By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
Written by rosalind renshaw

Former Dragon James Caan is investing in online agent eMoov, it was announced this morning.

The aim is to make the online agent a mainstream option for consumers.

Caan and his business partner Faisal Butt’s venture capital firm Hamilton Bradshaw Real Estate (HBRE) is backing the firm, set up by former high street agent Russell Quirk, pictured.

Quirk claims eMoov has so far sold over £250m worth of property since its inception in July 2008 and saved vendors over £6m in fees.

With the exception of viewings, he says eMoov provides all traditional estate agency services, charging a flat fee rather than a percentage of the sale or rental price.

HBRE has assembled a board of directors for eMoov, including Ivan Ramirez, director of global product at Groupon; Jonathan Galore, chief technology officer at Wonga; and Sheraz Dar, former marketing director at the Daily Mail’s Digital Property Group. Earlier this year, Shar became a director of online letting agent Open Rent.

All three have co-invested in eMoov alongside Caan and Butt.

The total amount invested into eMoov has not been disclosed.

HBRE was set up in 2010 by James Caan and protégé Faisal Butt to invest in property related businesses. eMoov is the latest business to be backed by the venture capital firm, whose portfolio includes estate agency Ivy Gate.

Quirk said: “I want eMoov to be seen by the public as a genuine alternative to conventional estate agents whereas at the moment we’re a well-kept secret. This deal is less about raising new capital and more about the networks that HBRE provide. Faisal has been phenomenal in assembling a dream team that will help me to realise my ambition for eMoov.

“In the next few months we will be launching a new version of the website and spearheading a nationwide awareness campaign. Exciting times lie ahead and I am looking forward to it.”

Butt said: “Businesses like eMoov highlight Britain’s property innovation in a sector that is ripe for disruption. Since its launch, the company has sold over 1,400 properties ranging from just £40,000 to over £3m across all regions of the UK, proving that online estate agency works.

“Russell is already a successful entrepreneur but the mentoring and guidance he will get from the team we are building will help him to take eMoov to the next level.

“Going forward, we want to improve the technology eMoov uses to streamline the end-to-end process of selling a home, providing our customers with convenience and transparency, and allowing them to purchase complementary services related to their house move.

“We are looking to bring the same convenience and ease that customers experience while shopping on Amazon into the house selling process.”

Caan said: “I am delighted to seal the deal with the UK’s largest online estate agency in eMoov.co.uk

“I’m confident that with the team we have put together, eMoov can be a serious challenger to conventional estate agency and lead online estate agency into the mainstream.

“If customers can get the same result for less money and with added convenience, why wouldn’t they choose online agencies just as they have done with travel agencies?”

See today’s blog section for an interview with Russell Quirk.

Ex-Dragon  funds eMoov in bid to take online agency mainstream


  • icon

    Are you still visiting THIS page, Mr Wells?

    Happy New Year to you - and to all!

    Needless to say, I'm disappointed that you ducked out of the discussion. Hopefully it is a one-off and the stamina and exuberance you generally radiate will continue throughout 2014.

    Congratulations on your "Sale and purchase agreed" over the festive period, by the way.

    One question - exactly WHAT IS a "Sale AND purchase"? You either agreed a sale OR negotiated a purchase, surely? You can not do both.

    As you are the vendor's Agent, therefore acting on their behalf, I assume that the former applies in this instance.

    But there's me, splitting hairs as usual! ;o)

    • 02 January 2014 09:06 AM
  • icon

    Hmmm... two days and nothing? Should I be worried?

    Nah... he's still Tw@ttering like a good 'un so I know he's still upright and breathing! ;o)

    Mr Wells - on another thread you said " first rule of sales, never presume".

    You'll not be surprised here to find that yet again I disagree.

    I ALWAYS presume.

    I presume that when I give my vendor a figure for their home that I CAN, and WILL, achieve it if they are good enough to instruct me.

    I presume that when I take an instruction that it WILL sell.

    I presume that when I begin negotiating a sale price for my vendor that I can achieve a better figure than they are willing to accept.

    Can't say that my presumptions are ALWAYS correct, though - for example I PRESUMED that you would stay the distance on this one... so every now and then my faith in presumptions is dented and I get a bit disappointed - but that only makes me more determined for my OTHER presumptions to come up trumps.

    After all - THOSE are the important presumptions, are they not?

    A very Merry Christmas to you, Sir - and I hope a very Happy - and prosperous - New Year.

    And the same to all!

