command a large salary due to their experience and expertise. So, why would you work for nothing? The other point is this, vendors on the whole do not want a cheap fee, surveys suggest only 12% of vendors are fee sensitive searching for the lowest deal - hence online agency having 7% to 10% of the market. What vendors want is a proper agent, be it bricks and mortar, hybrid or online, they want service and a sale, if you can provide this you will develop your brand and make profit. At present every agent unless they dominate an area will go out to 10 market appraisals and 3 and a bit will come to the market with that agent, a 32% conversion rate. That conversion rate is the same if you charge zero fee or 3%, the reason being that fee is not the determining factor - the person sitting in front of the vendor is the determining factor and I am sure Dean that you and your team are very good at what you do, so why do it for nothing? I always say to my clients when they ask what fee they should charge this: - breakdown your true running costs of selling a property including the cost of marketing the 48% of property you fail to sell, so cost of office real or virtual your overheads, salaries, marketing, tax etc, plus a 28% margin for your gross profit. Usually the figure is around £2,800 - there will be regional differences, I then say to the business owner, each time you achieve under £2,800 as a fee you are running at a loss, above this you are making money. It is up to you if you want to do selective discounting to achieve market share, but profit is the one thing that every business must achieve to survive. One of my clients adopting this attitude, banked an additional 42% in the first six months of their next year, having explained to the vendor at market appraisal the cost of sale and what level of service they could provide if they charged a realistic fee. Some agents do cheap fees and if that works great, but people forget that many dominant agents charge high fees, because vendors trust the brand because the agent has for years done a great job.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 09 May 2019 10:40 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
So, share price 685p, at its height, now share price 7p down from 10p in recent weeks. Tell me again why after a multi- bailout less than 12 months ago anyone would buy shares in Countrywide? The remaining shareholders will sell their stock, and with no buyer wanting this huge,flabby company, the best pieces will be sold off, the remainder closed, leaving a very depleted rump of an agency which will trade on, losing money hand over fist until it closes, or the thinking at the top changes. Very sad, maybe top management might stop trying to convince everything is fine, get a plan, make the necessary cuts and sell off what is required to recapitalize, take a look around at retail, here company's are either adapting their business model or calling in the liquidators, sure things are tough, but that is when really good executives shine. That after all is their job, rain or shine - return a profit, safeguard jobs and plan for the future. I would start with high fees, high levels of customer service and high levels of successful sales. The rest will sort itself out, if you have a product or service the public want it will not be google ads that make them seek you out, it will be your market share. Unfortunately, time has now run out for Countrywide and this Easter bunny is looking more and more like a steaming Turkey long before Christmas. The more the company says, we will not be selling off the profitable parts of the company, the more it sounds as if that is exactly what they must do to try to survive. Note also Purplebricks share price has in recent days crashed also, to sub 118p from a near 145p plus position only a few days ago, it seems the cruel crosswinds of reality are starting to blow in the face of lots of non-profit making property sector companies, whilst some companies in the sector will produce healthy profits by the close of 2019, as they have different marketing models that actually work.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 25 April 2019 05:53 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I think Professor Andrew Baum, would do well to actually spend some time in the industry he talks so condemningly about. A couple of years ago I remember him stating from his ivory tower that “The process (buying and selling property) is not satisfactory from anyone’s point of view. Estate agents aren’t aligned with the vendor, they aren’t motivated to get the best price or best execution, [they just want] a fast sale,” he says. “There’s a lot of money to be saved and therefore a lot of money to be made from tech platforms that can make that process more efficient.” Andrew then went on about Purplebricks and other online agencies being the start of a Proptech revolution. Well my thoughts are that agency is a contact sport, and that is why some agents, the ones who have spent years in the same community and have worked countless hours, are making very large profits. Why? Because they do look after buyers and vendors and they do take a professional pride in what they do. In contrast the new boys (onliners) are raising tens of millions, spending far more than they raise and offering the clients - buyers and sellers a bargain discount level of service. Years ago in the mid 1990's I was using an automated system alongside a really good team of sale people, so Proptech is great, but like having a bespoke suit made by a tailor I am sure a robot can be programmed to make a suit, but the personal dynamic would be missing. I like and embrace technology, but I think that just because billions of dollars is being put into start up Protech in America does not mean that any definitive solution will be found anytime soon.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 10 April 2019 17:36 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 02 April 2019 08:49 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 19 March 2019 10:05 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 16 March 2019 19:01 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 16 March 2019 18:59 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 09 March 2019 09:04 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
With the sales pipeline down by 20%, Countrywide's first quarter revenue will also be down by a fifth, add the loss of revenue due to the lettings ban which will start soon, and then transparency on referrals, I think that unless 30% of branches close, by this time next year there may be no Countrywide. Also, this nonsense about a 3 year plan and back to basics, this sounds very confusing. A three-year plan sounds like a communism and back to basics sounds like the conservatives. I turn clients businesses around in 6 to 8 weeks, if I said I have a 3 year plan to cut your debt and increase your profit, most of my clients would rightly tell me where to go. I like Countrywide, because in 1986 one of their brands made me a manager after only 14 months in the business, but back then they had a structure, and a strategy and an identity, that made them unique. Also, most importantly, they sold huge amounts of property and their fees were sometimes twice that of the competition and they loved the fact that they were the agent of choice. Last month I personally called over 150 agents as an exercise for a client, in those calls I spoke with a number of Countrywide offices, and they seemed to have two voices, either condescending and in your face or disinterested and beaten, there were plenty of other agents who