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New Foxtons CFO Gets £150,000 Golden Hello

The new Chief Financial Officer of Foxtons Plc Richard Harris has been given share options currently worth £150,000. Industry publication The Negotiator says that Harris has been given the ‘golden hello’ of stock options of 300,000 ordinary shares and that based on the current share price of 51.6p this would be worth £153,000. However, Harris must wait five years before he can exercise his right to the shares. Harris assumed the role of Chief Financial Officer in May after the previous incumbent Mark Berry left by

LSL Expands Part Exchange Operation

LSL Land & New Homes, part of LSL Property Services Plc, is undertaking a major expansion of its part exchange property business, an industry website reports. Property Industry Eye says that the business is doubling staff numbers in its part exchange business and introducing a new IT system, as well as relocating to new offices, in anticipation of rising demand for part exchange and assisted move schemes. Helen Buck, LSL Executive Director Estate Agency explained: “Whilst our clients already benefit from our

Purplebricks Ditches Commisery, Will It Introduce Commission ?

Online agent Purplebricks has launched a new TV advertising campaign leading some to suspect it is planning significant changes to its pricing model. Since launch Purplebricks has vociferously promoted the fact that it uses fixed fee pricing rather than charging commission. This has been underlined most recently by its ‘Commisery’ themed TV advertising, suggesting house sellers who use commission-based agents are dissatisfied with the experience. However, the company’s newest TV advertising campaign has adopted a new

Countrywide Income & Losses Down – Blames Brexit

In its interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2019 Countrywide Plc said that total income fell to £290.6m compared to £302.9m for the same period in the previous year. The company also reported that statutory losses had fallen to £37.7m for H1 2019 compared to £206.4m in H1 2018. The report said that Countrywide’s turnround strategy was beginning to show results, but that that market conditions were against it. Executive Chairman Peter Long said: “The fundamental changes we have made to our business in the

Online Agent EasyProperty Sold Off

eProp Services Group PLC, the parent company of The Guild and Fine & Country, has sold its easyProperty business to Evolve Partnership – a company which provides outsourced services to the property industry. The deal has the financial support of EasyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, a report says. Evolve Chief Executive David Brierley comments: “We are very excited about the acquisition and see it as a huge opportunity for the industry to engage in something different. “We are also extremely pleased to

Countrywide ‘Beyond Salvation’ Says Former Boss

The former boss of the Countrywide Plc property group says that its current board are ‘inept’ and that the business has declined beyond the point at which it can be turned round. Tweeting in response to a Sunday Times article and referring to the current Chairman Peter Long, former CEO Harry Hill said: “The fact that P Long (Sun Times today) is still in place at Cwd plc simply proves how inept his board (and major investors) are. Sadly the business is beyond salvation.” Hill, who also founded Rightmove, ran

Foxtons Losses Up, Revenue Down, More Reliant On Renting

Foxtons Group plc said that its overall revenue was down and losses rose in its interim financial results for the half year ended 30 June 2019. The company said that Group revenue declined by 3.5% to £51.1m compared to £53m in 2018 and statutory loss before tax rose to £3.2m from £2.5m. Foxtons said that sales revenue was down 10% to £15.4m (£17.2m in 2018) due to weakness in the London market and a reduction in the average selling price. However, it said that continued resilience in the lettings business, even

Purplebricks Needs To Change Its Pricing Model, Analysts Say

Purplebricks needs to change its pricing model if it is to stand a chance at achieving its target market share, a report says. The report issued by UBS to its clients upped share price forecasts for Purplebricks. It suggested that closure of the company’s Australia and US operations would benefit the company’s future performance. It said that uncertainty over Brexit and the UK economy would mean Purplebricks would miss its target of achieving 10% market share within 3-5 years, but that it would still likely achieve 7.5%

Revenue And Profits Up, Dexters Doing It Right

London estate agency Dexters has reported a rise in both revenue and profits for its last financial year – in contrast to the disappointing results posted by some other agents in the capital. Dexters says that its revenue rose to £87m in the year to last September, a 16% rise from the previous year’s £75m, while profits rose to £6.3m up from £4.8m the year before. The firm says that £50m of revenue was generated by lettings, up from £44m the year before. Jeff Doble, founder, commented: “We’re surprisingly busy.