    • 21 December 2013 10:42 AM
  • icon

    Mr Wells

    SotCEA suggested you leave yourself wide open with your posts. I am sorry that, despite your thanking him/her for the input, you have taken no heed.

    "With regards to my sell through rate, It's not the best but it's certainly not the worst..."

    True - but only by 0.15 of ONE PERCENT from what I can see!

    (by the way, and before you claim how wrong I am - I've utilised an unusual format for ascertaining the information - it is called "removing double listing accountancy". I'm sure you know what I mean... ;o). Of course, if you think I am wrong in my assumption, feel free to challenge my figures and I will be happy to redo my calculations.)

    "Don't get me wrong though and I am genuinely not pleased with the fact that my sell through rate is not the best but Rome was not built in a day..."

    No, Rome wasn't - but RIGHTMOVE was built eight years before you started listing with them, was it not? Your website states "Local, national and global exposure of your home via Rightmove, Facebook, and Twitter will ensure that every potential buyer gets to see your home in its best light..."

    You are on the same level playing field that ALL of your competitors are on, that being the case. Possibly even BETTER positioned - as I am sure that these dinosaur Agents you are up against wouldn't know what Facebook and Tw@tter ARE, never mind harnessing their "power" in terms of social marketing.

    "...and an agent of your calibre..." I don't claim to be an Agent of ANY "calibre". MY competency isn't being discussed here. I might just as well be your next vendor prospect, Mr Wells. I am asked from time to time what my success rate is - both in terms of % SSTC to register size; also % sale price to asking price.

    Oh - and I check my competitor stats weekly for this very purpose. You need to be up-to-date in this respect if the figures aren't going to bite you. Of course you can't know what Agent X agrees sales at - but more important is what is their actual success rate.

    "...would know that it takes time to build your stock levels and get the gears moving - but we are getting there."

    You simply don't get it - this ISN'T ABOUT "building stock"! This is about SELLING IT!

    Which is the ONLY REASON why a vendor should appoint an Agent - they have the best chance of selling the property. If 'Agent X' charges £10,000 to get the job done, but Agents 'A', 'B' & 'C' all claim they can do the job for a tenner - but can't and don't - then vendors have to swallow the bitter reality pill that the job is going to cost them ten grand.

    Extreme example I know - but sometimes you need to be extreme to hammer home realities.

    "We have now broken the 50 post mark and as I said before I have no intention whatsoever to continue with this thread so once again Sir..."

    Oh, bu99er - so I've just wasted the last half-hour typing all this for nothing!

    Ah, what the H£11... I'll press 'Submit' anyway...

    • 19 December 2013 18:21 PM
  • icon

    Last anon poster: NO-ONE is saying that NSNF is a perfect business model. Far from it. It DOES, however, provide the ultimate carrot to the right Agent.

    There are two types of Agent who operate the NSNF model - those that work on "The Numbers Game" principle; and those that actually aim to sell what they list and not just a percentage of them.

    THAT is where the NSNF model fails - and unfortunately it is only the CLIENT that it affects when it fails.

    That being said - get someone to quantify how much reduction in fee could be achieved with a non-NSNF model.

    To quote the lyrics which most accurately sum up the response - "The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind..."

    But here's an idea. What about agreeing a universal 'Marketing Charge'? One which wouldn't necessarily stop prospective vendors from putting their toe in the water - but also one that wouldn't encourage Agents to list for the Hell of it?

    Let's say £120. That's only 50% more than I charged 20 years ago for the same - surely not excessive. It would cover the board, the prep and printing of the first run of details - but not much more. No-one can sit back on that kind of figure and wait for the buyers to come to them - the emphasis is still on actually doing the job you have been selected to do.

    I'm up for it. It would make not much more than coppers' difference to my vendors, though.

    But if it levels the playing field - let's go!

    • 19 December 2013 17:38 PM
  • icon

    Here's a little thought for you all who dislike the up-front fee model so much, and think that no sale-no fee is the only way to operate.

    You take your car to the garage for repairs, when it's done, and you go to pick it up, the proprietor says to you 'Your car is all done and ready to go, but we've had a car in today that we could not repair, despite all the money we spent on new parts for it. We didn't think it was fair to charge the owner, as we were unsuccessful, so we've added the cost of all those parts to your bill, you don't mind that do you?'

    What would your reaction be? It's exactly what agents do all the time after all!

    Just perhaps those that charge something up front are on to something

    • 19 December 2013 15:34 PM
  • icon


    I can only apologies if I forgot to mention a specific moment in time when the High Street agents in Bedale stopped taking new instructions!

