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Influential Investor Blog Backs “Third Portal” To Smash Purplebricks Share Price

Influential investor blog The Motley Fool has backed the so-called ‘third portal’ OnTheMarket to smash Purplebricks’ share price, suggesting the relative newcomer ‘could do very well’. Writing for TMF, experienced private investor Alan Oscroft outlines his theory and why he thinks OnTheMarket could be set to shine, while Purplebricks needs to address some fundamental issues. Purplebricks …. Purple Patch ? Oscroft says that Purplebricks’ share price seemed to be following something of a predictable pattern, where people were…

Exclusive: Ryan Serhant On UK Property, Purplebricks and Portals

Once a shy hand model with zero sales experience, Ryan Serhant has made a name for himself as one of the top real estate agents in the US. As well as raking in hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of sales each year, Serhant is now a TV star, successful author and social media hit. He appears as a co-star on Million Dollar Listing New York and was the star of the 2018 spin-off show, Sell It Like Serhant. His book of the same name came out this year and made several national bestseller lists in its first week. With such an…

Knight Frank Partners Enjoy Bumper Profits As Agency Shakes Off Prime Slowdown

The partners at Knight Frank are set to bring home record profits after the estate agency managed to shake off the downturn in the premium home market. The high-end agency, which has 70 equity partners, made a record £166.7 million of annual pre-tax profits in the year to 31 March 2018, equating to £2.38 million per partner. This is well ahead of the vast majority of the UK’s top 100 law partnerships and only slightly below the £2.5 million per partner made by "magic circle" law firm Slaughter and May, The Times reported.…

Does The Housing Market Really Need Cash Tenancy Deposit Alternatives?

Deposits have been a contentious issue since the late 1990s when the then Labour government woke up to their widespread misuse by rogue agents and landlords. Despite a report in 1998 by Citizens Advice that documented widespread pilfering of deposits, it took until 2007 for regulations to be introduced. It’s a system that has worked well for 11 years. But more recently the high cost of renting means deposits can run into thousands of pounds and put even wealthy renters under financial strain. No government is likely to…

Is Humberts’ Flight From The High Street The Future Of Estate Agency?

In July this year 176-year-old estate agent Humberts revealed it was making a journey ‘away from the high street’ with five new regional hubs replacing many of its non-franchised traditional offices. Although this was a shock for some, Humberts’ hubs in Poundbury, Tunbridge Wells, Cirencester, Exeter and Bath are a result of a seismic changes within the UK economy and the property industry driving agents to think afresh about their business model. These include rising rents, high business rates, competition from online…

Former Tory Councillor Quirk Presents Housing Proposal At Labour Conference

Russell Quirk, the founder of hybrid estate agency Emoov and a former Tory councillor, believes the key to fixing the UK’s broken housing market is to create a publicly-owned housebuilder with the government and taxpayer as its shareholders. Speaking at the Labour Party Conference on Sunday, Quirk said the government is failing to build its annual target of 300,000 homes by quite some margin and housing remains disproportionately expensive to the average homebuyer’s earnings. Social and affordable housing has all but…

Connells Shuts ‘Flawed’ Hybrid Estate Agency Hatched

Hatched, one of the first online estate agents, is closing with immediate effect after its owner Connells concluded the online-only/hybrid business model is “fundamentally flawed”. David Plumtree, Connells’ chief executive, said the company had thoroughly tested the hybrid model and decided it does not produce a “viable economic result”. The agency has now decided to focus on its high street operation. The property services group, which has a network of almost 600 branches nationwide, acquired its subsidiary in 2015 after…

Emmerdale Actor Joins Fashion Billionaire’s Property Company

Adam Thomas, a former Emmerdale actor, has secured himself a management role at Kamani Property Group, part of the Boohoo fashion empire. Thomas, who announced he was quitting Emmerdale last summer, is now working as property executive in the residential property company in Manchester. Thomas will be helping Kamani run his property empire in between acting jobs. He has been hired by entrepreneur Adam Kamani who, as well as owning an extensive portfolio of commercial and residential properties in Manchester, founded the…

Is Proptech Living Up To Its Revolutionary Promise?

Proptech companies have been creating increasing noise within the property industry as their investor-backed operations have promised to change how homes are sold, rented and managed for ever. We look at how this relatively fledgling industry is facing up the challenges and problems it set itself to overcome.