had the same voice also. In contrast, the agents who were market leaders in their areas, either corporate agents or independents, had the same voice on the end of the telephone, professional polite, non-pushy, and interested in what I had to say. Many of those were mature agents who clearly were loving their job, or young men and women who reveled in customer care. Maybe, the COO's of this corporate should ring their branches, not to spy on their front-line team, but to understand that if prospective clients call and are greeted by negativity or a sales team who do not listen, then the business will not make profit. Sure, Proptech means only 7% of business comes directly from a telephone call, but if a branch has never made profit in the last 5 years, and by profit I am saying 28% gross profit on turnover in all disciplines, then maybe the front line troops are confused, badly trained and possibly in the wrong profession and the buck for that stops right at the top. Worringly, when top management say we are not going to sell off part of the company, that is very similar to the PM saying I have every faith in a certain MP, which often as not is followed by the said MP resigning. My diary is a little busy at present and I am away in sunny Barcelona on holiday until next week, but if Countrywide would like some sound advice, I can certainly impart it, and they would not need to wait another 24 months to start turning around those loss making offices. And those vulnerable offices about to go the same way with sales revenue and other revenue streams about to be cut. As a point of balance though I was an independent agent for half of my 30 year sales career, I also did time for another corporate who recently posted profits, more than twice those of Countrywide. It comes as no surprise that all the managers and teams I was privileged to work with, were always on it, and the management teams through to the COO's had a strong, strategy based on customer service. Also, though it was a corporate, each branch felt like a premier league independent agent, and had enough autonomy at branch level to make the customer feel the same way. And that is a very hard thing to accomplish.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 07 March 2019 18:53 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
A great piece Graham, perhaps now trading standards who appear to be on steroids will at last look at the claims of Purplebricks that they complete on 80% of the properties they list. Your story underpins the fact that 50% of vendors pay money to have a cake pushed in their face, ie, they pay a fee upfront, and get nothing but to dive head first into a cake. 'Cakemissery' In October 2017 I wrote a full article about online agents, in it I discussed Easy Property, Tepilo, Emoov, Housesimple, Hatched, Yopa and Purplebricks, I showed statistically that all of them completed on 50% of their listed sales or less, and that their cost base would kill them off. Easy property never got started and morphed into something else, Tepilo closed, Emoov closed (son of Emoov now opened) Housesimple appear to be on the brink and Hatched closed. This leaves Yopa and Purplebricks, well both of these are not making any money. The bottom line is always the bottom line, list two properties, complete on only one. Any agent who says they can complete on 8 of the ten houses they originally list is misguided. And with the new wave of Trading standard protocol upon the industry, all agents traditional and online will need to be declaring their referral fees - which will for online agents prove very interesting. I attach the first three pages of an article I wrote in October 2017, so the data is from that period - but my hypothesis about onliner's still holds true, over 40% of vendors pay for a service they never receive, and you can not run an estate agency with only 'Listers' doing the job of a manager a lister a negotiator, an administrator and a sales Progressor. By 2020, traditional estate agents will be dead, and online estate agents will sell half of all property in the UK. Written by Andrew Stanton - (Estate Agency Insights & Strategies) Oct 2017 This is a common enough headline and I thought so too, until I looked at the facts and realised; no online agent is making a profit, many online agents are propped up by large, regular injections of fresh capital, and the mature online estate agency model has no asset base and so no brand value. Let me explain my hypothesis, the business model behind traditional bricks and mortar estate agency is that they get revenue from, fees on completed house sales, usually on a no-sale, no fee basis. They also get further revenue from arranging mortgages and life cover and other insurances, or receiving fees for passing clients to providers of mortgages, revenues from solicitors for referring clients, and other add on services like the provision of EPC’s, etc. Now suppose you want to start a brand new traditional estate agency, how much profit will it make and when? and how much does it cost to set up and run? Here are the figures; it costs 30k to acquire premises and kit the office out and have all the IT hardware, systems, and office furniture in place. Then it costs 18K a month to cover the overheads, for a team of four-sales people and their salaries, cars, website costs, and all other costs to run the office and sell properties. A traditional agency trading 50-miles from the capital will then market and sell property in all price ranges, mostly from £200,000 to £600,000, and as the brand matures they may specialise in both the mid-range and the top end range £800,000 to £1.5M. On average they sell property at an average price of £360,000 and they charge 1.1% plus VAT, or around £4,000 plus VAT, £4,800 in total on a no-sale, no fee basis. In the first 12-months of trading – Year One - if they sell a property day one, the cheque for the completed sale arrives five-months later, and as they spend the first month getting property stock on the market, it is in their second month real sales begin. So, after six-months of trading they have spent 30k on setting the office up and 108k on running costs, that’s 138k, and probably they have received only 5k in on commission from completed sales. Over the next six-months their outgoings are another 108k, and the commission from completed sales dribbles in, plus VAT, at a rate of, 5k month six, 7k month seven, 10k month eight, 12k month nine, 14k month ten, 18k month 11, and 20k month 12, total 86k. So, 236k spent out, and 86k cash flow in. Profit; what profit? there is no profit, they are now minus 160k for the first year.  