    The point I am making is that Harwell Estates are still taking instructions from clients in December when some of the agents in Bedale last instructed in November and for one High Street agent in Bedale it was October, believe it or not...

    That's not good is it PeeBee - how would you feel if you had not taken anything on since October?

    With regards to my sell through rate, It's not the best but it's certainly not the worst...

    Don't get me wrong though and I am genuinely not pleased with the fact that my sell through rate is not the best but Rome was not built in a day and an agent of your caliber would know that it takes time to build your stock levels and get the gears moving - but we are getting there.

    Like you have always said Mr Bee time and sustained success will be the acid test and time I have plenty of!

    We have now broken the 50 post mark and as I said before I have no intention whatsoever to continue with this thread so once again Sir...

    ...Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

    • 19 December 2013 15:32 PM
  • icon


    I didn't charge 1% but what I charged is irrelevant - the point I am making is that seven months ago (prior to the launch of Harwell Estates in Bedale) the revenue generated from the sale of both homes (we have now instructed) would have gone to one of four agents on the High Street who charge on average 1%.

    What we charge however, is promoted clearly on our website!

    You may be right and it may be a strange measuring tool but a fact is a fact and if all of a sudden you lost £5000 a month or £60,000 per annum off your bottom line you would want to know why - would you not?

    On the subject of whether or not the High Street agents would want the instructions, maybe not at £299 upfront + £300 upon completion for one and £399 upfront for the other but at 1% upon completion I guess they would but we will never know because they lost out...

    Merry Christmas my friend and happy New Year!

    • 19 December 2013 15:13 PM
  • icon

    SotCEA - "Your business may be working for you now whilst you are a man band, it wont work when you need to employ staff."
    Thereby lies the problem, then - Mr Wells ISN'T a one-man band! He already has taken another body to manage their own 'area'. Also, according to his website, this and any subsequent Local Agents "...will get to own and develop an exclusive territory and you will have all the support and back up you need from a committed team."

    Last time I checked, "a team" had to be more than one person.

    I sincerely hope that Mr Wells heeds your recommendations.

    • 19 December 2013 14:27 PM
  • icon

    wardy - welcome to the 'discussion'! I'll let Mr Wells answer you separately on that one - but I have no doubt it could be a lengthy conversation...

    Mr Wells. We have had our ups and downs. We don't agree on much. That ain't gonna change much... if at all.

    But here's my fundamental problem. You state:
    "More to the point and on the subject of success, we are the only agent in Bedale still taking new instructions and for our last two instructions, we were the only agents invited out..."

    Firstly - how can you possibly say that NO OTHER Agent in Bedale is taking new instructions? If you are simply saying that you are the last Agent to have picked up an instruction, that is one thing - as long as it is u to date and truthful. But the second one of the the others lands a listing and you continue to squawk the same tune you are plain and simple shot out of the water.

    Your very words intimate that the other Agents have effectively closed down their register. I don't think so - but they could easily be rung and asked whether this be the case if someone wanted to know straight from the respective horses' mouths...

    Maybe for your last two instructions you WERE 'The Agent of Choice'. But the proof is in the SELLING as to whether the vendors made the right or wrong choice, is it not? The REAL acid-test.

    And as far as SELLING goes - how do you compare with your competition? Toe-to-toe - what's your success rate sales to register compared to the others you claim to be out-performing?

    You intimate that the asking prices on both of the properties are achievable as sale figures. Time will no doubt tell in that respect - every day they remain on the market reducing that possibility - but also the very fact that you have both properties marked up as "Offers in Region of...", I would respectfully suggest this be pretty doubtful.

    I have NO PROBLEM WHATSOEVER with you 'taking' instructions at other Agents' cost, Mr Wells - I live or die by the same sword - but I sincerely hope that you 'take' them for the RIGHT reason... that you CAN AND WILL SELL THEM... and not just "because three upfront fees a month pays the bills".

    I - and the majority of my peers - get NOTHING until the sale completes. I get NOTHING if the property does not sell.

    I LOSE.

    If THAT ISN'T an incentive to sell - then NOTHING is!

    • 19 December 2013 14:06 PM
  • icon

    South of the City EA...

    At last some constructive advice and words of wisdom from someone who appears to be on the same side of the fence!

    I have stated before that I have no intention to take my brand to UK coverage level. Harwell Estates is a regional brand covering a semi rural part of North Yorkshire and that works for me.

    The big (online) guns can slug it out with their multi million pound budgets but my aim is to be the agent of choice in my area without operating from a High Street premises...

