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!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Estate agency group
Foxtons is ‘having a terrible time of it’ and ‘investors should steer clear’, a
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!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
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!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Foxtons Group Plc have announced that Mark Berry, an executive director and Chief Financial Officer of the Company, will be leaving the business by mutual agreement in July.
The company have appointed
Richard Harris as his replacement, to join the Board in late June. Harris was
previously Group Financial Controller at Laird plc and prior to that spent over
11 years at Marks and Spencer plc. Alan Giles will also be appointed as a
non-executive Director of the Company and member of the Remuneration, Audit and
An estate agency expert
says that Purplebricks’ business model has ‘gaping holes’ and its marketing
budget is ‘way too flamboyant’.
In an article in The Spectator James Max considers whether sellers should use an estate agent. He says he can understand the appeal of the fixed fee model for sellers. However, he proposes a number of reason why this model is flawed, chiefly that it does not incentivise agents who, in addition, don’t have the same understanding of the market, nor buyers and sellers, as traditional agents do.!-->!-->!-->…
operation was to estate agency what Aldi is to the retail sector, so claims a
report on an Australian news site.
News.com.au made the
analogy in its coverage of Purplebricks’ decision to run down and close its
Australian operation, announced this Tuesday.
The reports quotes economist
Stephen Koukoulas of Market Economics, who said that the increase in low cost
or flat fee agents was likely to have the same effect on the real estate agent
industry as Aussie Home Loans (a low interest loans!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
An article in The Telegraph,
published yesterday, reviews whether the online estate agency model is ahead of
its time and will eventually succeed …. or is so fundamentally flawed it will
never actually work.
Examining the case that online
agents are doomed, The Telegraph refers to the collapse of Emoov and
HouseNetwork, Connell’s closure of its Hatched operation and Purplebricks
withdrawal from Australia.
It also refers to problems with customer perceptions of the online model, and the
levels of customer dissatisfaction!-->!-->!-->…
In its latest Trading
Update Purplebricks plc said that it would be exiting the Australian market and
that Michael Bruce, the Group's Founder and CEO, is stepping down from the
business with immediate effect.
On the Australia operation the statement said: “During
the two and a half years that Purplebricks has been operating in Australia,
market conditions have become increasingly challenging. This, combined with
some execution errors, has resulted in the business not delivering the progress
the Board expected.”
In its latest Trading Update, issued just ahead of its AGM, Countrywide plc said that total Group income had fallen to £140.3m in 1Q 2019 compared to £144.6m for the same period in 2018.
The Group said it had
previously forecast H1 adjusted EBITDA would be down by some £3-5m, and
now anticipates it will be around £5m lower year on year.
said: “The series of self help measures that we have put in place to re-align
the cost base to the lower level of market activity continue to be!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Purplebricks is struggling
in the US because its massive marketing spend is not generating enough
customers – so says global real estate tech strategist and thought leader Mike
Delprete calculates that Purplebricks
US spent over $20m on marketing in the six months to December 2018 to generate around
1,200-1,400 new listings. This meant an acquisition cost of a substantial $15,000
However, despite this Deprete is not dismissing the impact Purplebricks could have on the US real estate market. He!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Estate agency Humberts
have augmented their service by launching what they call a lifestyle concierge
service – Humberts Living.
Humberts say that the
service is designed to cater to the needs of clients beyond just the sale of a
property, by providing an integrated range of transactional and management
services including removals, cleaning, decoration, maintenance or even co-ordinating
Humberts comment: “Humberts
Living makes even the most challenging of sales, purchases or lets possible.
“It’s not for sale. No part is for sale. It’s being turned around. Of course it’s not for sale.”Paul Creffield, Group Managing Director - Countrywide
Those are the words of Paul Creffield, group managing director at Countrywide, and now one of the triumvirate of executives leading the embattled agency group which has seen its share price plummet from 694.0p in spring 2014 to an ignominious 7.5p today.
Not that the decline has been Creffield’s responsibility: the blame for Countrywide’s fall in value and reputation has!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Not every boardroom or senior property industry executive wants to or can stay at the top for good.
The pressures of internal politics, ambitious targets and a volatile housing market persuade many to look for job satisfaction away from the hurly burly of corporate life.
But where to? The most recent example is Graham Lock, the former managing director of estate agency giant The Property Franchise Group (TPFG), who revealed last week that he was establishing a trade body.
Called the Federation of Independent Agents!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
London estate agency Dexters has confirmed it has
purchased the London and Surrey
branches of competitor agency Jackson-Stops.
Dexters already has 70 branches across London and 35 in central London. The new acquisition involves 11 Jackson-Stops branches including those operating in Chelsea, Holland Park, Mayfair, Marylebone, St. James’s, Pimlico, Westminster and Victoria.