Over the next 12 months – Year Two - office costs are 19.5k a month, and income from completed sales is 26k a month. So 234k spent out, and 312k cash flow in. Profit; 78k for the second year. In the next 12 months – Year Three – office costs are 20k a month, and income from completed sales is 28k a month. So 240k spent out, and 336k cash flow in. Profit ; 96k for the third year. And more importantly at the end of year three, true break-even is achieved, all the start-up capital, that £160,000 pumped in and ‘lost’ in year one, has been repaid and from here on in they have a profitable business standing on its own two feet, with no need for further injections of capital to keep it trading. So, 160k ‘loss’ (start-up costs) in year one, plus the 78k profit year two, plus the 96k profit year three, means a 14k surplus on the venture after 36-months. In next 12-months - Year Four – office costs are 20.8k a month, and income from completed sales is 30.8k a month. So, 250k spent out, and 370k cash flow in. Profit; 120k. So on a turnover of 370k generated solely from commission in from completed sales, a gross profit of 120k, or a 23% profit margin. By year ten gross profit could be 400k. Now on this example I have purposely, not fed in the other revenue income streams, revenue from mortgages, life cover etc, because in the start-up phase, a lot of these income streams are neutralised by the start-up costs of an extra member of staff and new equipment, IT etc. For instance, a mortgage advisor costs 40k to sit in an office, and will take a year to cover his basic cost, earning no profit, but in year three of doing business they might generate 80k of profit, similarly an estate agency might set up lettings, again it will not become profitable until it has 40-properties let and managed, and so it will produce a negative cash flow for its first period of trading, but in year ten could generate 250k of profit. In a mature 10-year model, financial services can add up to 40% gross profit to the business annually and lettings can add 30%. So, if in year ten, selling property generated 400k gross profit from commission from completed property sales, moving on from the 120k of year four, then financial services would add 160k gross profit and lettings another 250k gross profit, plus solicitor introductions, re-mortgage business, new homes, so a total gross profit for the one office 800k plus. Now, if you opened 10-cold start offices, two would not make great profit, two would make super profit and the rest would be a mixed bag, due to local competition, lack of a good sales team etc. But, in the real world, statistically a 10-office cluster of agents will constantly generate at least a collective 2.4M gross profit, which ties in with the notion that a single office in year seven of its development should produce a 234K profit. Having looked at the traditional estate agency model for generating wealth, there are three other important factors at play; most ‘traditional’ estate agents only charge a fee on exchange of contracts, so on a no-sale no fee basis; nationally, 50% of all the property that an estate agent lists (takes to the market) in a year they fail to sell; estate agents get paid huge commissions which is unfair. The no payment until the job is done means that the agent is highly motivated to find a buyer; otherwise all the marketing costs are lost. Also, as their agency agreements are time specific as time passes, estate agents are more and more pressured to find a buyer before the vendor goes to a second agent. The fact that half the property stock does not sell means that the fee charged by the agent actually covers, all the cost of the sales of the property that have exchanged, and all the cost of the properties they listed and failed to sell. So, list two properties, sell and exchange on one, lose the other, and the fee from the sold one covers the marketing costs of both, plus profit margin. Interestingly, of the 50% of properties that are not sold by the first agent, over 60% of these are sold by the next or third agent instructed, so over 80% of property does get sold if it stays marketed. So, as an example if an estate agent generates 320k of revenue excluding VAT in a year, just from completed sales, that is, 80-completed sales at an average fee of £4,000 plus VAT, which is around 1.1% plus VAT of a 360k property sale price. This £4,000 plus VAT fee is in fact covering the cost of selling the property and the cost of marketing another property that was never sold, (one of the dead loss 50% which they lose to the second or third agent). The old chestnut that the agent gets paid a huge commission is debatable. Individual sales people may get a 5% or 10% commission of the fee, which is a huge incentive to sell the property, but their basic salary will be at a low level, and they will usually work at least a 50 to 60-hour week, and they will in the main be extremely skilled in their profession. So, if you start to work out their hourly rate, factor in their low basic salary and then factor in they earn commission at a rate before tax of either 5% gross of the £4,000 fee, so that’s £200, or 10% gives them £400, they are not going to be buying a yacht anytime soon. Also, I have illustrated that the onerous office costs month in month out, also mean that many managers or owners earn a reasonable amount, but again there is little fat in the business. The vagaries of the market, government intervention on stamp duty, general elections, etc, can often skew trading patterns, so with a good team a mature estate agency might trade on a gross profit of 30% plus. But, many agents trade on a margin of less than 10%, despite being number one in their areas, which is not indicative of inflated commissions being charged. Now, suppose you want to set up an online estate agency, how much profit will it make and when? And how much does it cost to set up and run? To my knowledge no online estate agency has yet made a penny profit as of October 2017, and some have been trading over eight-years. So, I am going to look at Purplebricks (UK), to illustrate the online business model and give an insight into how they trade, as from what I can see all online models are a variant on this company. Purplebricks (UK) or (PB) is less than three years old, and follows in the footsteps of Hatched and Tepilo some of the original trailblazers which were created five-years or more earlier. (PB) ‘the property market disrupter’ are by far the biggest online estate agency, claiming they will make a profit of around 6M in 2019. At present according to Rightmove, they nationally have over 28,000 properties listed online, over 16,000 for sale, and 12,000 under offer, an impressive tally. Though not profit making, they dwarf the online opposition in the number of properties they have online. Their share price is through the roof, as they generate a huge amount of cash through put, but no profit has ever been made. (PB) charges £849 including VAT, to list your home, and £1,199 including VAT in London, and their intention is to sell the property, but the fee is fully payable should the property fail to sell, unlike the traditional estate agents no sale, no fee proposal. On the surface the business model is low cost with many traditional estate agency elements stripped out, such as no bricks and mortar premises, and it is front end cash generative. There are no dedicated employed sales teams, as per the traditional estate agents, instead they have instruction getters or listers, termed Local Property Experts, (LPE’s) who are self-employed, and receive a commission per instruction listed. They then earn additional commissions from selling add on products and services such as; accompanied viewings, conveyancing leads and financial services etc. A big part of their business model apart from the ‘low fee’ is that they advertise they do not charge a commission, just a fixed low fee. Well given that the LPE’s get an instant commission somewhere in the region of £400, per property listed, a fixed percentage of the overall fixed fee charged to the vendor. This model strikes a strong chord with the traditional employed sales person sitting in a cosy office being paid £400 commission for a successfully sold and completed sales transaction. I wonder if vendors are aware that the nice young lady or gentleman sitting in front of them stands to personally earn an instant - £400 of the £900 plus VAT fee they are charging each time they get them to sign to sell, (even if the property fails to sell). I also wonder, and I know there is a Gig economy vibe out there, but will the tax man soon think these 450-people are really employed, rather than self-employed? 