    Good luck for the future (if you need it) and have a great Christmas and New Year!

    Thanks by the way for the advice...

    • 19 December 2013 12:41 PM
  • icon

    @Harwell Estates

    You leave yourself wide open on these threads. It is great that you are saving people all this money, but long term you will need another plan. Your business may be working for you now whilst you are a man band, it wont work when you need to employ staff. Growth means cost! Regardless of your 'online' status you still have the same costs as everyone else.
    A word of advice from me for what its worth. Put your fees up don't sell yourself short. You cannot and will not compete with the national online EA's. Just because they charge a pittance does not mean you have to.
    And before you ask what I know, I run a successful none shop front EA. I keep my head down so wont be adding a link to my site or anything daft like that! I let my instructions and sales do the talking!

    • 19 December 2013 12:23 PM
  • icon

    To claim that you 'have taken £5,000 off high street agents' then I assume you charged 1% for both instructions?

    Nope didn't think so.

    Measuring your success on how much you may theoretically cost someone else is a bit strange isn't it? Did you ever stop to think that your high street competitors may not have wanted your £299 vendors?

    • 19 December 2013 11:45 AM
  • icon


    I have no intention whatsoever to continue with this thread and I have no intention whatsoever to join the HBRE stable!

    Like I said early on in this thread, eMoov is no threat to me and Harwell Estates is of no interest to them...

    I am quite happy being a little bit disruptive (but I prefer to call it successful) in and around my little patch of North Yorkshire thank you very much!

    More to the point and on the subject of success, we are the only agent in Bedale still taking new instructions and for our last two instructions, we were the only agents invited out...

    I believe I have previously called that "client choice" have I not?

    Based on the total value of both properties with sales potentially being agreed at the asking price and then charged at 1%, we have just taken just over £5000 off the High Street agents - £5000 is a lot of money when you have a High Street premises to support!

    £60,000 per annum (if repeated month in, month out) taken from four High Street agents - one or two may suffer and I know who the first may be.

    Love you bye...


    Have a great Christmas and a very prosperous New Year!


    • 19 December 2013 10:45 AM
  • icon

    Evasion is an art, Sir...

    ...you need more practice! ;o)

    Wonder if we're gonna take THIS thread over the 200 barrier?

    Maybe YOUR Agency could be one of King Caanute's "30 disruptive Agencies" - so far he seems to be struggling to find his quota.

    Get on the blower before you miss out on a golden opportunity!

    • 19 December 2013 10:15 AM
  • icon


    You claim my simple question requiring a simple answer is irrelevant then you ask what my response would be to both alternatives!

    Is my question irrelevant or relevant?

    You can't have it both ways my friend and as it was you who branded my question irrelevant, I will now reserve my right not to answer...

    You had your chance!

    If I ask my four year old Son a simple question, I get a simple answer - it's not difficult...

    • 19 December 2013 10:05 AM
  • icon

    Mr Wells - I disagree - it is an IRRELEVANT question requiring NO ANSWER.

    What would be your responses to BOTH alternatives?

    • 19 December 2013 08:55 AM
  • icon


    Again, a simple question requiring a simple answer!

    • 19 December 2013 07:07 AM
  • icon

    Mr Wells - you asked "Do you own and run your own agency or are you on the payroll?"

    Please explain the relevance of your question.

    • 19 December 2013 01:18 AM
  • icon


    In answer to your question with regards to what profit margin I am achieving...

    After only seven months in business I am currently working at break even point and that was the plan and goal to be achieved no later than month twelve.

    • 18 December 2013 20:56 PM
  • icon


    It was a simple question which requires no more than a simple answer!

    Not an answer from someone who is clearly looking for a scrap again...

    Do you own and run your own agency or are you on the payroll?

    • 18 December 2013 20:27 PM
  • icon

    "Would anyone who runs a High Street office be bold or brave enough to discuss/reveal what their current profit margin is per fee upon completion?

    At 20% against a fee of £2000 you are not left with much!"

    OH, COME ON!

    I really expect much, much better from you, Mr Wells.

    In the grand scale of affairs, the £400 you refer to (there - I've even done the math for you...) is a pretty insignificant amount of money.

    However, multiply it by, say, ONE HUNDRED - what have you got?

    I would argue that many would call that a PRETTY SIGNIFICANT wedge of cash.

    You are using a percentage of a percentage in a ridiculous attempt to make an even more ridiculous point.

    In doing so, you have simply highlighted, ONE HUNDRED PERCENT, that you have no idea - clue not one - I am afraid, as to how ANY business runs - never mind Estate Agency.