Jeff Doble, Chairman and
Founder of Dexters, told Dealmakerz: “We are excited to be working closely with
Jackson-Stops in London and Surrey.
Estate and lettings agency
franchise opportunity HomeExperts has ceased trading, it is reported by an
HomeXperts, which has up to 40 franchised branch operations, has apparently been up for sale itself for some time. The report also claims it has been in dispute with some of its own franchisees.
Founder Sussanne Chambers
told Property Industry Eye: “We recently tried to sell the HomeXperts franchise
and despite initial interest from market leading property franchise brands, due
to difficult market!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
In its final results for the year ended 31 December 2018 The Property Franchise Group PLC said that group revenue increased 11% over the year to reach £11.2m while profit before tax held steady at £4.3m. It added that online brand EweMove grew market share and delivered a pre-tax profit of £0.4m.
The Property Franchise
Group PLC is the holding company of six estate and letting agency brands – Martin
& Co, EweMove, Whitegates, Ellis & Co, CJ Hole and Parkers – with 375
Ian Wilson, CEO,!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Purplebricks may have to abandon its Australian and US arms and focus on its UK business, a report from Australia quoting an investment bank says.
In substantially reducing its share price target for Purplebricks from 470p to 80p Berenberg said: “Having flown too close to the sun, with operations in five countries and cash burn of circa £7m ($12.9m) a month, we believe the group will be forced to seek additional equity at a significant discount or a doubtless expensive debt facility; or to abandon the Australian and US!-->!-->!-->…
Some estate agency chains
are overvaluing properties to mislead sellers into paying higher rates of
commission, a report in The Times claims.
The newspaper says that in
an analysis of 200,000 Zoopla listings chains are overvaluing properties by up
to a fifth. It said that the biggest agents and those with the highest
commissions are overvaluing more, and referred to Foxtons, Chancellors and Hamptons International.
The Times offers an
example: ‘Nearly two thirds of homes listed by Foxtons, the biggest agent in!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Keller Williams, which
claims to be the world’s largest estate agency, has appointed Nicky Stevenson as Market Centre Director at
its Mayfair hub.
Stevenson has extensive
property industry experience, including hands-on at a number of lettings agents
including Chesterton Humberts, a directorship at The Property Academy and
business growth and coaching experience.
The company has also said
that it is planning to open four more of its estate agency ‘market centres’ across
Keller Williams is a!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Belvoir Lettings PLC have
grown both revenue and profits according to its preliminary results for the
year ended 31 December 2018.
The company reported a 21%
increase in group revenue to £13.7m compared to the previous year, and a 40%
increase in profit before tax to £5.5m. Gross profit ratio was 71% down to lettings,
18% down to sales and 11% down to financial services and the results represented
the 22nd uninterrupted year of profit growth, the company said.
Belvoir has also grown its
office network from 300 to 365!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
London estate and letting agent Marsh & Parsons – part of LSL Property Services Plc – has opened another new branch, an industry website reports.
The new branch at Streatham
Hill comes hot on the heels of the launch of Marsh & Parsons new branch in
Willesden Green just two weeks ago.
The Willesden Green branch is aiming to make inroads into the local market by offering zero commission on sales and lettings until June and the Streatham branch offers a similar incentive.
Patrick Littlemore, Chief Executive!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
A report in The Times has
accused Purplebricks and Foxtons of ‘gaming’ the Trustpilot review system.
The report names estate
agents as well as banks in an investigation which examines the impartiality of
Trustpilot reviews. It questions the way in which companies are able to solicit
reviews from customers and select which reviews to display on their own
websites and Facebook pages – and quickly move from having a number of negative
reviews to many positive reviews in a short period of time. It points out that
In a world where perception frequently trumps reality, Foxtons remains a potent symbol of aggressive and successful estate agency - even if its bottom line suggests otherwise.
Only this month Alan Partridge, the parody TV character now exemplifying Brexit British bluster, demanded that his fictional show be beefed up to become “10% more Foxtons.”
But the facts behind the bravado suggest Foxtons could be facing an existential crisis, irrespective of its bullish image.
It suffered pre-tax losses of £17.2m in 2018 -!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->!-->…
Savills plc said that both its group revenue and underlying profit were up in its preliminary results for the full year ended 31 December 2018.
The company said that group revenue rose 10% to reach £1.76bn and underlying profit rose 2% to £143.7m.
Mark Ridley, Group Chief
Executive, said: "Savills delivered both revenue and underlying profit
growth in 2018, driven by a robust second half of the year. In addition to
maintaining or growing our share of transactional markets, the performance of