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 04 March 2019 07:46 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Quote from Gosling CEO of House Network - in 2017 “As more people feel comfortable with the online model, we expect online agents to grab a bigger slice of the UK estate agency market. Currently, online estate agents have around 5% market share. We believe this will increase to 15%–20% by 2020,” In 2016, the business received £13m of investment from Carphone Warehouse founder, Sir Charles Dunstone. The Reality in 2019 So far this year - online agengies are only 5.2% of all new listings, with many big online brands going South since last September, together with 10's of millions of institutional investors / private investors money. The ever growing list includes, Tepilo, Hatched, Emoov - though son of Emoov has been born and now probably House simple. Unfortunately there will be more to follow, Doorsteps at £99 an instruction are looking vulnerable- they will need to crowdfund again soon to bail them out, but this time I think that the investors at crowdcube will think 800k invested, zero profit … time to keep my money in my pocket especially with the winds of Brexit upon us. Of course there is still PB - yet to make a penny profit. But the good times - well average times, judging by share price may be at an end, especially as all agents are about to come under scrutiny due to the new Trading standards for estate agents, calling for transparency over fees. No longer will PB be able to say no commission, or commissary when they have to explain the 25% referral fee that every self employed Local Property Expert trousers per pay upfront instruction. I foresee cash flow drying up when prospective vendors are made aware, sale or no sale, the person in front of them is about to get an instant £250 just for listing their home. Now that is misery, cake in the face anybody?

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 02 March 2019 10:44 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I am not about to become paranoid, but following on from an earlier comment I on an EAT piece about about Countrywide's woeful balance sheet, we now have as Graham puts it the National Trading Standards Estate Agency Team, confirming that in its opinion - to be tested by case law - that failure to tell prospective clients about referral arrangements could make all estate agents (including Countrywide) face criminal charges. Pandora's box is at last open, in the name of transparency, those very helpful folk at the NTSEAT feel that if estate agents for instance fail to tell a prospective vendor that the solicitor they are recommending, gives that agent a fee as a referral, then the agent could be open to a criminal court action under the CPRs and probably action by NTSEAT who could close them down. As Graham has also so aptly put, the new NTSEAT (14 page) guidelines are that estate agents must be transparent and plainly communicate to a prospective client: - '(a) The price of its services, including any “compulsory” extras; and (b) Where a referral arrangement exists, that it exists, and with whom; and (c) Where a transaction-specific referral fee is to be paid, its amount; and (d) Where a referral retainer exists, an estimate of the annual value of that retainer to the estate agent or its value per transaction.' This sounds on the face of it a really good idea, let the consumer know all. But, if you are a huge corporate like Countrywide, Connells, etc, and you do refer your solicitor business to a certain solicitor, how will it sound if the agent has to say, 'Mr vendor we feel you may want to use XYZ solicitors, you do not have to, but be aware we get a £120 referral if you do, and annually (and this is the kicker) we as a company receive 2M a year from that solicitor for recommending them.' Do you think the agent will get many takers? It is not just solicitors referrals, that the NTSEAT are talking about, it will cover everything where a referral exists, EPC's, surveys, you name, the agent will need to declare a monetary interest and an annual sum that they receive. In Countrywide's case I am informed that for every £1 of revenue generated by the sale fee, an extra 40p of revenue comes from other income streams, solicitors, mortgages etc. So, I assume that referral fees are at play in this 40p of revenue. What happens if this golden goose, stops laying? On a separate topic, what I find most fascinating in the NTSEAT guidance notes is the sentence … 'Plainly the most important information in deciding whether to accept a service is the price of that service' So trading standards want to protect the consumer, as the starting position for all consumers is knowing the price of the service? My thoughts are, consumers would actually like to know the quality of the service, relative to the cost. And what I mean is this. An agent gets £120 for referring a client to a solicitor, and the company earns 2M a year in referral fees. So, that could look to be a questionable practice. Much better that the client uses some other solicitor, and the agent earns no fee and there is tie up between the agent, the conveyancing of the sale, and the vendor. Is that a better system though? A vendor uses a solicitor who is unknown, they may be great they may be not too good, they may speak to the agent as the sale progresses, they may not. Or, an estate agent recommends a company that it has a massive connection with, yes it receives a referral fee, but due to the huge volume of business, there is also a commercial incentive to get Mr or Mrs Vendor exchanged. Not only this, - there are highly developed software and hardwired processes in place, and management teams both within the estate agency and the solicitors, all with a common aim of getting as many properties exchanged. This interdependence I think is not a bad thing; having had solicitors and conveyancers over the years who never return a call or seem to do anything at a pace (not all) I would rather place my clients sales in the hands of a fully focused large solicitor practice who has the staff and the technology to perform. Luckily, those days are behind me, but my fear is that in the pursuit of transparency, agents might find they are 'pushing' clients away from using their preferred solutions - a brilliant solicitor solution, a brilliant survey solution - and 'pushing' clients out into the unknown. I could be wrong, but if clients no longer take up the recommended suppliers of other related services, because of the money that the estate agent gets as a referral fee, then this lost revenue stream could see many agents struggling. Lastly, referral fees exist in many, many areas of commerce, so will trading standards be searching these out and making the world transparent for all folk, including the beleaguered estate agent?