    Boy - wonder what my 'conscience' is going to make of THIS post...?

    Back, though, to the 'point' you have tried to make. First thing to remember, Sir - is that it is four hundred pounds PROFIT you are drawing attention to here.

    I repeat - P.R.O.F.I.T. Bills paid; wolves away from the door. Simple, clean profit.

    Are YOU going to make £400 PROFIT on EVERY HOME you sell this year as per your example of what you seem to regard as poor performance?

    What about NEXT year?

    Or... what about EVER??

    For someone one whose Agency quotes as little as £499 TOTAL FEE - from which ALL overheads and operating costs need to be extracted - and you will even do a deal on THAT FEE in order to get an instruction before December breathes its' last (I have no doubt whatsoever you'll then have a JANUARY offer, followed by a FEBRUARY deal...) thus effectively charging your vendor client less as a whole package than the PROFIT MARGIN you are having your ridiculous pop at, it is my opinion that you are in absolutely NO POSITION WHATSOEVER to make such an unqualified comment.

    And, I'm sorry to say this, Sir - but if you can't even negotiate yourself an instruction at a KNOCK-DOWN fee without resorting to "Seasonal Offers" - then I hold no hope whatsoever for your clients price expectations in your negotiation process with their potential buyers...

    Oh - and I might as well finish on this - seeing as YOU started the ball rolling...

    What percentage PROFIT margin are YOU currently running at?

    • 18 December 2013 18:12 PM
  • icon

    Wise words from Hound as usual...

    Would anyone who runs a High Street office be bold or brave enough to discuss/reveal what their current profit margin is per fee upon completion?

    I have heard some agents quote as low as 20% and some as high as 40%...

    At 20% against a fee of £2000 you are not left with much!

    • 18 December 2013 16:52 PM
  • icon

    The CEO of Dixons was on the radio yesterday making the point that most of their customers browse online, and then visit their out of town stores to make their purchase.

    As less and less people visit the high street, (according to Rightmove stats, even a large proportion of vendors never see the inside of an estate agents office) the high street office is becoming less relevant, and I'm of the opinion that eventually more will decamp to off high street locations. I do believe that the 'local' factor will still be important although there will always be some that will opt for the pure online agent.

    A combination of the best of both seems to me to be the way forward, I'm finding some increase in public awareness that sellers pay for all the abortive work we all do, and the unfairness of that situation, and if emove use Mr Caan's money to educate the mass public further to that fact, then God help us all.

    There are numerous instances of posters here complaining about poor standards in the industry, in my opinion, a sea-change in the way we all do business would resolve a whole load of issues, If we were actually paid for what we do, rather than charge successful clients for our failures, an improvement in standards and reputation of the industry would surely follow.

    If an increasing use of online agents charging upfront fees speeds that process, then bring it on.

    (Just a note for those that think online agents are the spawn of all evil, don't worry, soon as the Archbishop realises that someone connected with Wonga is involved, you'll have God on your side!)

    • 18 December 2013 11:25 AM
  • icon

    Ironically James Caan is missing the whole point of being Dragon! Very often the successful projects from Dragon's Den are more focused on the contacts and business knowledge of the Dagon rather than their cash.

    It seems James Caan is trying to get involved with the property selling industry without anyone with Industry experience or contacts.

    Had anyone at DPG had a clue about property selling Alex Chesterman should never have got his hands on A & N Media’s crown jewels; if ever there was a strong Agency centric focus for a group it was the Primelocation/ Northcliffe regional newspaper combo that was all controlled by A&N. As it was not a single person there seemed to have ANY understanding of property sales.

    DPG might be the right thing to have on a CV but it is no more a qualification to help this project that getting a seat with Mclaren F1 because one has sat in the kiddy F1 car outside Woolworths.

    All of the technology firms that have succeeded in the last 20 years have had someone on board who knew agency and knew it well and those without have failed.When the technology firms have lost their Agency experts the projects stalled.

    Mr Caan ought to sit himself in his lDragon’sseat for a minute and analyse his project if some no-one was presenting it to him. I know damn well what he would say. Great pitch but lacking the depth experience to be a success. If all the dragons pooled their cash, experience and contacts they would have a lot of the things vital for a business to succeed except for a viable product and some one to design it.

    Merry Christmas everyone! this is my last post for a few days, I have to do airframe checks on a sleigh, stuff reindeer full of carbs and check I have everything.

    P.S Sorry Peebee at least 3 items on your list were inappropriate for a man of you age, will socks and hankies do again?