Purplebricks Need To Charge More, Agent Says

Purplebricks and similar online agents are ultimately not viable because they do not charge enough to provide the level of expertise vendors require, the head of a regional estate agents’ association has suggested. Speaking to the Eastern Daily Press – and referring to Purplebricks base £899 fee and their recent withdrawal from the US – Nick Taylor, MD of independently-run Hadley Taylor and Chairman of the NDAEA, the Norwich & District Association of Estate Agents, comments: “Online-only estate agency is

Purplebricks Losses Up, Quitting US

In its latest results online estate agent Purplebricks Group Plc said that both group revenue and losses were up in the year ended 30 April 2019, and that it is closing its business in the USA. The company said that group revenue was up by 55% to £136.5m compared to £87.8m in 2018 and that it had an operating loss of £52.3m compared to £27.8m in 2018. It was upbeat about its UK business which it said returned an operating profit of £5.3m, and also about its Canadian operation which it said ‘continues to meet

Online Agents’ Market Share Drops, Analysis Claims

Online estate agents’ share of the market fell to just 3.8% in June from 5.19% in May – according to analysis from The Advisory, an independent consumer advice group for home sellers. The Advisory say that the top 10 online estate agents accounted for just 3.8% of all new properties listed in the second half of June 2019. It adds that while Purplebricks was by far the largest online estate agent and their market share ‘nudged up’ from 69.6% to 70.2% HouseSimple ‘lost momentum’ and were caught by Yopa to tie for second

What’s Happening In The First Time Buyer Market?

This article was sponsored by our partners at Zoopla and written by Richard Donnell - Research and Insight Director at Zoopla. First time buyers (FTBs) are an important buyer group; accounting for more than one in three sales. These buyers are a key driver of the growth in housing sales and we should therefore pay close attention to the pressures and influences on this group. The absolute level of household income to buy a home impacts a potential pool of buyers and the demand for housing and therefore, house price

HouseSimple To Sell Houses For Free

Online estate agency HouseSimple is to make its basic home selling service free, it is reported. The agency has been trialling its free selling service in limited areas of the country including Yorkshire, but now plans to gradually extend the offer nationwide on a permanent basis the reports say. The company says that it will charge ‘no fees, no commission’ and that there will be ‘no catch’. It is believed that the business intends to rely on generating revenue from the range of optional services which it offers

Purplebricks ‘Worst Company I’ve Ever Worked For’

Current and former employees of Purplebricks are leaving highly critical reviews of the company’s working conditions and environment on a recruitment website, it has been revealed. In a story broken by Estate Agent Today, reviews claim that Purplebricks is a ‘horrendous place to work’, that they make ‘empty promises and pay decreased as and when the management feel like it’ and also allege it is a ‘cult like company, with borderline bullying tactics when training.’ One reviewer comments: ‘Worst company I’ve ever worked

How Smart Tech Is Set To Change Estate Agency

This article was sponsored by our partners at Zoopla and written by Carl Olivier, Zoopla's Head of Software, Product and Productivity. The property sector has undeniably woken up to the power of technology, with a plethora of new mobile apps and digital experiences launching in the last decade to empower buyers and sellers with vast amounts of information at just the tap of a screen. "We announced a multi-million pound software and productivity strategy which will benefit nearly 10,000 Zoopla agents across the

Terrible Times For Foxtons

Estate agency group Foxtons is ‘having a terrible time of it’ and ‘investors should steer clear’, a report says. Money Week’s Investment Editor Sarah Moore claims that Foxtons has a reputation for being ‘flashy and a bit brash’ and while this approach may have worked well in the property boom it is proving less effective now. The report also refers to Foxtons first ever losses last year, falling total revenue, its own gloomy forecasts for the future, and weak share price together with the substantial and controversial

Countrywide Looking To Sell Branches And Rent Back

Estate agency and property services group Countrywide Plc have put five branches up for sale by auction and are looking to rent them back from the purchaser, a report says. The affected branches, operated under various Countrywide brands, are at Airdrie, Bridge of Weir, Castle Bromwich, St Mawes and Whitby. Countrywide is hoping to achieve around £800,000 in total from the sales. Estate Agent Today reports that Countrywide says these branches are being sold since they are not a property investment company and that the