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 01 March 2019 00:49 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Purplebricks are ahead of the curve, for sure, the curve being get all clients to pay upfront. When the 50% who pay upfront never get to completion and the news leaks out, and new vendors feel this is not a great idea, and cashflow dwindles, then countrywide who made a 5% profit or lsl can swoop in and buy them? That sounds very likely, after all there must be many traditional agencies out there itching to buy a company that has never made a profit, and if anyone quotes to me the fact that the uk part of PB is making a profit, if you add the non uk losses, which are mounting daily it will be interesting to see where the share price of PB is by June. My advice, have a good look at the final balance sheet of Emoov and the monthly spend these onliners seem to need, bearing in mind they have no branches, very little staff, and yet they rack up huge debts, each sale unit actually making a loss. The only disruptor online agents seem to be, is to shareholders bank balances. Maybe Axel Springer will buy more shares, their original investment has dropped by nearly 40%, maybe they have more money to burn. After all with a slowing market, less property coming to the market and a business model which relies upon new vendors paying cash directly day one into PB, it is might be a great idea to be the biggest owner of shares just at the point the share price drops below 100p a share, five times lower than a share was worth 36 months ago. To mis-quote the Prime Minister, when a company has a share price going through the floor, and although the revenue keeps increasing year on year, if each year your losses also get bigger and bigger, then the business model is flawed and does not work - simples.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 27 February 2019 07:15 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Whilst I do not think online agents can be seen as a Ponzi scheme, in that some vendors have seen a return on their investment, eg they got sold and completed having paid into the scheme, for many though that is not the case, and increasingly some people are feeling that paying upfront may be the next PPI scandal in the sense that vendors are paying upfront for no return. So I think Purple Bricks and other pay upfront online agencies are going to come under increasing scrutiny as many vendors appear to be paying upfront and receiving nothing in return, and the figures appear to be very large. If you look very closely at this independent analysis commissioned by Purple Bricks by the data experts twentyci which cover the financial year 2017 to 2018, there seems to be some contradictory claims. In the twentyci report, and I quote ... Purple Bricks were looking for a reliable, respected and independent data source to establish answers to a set of questions about their performance in the financial year 17/18′ And Purple Bricks are … ‘No1 at selling houses: 81% of listings sold within 12 months’ Then there is a helpful graph in the same report which shows an annual picture of Purple Bricks results, it shows 64,000 new instructions, 48,000 properties sold subject to contract and it shows 38,000 properties exchanged. Now the ratio of exchanges to new instructions 64,000 to exchanges 38,000 is 59%, so Purple Bricks are not selling 81% of the instructions. But the worrying thing is, if the company gets 59% of vendors exchanged, it fails to get 41% sold or exchanged but still charges them on average £1,100 as an upfront non refundable fee, which is 41% of 64,000 vendors at £1,100 or 28.86M of fee for nothing. Readers of this are going to say the figures are wrong and skewed etc, but twentyci also did a similar report on Emoov and Tepilo, post the recent failure of these two online companies. And the WHICH organization recently had sight of this twentyci report and said that the conversion rate of the online pay upfront company was 53% of instructions to sold subject to contract, if you then discount the 53% by 30% the usual industry fall off for cancelled sales you get to an exchange rate of around 37%. WHICH states that … ‘Major online estate agent Emoov, which also owns Tepilo, has gone into administration, potentially leaving thousands of home-sellers out of pocket by as much as £2,995. James Cowper Kreston, the firm appointed to act as administrators for Emoov, says the company currently has 5,000 properties listed for sale or sold subject to contract. Of this total, around 80% have paid upfront for the service and are at risk of losing money from the collapse.’ Also, WHICH states, ‘Exclusive data provided to us by TwentyCi shows that over the past 365 days, Emoov had approximately 8,000 new instructions. The firm accounted for approximately 0.5% of the estate agency market in 2018. Around 53% of new instructions received by Emoov typically went on to be ‘sold subject to contract’ and the average price of a property listing was £375,000. Tepilo’s figures are rolled into this data as its activity is merged with Emoov. Now for a very long time I have been saying that online pay upfront agents should be telling potential clients the true conversion rate of their service, and I wrote a recent article using data from Rightmove on – Tuesday November 13 – (prior to the collapse of Emoov and Tepilo). It is roughly gives a market snapshot of the then six major online brands (two under the ownership of Emoov). These were the figures from Rightmove. Doorsteps – 2,054 properties listed, 1,321 for sale, 733 under offer not exchanged, 28% conversion of listed to sold subject to contract.(Minus 30% cancellation rate gives exchange rate.) Yopa – 5,501 properties listed, 3,539 for sale, 1,962 under offer not exchanged, 35% conversion rate. Purplebricks – 37,531 properties listed, 21,142 for sale, 16,389 under offer, 43% conversion rate. Emoov – 2,504 properties listed, 1,696 for sale, 808 under offer, 32% conversion rate. Tepilo (owned by Emoov) – 1,740 properties listed, 1,162 for sale, 587 under offer, 33% conversion rate. HouseSimple – 1,140 properties listed, 763 for sale, 341 under offer, 30% conversion rate. You will notice that Emoov and Tepilo, had a conversion rate around 32%, which if you take the 53% figure being instructions converted to sold subject to contract as in the twentyci report, and then say the normal fall through rate for the property industry of 30% between sold subject to contract and exchanged was slightly higher for these two brands, say a 35% fall through rate you get to the 32% exchange rate, reflected in the Rightmove figures which would mean 68% of vendors mostly paid upfront for nothing. Also the auction/estate agent who 'bought' the Emoov/tepilo listings has said that many vendors actually paid nearly £1,500 upfront, rather than less than a £1,000 as was the low headline figure being offered by the onliners. The added upfront fees were for viewings and other services.