    • 18 December 2013 08:42 AM
  • icon

    "Ivygate don't exactly appear to be a failure!"

    Jeez - you use ONE Agent trading in the South of England as 'proof' of this guy's lack of failure?

    In fact, ALL of Mr Caan's 'property ventures' have so far been London-centric, I believe.

    Let him open a similar Agencies in LEEDS, BIRMINGHAM, NEWCASTLE etc - give them a year or two and we would have something tangible to judge his track record on THEN.

    No - instead he chucks his money at an online offering. And one within a stones' throw of LONDON to boot - same M.O. - even with a 'virtual' Agent!

    MY understanding from the previous mouthings off from Messrs Caan and Butt that they intend to build a stable of 30 such 'disruptive' Agencies - see, Mr Quirk can't even claim the quote above to be his own - so far they appear to be well behind schedule.

    Interesting board of Directors for the 'new' venture. All vastly experienced in all things property (NOT) - which will no doubt fill the Agent's vendors with confidence of a successful relationship and NO THOUGHTS WHATSOEVER that they merely will be paying for all these 'names' with their meagre listing fees.

    I'm just surprised that we haven't been bombarded with posts from Caan's merry band of hangers on in the way that the 'Look4aProperty" shenanegans thread... no doubt I will have opened the floodgates just by mentioning it! ;o)

    • 17 December 2013 17:51 PM
  • icon

    One office wow thats success!

    • 17 December 2013 16:21 PM
  • icon

    After doing a valuation, if anyone says to me that they would prefer to use an online agency for £395.00 up front fee and carry out viewings themselves.

    I match it, bank the money, and do as much work as the online agency would do. Do the details and pictures ( or get the vendor to do them if that is the online offering that I am matching ). Put it on Rightmove / Zoopla. Sit back count the pennies.

    Strange how when you look at it this way the vast majority of people would like you to have an incentive to sell their house for them.

    When will these so called clever celebrities learn to stop wasting their money and fame on this. ( yes Beany, that includes you ).

    • 17 December 2013 15:39 PM
  • icon

    Hope that this idea works better than Russells idea from early 2008 where properties slumped ....Wonder how much was paid back to buyers?

    "A BRAVE Thurrock estate agent has promised to pay the difference should any house newly bought from him fall in price over five years.
    The incredible guarantee - the first of its kind - made by Russell Quirke, of family-run estate agent Quirke Deakin Thurrock, flies in the face of the current dismal house price forecast.
    But Russell has decided to prove, in Thurrock at least, there is no cause for alarm.
    And it seems he is prepared to put his money where his mouth is.
    He said: "We are confident that prices will not dip significantly and even if they drop a little, it will be very temporary and clients of Quirk Deakin Thurrock do not need to worry as long as they buy their property through us."
    Being based in Thurrock is the driving force behind Russell's confidence.
    He said: "Thurrock Council is spending several million pounds on Town Centre regeneration in Grays and the Thames Gateway expansion is encouraging huge redevelopments and jobs throughout the area."
    He added brightly: "Houses prices here will go up!
    "You could argue it is a gamble but my family and I have been in this business since 1957, and in my experience, it has never ever happened that prices have gone down and stayed down.

    e moov idea is much better and this time I think he has got it right.

    • 17 December 2013 14:14 PM
  • icon

    @ Next failure?

    Ivygate don't exactly appear to be a failure!

    • 17 December 2013 14:02 PM
  • icon

    Mr Khan seems to have an amazing ability..................................to fail when ever he gets invloved in the property world.!

    • 17 December 2013 13:12 PM
  • icon

    If nothing else, I am very glad to see that james Caan has found the time inbetween trying to kidnap orphans and smuggle them home in his LV luggage to set his mind to an implausible and doomed business venture. Well done Mr Caan.

    • 17 December 2013 10:28 AM
  • icon

    @South of the City EA

    Good points, they will not be able to go above the £395 mark as they will offer no more than the other online agents, basically its about getting your property on RM.

    This point is proven as HouseNetwork, the original online agent always had a £495 figure, now its down to £395, they were obviousely losing out.

    There is now way people will pay £1000 which you mentioned as 100 other sites will do it for £395 or less, the only other option is a % on completion, which the high street agent is already doing, and you can talk to them face to face.