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 18 December 2018 10:28 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 December 2018 18:52 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I think Purple Bricks and other pay upfront online agencies are going to come under increasing scrutiny as many vendors appear to be paying upfront and receiving nothing in return, and the figures appear to be very large. If you look very closely at this independent analysis commissioned by Purple Bricks by the data experts twentyci which cover the financial year 2017 to 2018, available online on the Purple Bricks website under investors on the title page, there seems to be some contradictory claims. In the twentyci report, and I quote 'Purple Bricks were looking for a reliable, respected and independent data source to establish answers to a set of questions about their performance in the financial year 17/18′ And Purple Bricks are … ‘No1 at selling houses: 81% of listings sold within 12 months’ Then there is a helpful graph in the same report which shows an annual picture of Purple Bricks results, it shows 64,000 new instructions, 48,000 properties sold subject to contract and it shows 38,000 properties exchanged. Now the ratio of exchanges to new instructions 64,000 to exchanges 38,000 is 59%, so Purple Bricks are not selling 81% of the instructions. But the worrying thing is, if the company gets 59% of vendors exchanged, it fails to get 41% sold or exchanged but still charges them on average £1,100 as an upfront non refundable fee, which is 41% of 64,000 vendors at £1,100 or 28.86M of fee for nothing. Readers of this are going to say the figures are wrong and skewed etc, but twentyci also did a similar report on Emoov and Tepilo, post the recent failure of these two online companies. And the WHICH organization recently had sight of this twentyci report and said that the conversion rate of the online pay upfront company was 53% of instructions to sold subject to contract, if you then discount the 53% by 30% the usual industry fall off for cancelled sales you get to an exchange rate of around 37%. This is available on the WHICH site online. In this piece by WHICH, it is stated that the ‘Major online estate agent Emoov, which also owns Tepilo, has gone into administration, potentially leaving thousands of home-sellers out of pocket by as much as £2,995. James Cowper Kreston, the firm appointed to act as administrators for Emoov, says the company currently has 5,000 properties listed for sale or sold subject to contract. Of this total, around 80% have paid upfront for the service and are at risk of losing money from the collapse.’ Also, WHICH states, ‘Exclusive data provided to us by TwentyCi shows that over the past 365 days, Emoov had approximately 8,000 new instructions. The firm accounted for approximately 0.5% of the estate agency market in 2018. Around 53% of new instructions received by Emoov typically went on to be ‘sold subject to contract’ and the average price of a property listing was £375,000. Tepilo’s figures are rolled into this data as its activity is merged with Emoov. Now for a very long time I have been saying that online pay upfront agents should be telling potential clients the true conversion rate of their service, and I wrote a recent article using data from Rightmove on – Tuesday November 13 – (prior to the collapse of Emoov and Tepilo). As it roughly gives a market snapshot of the then six major online brands (two under the ownership of Emoov). These were the figures from Rightmove. Doorsteps – 2,054 properties listed, 1,321 for sale, 733 under offer not exchanged, 28% conversion of listed to sold subject to contract. Yopa – 5,501 properties listed, 3,539 for sale, 1,962 under offer not exchanged, 35% conversion rate. Purplebricks – 37,531 properties listed, 21,142 for sale, 16,389 under offer, 43% conversion rate. Emoov – 2,504 properties listed, 1,696 for sale, 808 under offer, 32% conversion rate. Tepilo (owned by Emoov) – 1,740 properties listed, 1,162 for sale, 587 under offer, 33% conversion rate. HouseSimple – 1,140 properties listed, 763 for sale, 341 under offer, 30% conversion rate. You will notice that Emoov and Tepilo, had a conversion rate around 32%, which if you take the 53% figure being instructions converted to sold subject to contract as in the twentyci report, and then say the normal fall through rate for the property industry of 30% between sold subject to contract and exchanged was slightly higher for these two brands, say a 35% fall through rate you get to the 32% exchange rate, reflected in the Rightmove figures which would mean 68% of Emoov/Tepilo vendors mostly paid upfront for nothing.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 14 December 2018 18:46 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
For a kick off the share price of of PB has fallen from 320p in Jan 2018 to 154p in recent days, so that speaks volumes about the value of the company. And Neil Woodford's fortunes with his other top companies he has invested in such as a major housebuilder Keir have seen the share price drop by over 25% in the last week. Also Axel Springer paid 125M for 37,722,221 PB shares at a cost of 125M, so £3.07p a share – now 8 months later they are getting £1.50p a share – they are going to be very upset, as that is only 63M. Also, at start of year when share price was £3.22p a share Michael Bruce’s shares were worth 33.218,147 x £3.22p = £106M – now same shares worth £49M so he is not poor on paper but the second he or Neil Woodford tries to sell the price will get hit further. Neil Woodford whose investors holds 88,446,245 shares had in Jan £265M – now worth £132M. If Woodford sells more than 0.75% of a share this triggers an automatic red flag at the Alternative Investment market AIM, so he is unlikely to do this. In terms of inward funding, there was an initial investment of £7M, then through share raising they raised 25M and then another 75M when they decided upon the idea of going into other markets in the world. On top of this they have had positive cash flow (pay upfront model) in 2016, 2017 and 2018 of 18.6M, 46.7M and 93.7M last accounting year (ending in April 2018). Plus the 125M earlier this year from Axel Springer for 12.5% of the company, which after tax and other costs nets down to 100m THE 100m THEY ARE NOW TALKING ABOUT. So scores on the doors, 7M, 25M, 75M, 125M = 132M money invested in, plus 18.6M, 46.7M, 93.7M, positive cash upfront = 159M Grand total of money = 291M – and still they made 26M loss last financial year (off of 93.7M cash flow in) And they had a few months ago about 150M cash in the company, which sounds a lot, but a year ago they had 70M cash in the company, and if Axel Springer had not injected 125M, they might be sitting on 25M. 70M to 25M shows they are burning through capital very quickly, yes they have bought other online brands in other parts of the world – but they are generating zero profit, so on a spread sheet they are liabilities rather than assets. If the pay upfront/online model becomes a NO GO as trading standards think Emoov and Tepilo clients were stung, in the sense that according to WHICH they only converted 35% of instructions to completed sales, but had a fee upfront on most instructions anyway, then PB might have to go no sale no fee which would make their cash flow go from 100% positive to 50% in 18 weeks, ie half stock sells and it takes 18 weeks to get the completion money in - if you are lucky. Now it may not be smoke and mirrors but saying you have 100M to spend so that makes you untouchable is a dangerous gambit, especially if you have never made profit and your model is based upon cash upfront and in 2019 there will be less instructions for all so declining market, and less upfront fees. Remember also that other financial burden of the online model, you have to pay millions and millions on tv and other media because the second you stop your marketing spend your brand is forgotten and you do not have a single office in the high street. I think that costs and lowering revenues, and the reversals that PB are getting world wide may make them more vulnerable, and if that share price continues to drop - it was once in excess of 500p a share to the original 93p level then things are going to get interesting.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 13 December 2018 09:39 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Estate agency is a cottage industry, and will continue to be, good estate agents are divesting themselves from offices, and making good profit, and also there are many established bricks and mortar agents in towns villages and cities that have a great team who make massive profits year on year. The biggest revolution though is the agent working from home - and Rob Bryer's approach is brilliant - it is just what a confident sales person needs, freedom to list and sell with support on a daily basis. But, the estate agent working from home is really no surprise as many industries, surveyors etc have been doing this for a long time. Giving a choice if I started again would I have an office and sit in it on a Saturday or a Sunday, no I would rather be networking whilst having a coffee at the local, in between appointments a much better life balance which is why staff retention is such a problem in the industry at present. And working from home should mean bespoke service should mean the highest level of service and highest level of fees as Simon says. And the term Hybrid? all agents are hybrid, changing daily, all are online, all have to conform to new red tape, all have to adapt to the new property tech and communication channels that the public chose to use. Rant over where is my coffee? And then meeting with Zara (my dog) and some blue sky thinking whilst we trail over the countryside. Yes agency is changing - but it is still a service industry, customer is king and you can not get around those trading overheads, so which ever model you are working, build in at least 28% gross profit or probably you are doing a lot of hours for a small return.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 06 December 2018 09:05 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
If there is enough pressure from the 2,000 plus vendors who have jointly lost over £200,000 of upfront fee, plus any upfront Tepilo lost fee, and Purple Bricks had to move to a no sale no fee model that would be game over. As PB get 100% of fee on every instruction at present and their average fee is now around £1,300. If they moved to no sale no fee they would only get paid on 50%, as they list 10, sell 7, cancel 30% and exchange on around 50%. And they would have the 16 week wait from point of sale to money in on completion that most agents suffer. The only reason PB keeps rolling on is that it has zero liabilities, LPE's who are 'sel employed' and lots of cash rolling in, the fact they never make profit seems to be a non factor, but in time investors will want a dividend on their shares. Given that market analysts including Motley fool who comment on the Purple Bricks 58% share price drop this year since Jan, things are not rosy at all. As Roland Heald from The Motley Fool put it today in his article ' The Purplebricks Group (LSE: PURP) share price has fallen by 58% so far this year. Should we ignore mounting losses? My colleague Graham Chester reviewed Purplebricks’ half-year trading update recently. I agree with his view that we don’t yet have enough information to know whether the firm will hit its growth targets this year. What I do know is that the near-term outlook for the firm seems to be worsening. One year ago, analysts expected the firm to report earnings of 2.3p per share on sales of £169m in 2018/19. Today, forecasts indicate a loss of 10.8p per share on sales of £173m. It’s a similar story in 2019/20. Forecasts for earnings of 10.4p per share have been replaced with an expected loss of 4.6p per share. One reason for these downgrades is that the group’s international expansion has been ramped up. In the short term, this means that profits from the UK business are being swallowed up by operations overseas. Is PURP a genuine disrupter? If the group’s global expansion is successful, this business could become a genuine disrupter, like Amazon. Personally, I don’t think this is likely. Purplebricks’ business model seems more like evolution than revolution to me. Its sales and property listings still depend on a small army of estate agents (630 in the UK). The only difference I can see is that they don’t have offices. Although the firm’s fixed-fee model is different to a traditional commission rate, I believe mainstream agents will be able to adapt their pricing to become more competitive if they need to. Purplebricks may well cause estate agents’ profit margins to fall. But I don’t think it’s a truly disruptive business. For this reason, I view the shares as expensive and risky.'