    • 17 December 2013 08:57 AM
  • icon

    I look forward to seeing how this 'investment' is going to propel Emoov into the mainstream. Do they not already spend a small fortune on google ad words? And have a huge national online prescence? As has been previously stated people want a local agent when selling their home. These national online agents will appeal to some people, but the masses still want a local firm. This does not mean necessarily a high street firm, there are more and more decent local online agents. They are not all one person operations working out of a back bedroom!
    I find it difficult to see how Mr Quirk is an entrepreneur. His firm has through advertising and having low fees got itself to the top of the online agents tree. He has hardly created something different. House Network, Hatched and the like were the original online agents. The idea and concept comes from them. Given the marketing costs Emoov's fees will need to increase dramatically. To make a significant profit they will need at least £1,000 up front per property. This is a lot more than the £399 plus vat they get now. Good luck to all involved. Can't see the local estate agent going anywhere fast ;-)

    • 16 December 2013 20:44 PM
  • icon

    It's not just the top team they should focus on it should be the people answering the phones and at the sharp end. They have a property that was on the market with my agency a year ago and we had offers of 200k which the seller at the time declined they now have it and it's been sold at 160 k! So they might be cheap but bet that client kicking herself she is selling for forty grand less. I know this because they are involved in a chain and the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. That is not just our experience but that of their clients too! Perhaps before expanding they should recruit some decent agents at the sharp end and sharpen up training for existing members. Not against the online model think we will see more of the same moving forward - will they revolutionise the way property is bought and sold like rightmove revolutionised the portal market. We shall wait and see

    • 16 December 2013 20:00 PM
  • icon

    Sallys' post would get a green thumb from me to.

    • 16 December 2013 17:46 PM
  • icon

    I agree with Chris wood, we need a like button.

    @/Sally .... BIG MISTAKE.......!


    • 16 December 2013 16:53 PM
  • icon

    I agree with Chris wood, we need a like button.

    @/Sally .... BIG MISTAKE.......!


    • 16 December 2013 16:37 PM
  • icon

    We need a 'like' button for some of these comments

    • 16 December 2013 14:15 PM
  • icon

    '......3 in 4 people move locally.......'

    All you independent globally thinking fella's should be giving much more thought to this fact when planning.
    Local people still prefer dealing with local people who can do the job at a reasonable price..

    • 16 December 2013 14:05 PM
  • icon

    Rightmove IS the DEVIL !!

    • 16 December 2013 12:43 PM
  • icon

    'The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was to convince the world he didn't exist'. 2014 will be an interesting year for the 'online agency' world. The biggest hurdle must surely be education, so with the likes of Emoov and now Stelios and the Easyjet crowd hitting the market, the more pounds spent educating the marketplace can only mean a good thing for everyone involved, consumers and the industry alike. Time will tell if they can convince the world that you don't need to pay a fortune to sell your home.

    • 16 December 2013 12:23 PM
  • icon

    Times are a changing. This model shows that online models can have impact and achieve sales. I do question the comment about saving clients £6m in fees, when other forms of traditional estate agency marketing providing a more intense local service may have made clients hight stc prices.

    3 in 4 people move locally and unless an online model B2B outlets a consumers rproperty with other local agents, my view is that the model may have cost clients money who didnt see beyond budget fees.

    Also the article says with the exception of viewings too, which is a great time for agents to sell the sizzle.

    Equally, there are traditional models that I feel emoov may out perform in that some traditional models are not fully embracing their web outlet opportunities.

    • 16 December 2013 12:23 PM
  • icon


    That won't happen, every agent in the UK would take their stock off immediately leaving RM with hardly anything, RM would lose BIG TIME ! ZOOPLA would gain.

    • 16 December 2013 11:55 AM
  • icon

    The thing eMoov and every other on or offline agent has to remember is that at a flick of a switch (and don't for a second think they haven't designed this already) Rightmove could directly serve the end customer - and if there is one question every customer asks its "are you on rightmove?"

    borrowed time.....10 years at most, before I think the switch to the majority being online sales, that's if rightmove wait that long!

    • 16 December 2013 11:42 AM
  • icon

    Will we see James' face all over emoov now. Similar to Beeny on RM?

    • 16 December 2013 11:26 AM
  • icon

    Oh well, then I'm out.

    • 16 December 2013 11:11 AM
  • icon

    Its a free market and anyone is welcome to do whatever they may see fit as an improvement for the consumer. What Mr Caan, another 'online' agent or someone who decies to open up thinking they can do it on the cheap will never have is the long standing trust, friendship and reputation that a professional, experienced, local estate agent can provide to which there are many up and down the country. In my 25 years I've seen all types of cheap fixed fee agents, come and go and in the past few years a number of the usual suspects from online, make absolutley no impact what so ever. They just attract the client that thinks they can a save a penney, do it on the cheap or would have put their own hand made sign up in years gone by. The agents in our area that charge a sensible fee, offer a good sound service continue as they ever have to attract the favour and custom of the public. Buying a house is not like going to Tesco for your shopping online and it never will be. The whole process is riddled with potholes, hurdles, stress and planning all of which cannot be dealt with in a call centre and too my mind never will.

    • 16 December 2013 11:02 AM
  • icon

    ....BIG MISTAKE.....!!!

    Faisal Butt is a bulldog that runs at 1 million miles an hour at everything without thinking. I know for certain that Faisal Butt is often the butt of jokes, forgive the pun.

    He has approached Ivan from Groupon and Jonathan from Wonga at a drinks party I was at and offered them free equity for attending a board meeting for 2 hours every month...hardly taxing is it!

    James is trying to jump on the technology bandwagon and many are sucked into his thinking but he never commits any actual real capital to the ventures.

    All the BBC Dragons Den stuff he backed has either gone wrong or they have terminated their agreements with James because of the way he acts with the investments.

    The way James works is simple (and I know as I used to work for him) he is like a vulture.....he approaches companies (typically in recruitment) and offers to refinance their balance sheet whilst taking equity. Rose tinted glasses go on for the founders at this stage with promises to make them multi-millionaires in 2 years.

    This never materialises and he then buys the remainder equity out for a song, then once under his complete ownership and control he arranges bank debt again on the balance sheet to re-extract the small sum (the song) he used to gain control leaving him with yet another business to add to the 65+ he already owns and one that has cost him absolutely nothing.

    The business is obviously highly geared, he then looks to lower salaries and costs in order to use this "fat" to repay the large gearing (or ask the lender to take 50p in the £1 to halve the debt) and then in 5 years having repaid all or some of the bank debt, sells or JV's the company out for a large profit.

    Whilst I applaude this commercial acumen - it simply will not work with eMoove.

    For someone to "disrupt" the market as Mr Butt claims, then they will need to spend some £20m PER MONTH on advertising (so £240m PER YEAR) to drive mass UK wide awareness of the new cheaper way to sell your property.

    This kind of budget is so large that over 4 years having spent nearly £1bn on advertising, then the market would be sufficient to make a good business.

    However, it would take many many years to recover such a huge investment in marketing and thus this is the reason why no one has ever gone near it bar these few nonsense firms that claim everything and achieve nothing - a bit like estate agents generally!

    • 16 December 2013 10:53 AM
  • icon

    Congratulations. A powerful team and a business with potential to start a massive industry shift. Wish you all the very best.

    • 16 December 2013 10:21 AM
  • icon

    eMoov will be targeting every client base and every agent - is that not how a UK wide operation works...

    I do not view eMoov as a threat in the same way they would not view Harwell Estates as competition - our business models are a million miles apart!

    The other UK wide online agents need to keep a close eye on eMoov though as JC has a lot of money to throw around and I'm guessing he does not like wasting it...

    Before it all kicks off though and I'm labeled an online agent or online only supporter - Harwell Estates are not an online agent!

    We simply choose not to work from a High Street office...

    I will let you know when the first eMoov board goes up in Bedale or Leyburn - where?

    • 16 December 2013 10:19 AM
  • icon

    Harwell, The only person this is likely to rattle is that guy from Hatched who, if I remember rightly is begging for someone to invest in him.

    • 16 December 2013 10:07 AM
  • icon

    Dave, the 'Ivy Bridge thing' is doing quite well.

    Ivy Gate won gold in the Best Newcomer category at the Estate Agency of te year awards 10 days ago.

    Harwell, Be careful not to "watch" for too long. EMoov are coming for your client base.

    • 16 December 2013 09:45 AM
  • icon

    Having Caan involved is probably the nail in the coffin for this outfit.

    As soon as he became involved in Look4aProperty, they became even less visible than they were before (which was a minor miracle).

    And Mr Dar from DPG is involved too! Looking forward to seeing a rapping granny advert sometime soon...

    • 16 December 2013 09:39 AM
  • icon

    Nothing like a good old story about online agents to rattle a few cages first thing on a Monday morning!

    Who will be the first to step up and go face to face with James Caan?

    We will watch with interest...

    • 16 December 2013 09:11 AM
  • icon

    What happened to that ivy bridge thing he did with the lad from your move?

    • 16 December 2013 07:58 AM
  • icon

    Did he give up with look4aproperty.com?

    • 16 December 2013 07:18 AM
Zero Deposit Zero Deposit Zero Deposit