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 06 December 2018 08:42 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Countrywide’s share price is not the only concern, last year it made losses of over 220M, having made a marginal profit the year before of over 15M. It has raised 120M a few months ago by offering shares at an all time low, but this recapitalisation exercise will only sustain them for 8 months. I started with Countrywide in 1985, and so have fond memories, but the basic principle of the company then was: – high fees, high level of service and dominant market share, which attracted top flight well paid staff. We are now in 2019, well almost and Countrywide should have pruned back all offices that have never made profit, and of course not tried to re-invent itself as a low upfront model. They failed to do this over the last 3 years. The basic cost of selling a property and getting it exchanged is about £2,300, if you factor in marketing costs and sales progression. If you charge less than this your business will make a loss, obviously there are bolt on’s, financial services, solicitors introductions. But you can only charge a higher fee if your offices perform, and the public wants to use your brand, the recent woes of John Lewis illustrate that just because you have always done well historically, in 12 months that can all be wiped out. I wonder two things, has the present CFO ever been an estate agent? Has Himanshu Raja spent anytime in any of the 'back to basic branches' to see how despondent and beaten the sales teams are? I ask this question as not so long ago, most people on the Countrywide board including Aliso Platt had never done agency, and actually looked down on those who had.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 05 December 2018 06:17 AM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
I am a little lost why the Tepilo Emoov Urban merger would have cost 100M? The best I can come up with is that think a newspaper speculated some months ago that a tie up of Tepilo and Emoov would create an agency 'valued at 100K', (but not sure who would put that value on it.) I do know at the time of the tie up of the the two Tepilo and Emoov from the accounts last filed for Tepilo, no profit had been made. Emoov appear not to have made any real profit if you take out crowdfunding and other funding, and Urban well no profit there either. So a tie up of three concerns who do not make profit, but by getting larger they will now start to have critical mass and turn things around? Well Purplebricks certainly have a lot of critical mass, and have a huge amount of throughput of capital, mainly as all clients have to pay and many upfront and those who do not pay in 10 months or less. But still after year four, it has a collective loss of 47M. Maybe 2019 will be their year, but, their losses this year are far larger than last year, and their turnover has grown by the biggest margin so far. So cash into the company hugely increased, with also an injection of 125M for a 12.5% stake of the company, but the largest losses so far? Maybe it is me, but should the figures not be going the other way? I will be told that Purplebricks are acquiring other businesses, and when the model matures, all will be ok, but the present share price, at around 178p, well down from the heady 500p plus a share, tells me that the city is not so convinced. Thoughts? So, a bit like Doorsteps which valued itself at nearly 10M when it started trading, and is now offering it's services for a £1, having never made a profit. Yes it has raised over 1.2M in private fundraising, thanks to crowdcube, but you soon burn through that if the true cost of sale is around 2.5K, and you are charging a fraction of that. For me there seem to be two models, online agents who charge low fees, (but the cost of sale is identical to the traditional agents with offices) who keep on getting capital injections to subsidise the sums they do not charge the client. And traditional agents who charge on average in the UK around 1% or 3.5K, so a nominal 1K of profit per sale which allows businesses to cover their costs and grow.

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 19 November 2018 17:55 PM

Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR    Proptech Real Estate Influencer
Hi John You are right … No online agent has made any money - they generate cash, but not profit, in last 4 years Purplebricks has announced collective loses of 47M. Despite selling 12.%% of itself for 125M this year. Their balance sheet though is awash with money. Unlike the final accounts of Tepilo which were a horror show, and that company has been trading many years so is a mature business. Now merged with E-moov it will be interesting to see what happens next. Then there is Yopa, which has a strong cashflow, but if you deducted the tens of millions that has been poured into it, like Housesimple, you would say that the future is not one dominated by online only agents. I think online agents will populate about 10% of the housing market, that is because about 10% of vendors are looking for a cheap fee, so there will always be a market for this type of agency. Regarding investors looking at figures, I do not think they ever do, for example Doorsteps, valued itself at nearly 10M before it ever traded a penny, and when it looked to sell less than a 5% share of itself on Crowdcube, it raised just under 400K in a few weeks, and then a year later it raised another 800K plus in a second round of crowdfunding. So over 1M of investment capital. But if you look at the annual accounts on companies house how much profit have they made and how much of the money they have been handed is still left? This means that the shareholders will not get a dividend so no return on their capital. Identical to Purplebricks - no dividend over the past 4 years. Hope that helps - Andrew

From: Andrew Stanton CEO Proptech-PR Proptech Real Estate Influencer 15 November 2018 16:11 PM

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