Warren Buffett Enters London Estate Agency Market Via Kay & Co Deal

Legendary investor Warren Buffett is entering London’s estate agency market through a deal with Kay & Co. Buffet’s investment firm, Berkshire Hathaway, has agreed a franchise deal with the London-based luxury estate agency, under which Kay & Co will rename its three branches Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co from November. It marks the second global franchisee of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, following a deal with Berlin’s Rubina Real Estate in May. It will then seek to expand in the prime central…

ZPG’s Alex Chesterman To Step Down From CEO Role

Alex Chesterman OBE, the founder and chief executive of ZPG, has announced he will step back from day to day operations from the end of September. ZPG, owner of digital brands Zoopla, uSwitch, Money, PrimeLocation and Hometrack, was acquired in July for £2.2 billion by Silver Lake Partners, a US private equity firm specialising in technology investments. Chesterman will remain on the board of ZPG and as a significant investor. He will focus on advising the board on product, strategy and merger and acquisition opportunities.…

Rightmove Could Be Booted Out Of The FTSE 100

Property portal Rightmove is in pole position to be relegated from the FTSE 100 in this week’s reshuffle of the blue chip index. Helal Miah, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, said the portal has had a tumultuous year. The share price reached a high in May on the back of merger and acquisition activity in the sector, but this led to increased competition from the likes of Zoopla and Purplebricks. “This is likely to be the reason why the company finds itself in this vulnerable position,” Miah said. A weak…

Will All Agents Soon Be Hybrid?

Just a few years ago many traditional estate agents would have brushed off their online counterparts as a joke. Even the best-known online agents struggled to sell more homes than a busy city centre branch and most consumers viewed them as an interesting but niche part of the property sales and lettings industry. A Purple patch And then came the game changer. Purplebricks launched in 2012 and, after initially struggling to gain traction, streaked ahead of the existing online operators such as Emoov and Tepilo. “While not…

Foxtons Hires Star Ad Company M&C Saatchi For First Major Ad Campaign

In a move to keep their name firmly in the eyes of sellers – and in what seems like a shot across the bows of the cut price online agents – high profile London estate agency Foxtons is embarking on its first major ad. campaign. The company has hired the biggest of the big guns – M&C Accelarator, the high growth division of M&C Saatchi – to fire their message home. The theme of the on- and offline campaign is simple. Going right back to grass roots it centres around what Foxtons claim they do best – getting their…

Brits Dominate Central London Property Purchases As Brexit Fears Bite

There has been a huge shift in the nationalities of property buyers in Central London, figures suggest. The research from buying agency Black Brick reveals that in the first half of 2018 two thirds of its buyers came from the UK. This is a significant increase compared with previous years, when less than half of its buyers were from the UK. Other buyers include those from West Africa (16.6%) and Saudi Arabia (16.6%). There has also been a shift in the nationalities of vendors, with 66.6% coming from Russia and the remainder…

Countrywide Investors Livid Over Latest Fat Cat Handouts

Investors in Countrywide have expressed fury over the company’s proposed new incentive scheme, which could result in its top executives receiving a £20 million handout. According to Sky News, leading City institutions plan to oppose the new scheme which forms part of a £140 million rescue fundraising to keep the company afloat. Peter Long, Countrywide’s executive chairman, could receive stock worth well over £6 million under the Absolute Growth Plan (AGP), which would replace the estate agent’s existing long-term incentive…

PropTech Firm Blasts Estate Agents For Overvaluing Properties To Gain Listings

A PropTech firm has claimed estate agents are deliberately overvaluing properties to gain listings, risking further damage to the sector’s reputation. Spectre, an instruction generation tool launched by Agent Software, suggested agents are reacting to challenging market conditions, lower transaction volumes and increased competition. But it warned the continued overvaluing of properties could have financial implications for consumers and may negatively affect the public’s perception of estate agents. A lack of buyer interest…

3 Ways Busy Estate Agents Can Get Smarter With Marketing

This article was sponsored by our partners at ZPG.  In a digitally obsessed world, it’s easy to see why many estate agents are experimenting with new ways to reach customers and market properties. But while you’re pushing the envelope, make sure you don’t neglect the proven marketing methods which have worked so well in the past. It can sometimes feel overwhelming with so many channels available to reach your customers. But the good news is that by making your existing marketing efforts more efficient, you can free up time…

Kenny Abramovich: Purplebricks Boss Buys Football Stadium

Purplebricks boss Kenny Bruce is cementing his status as the new Abramovich after completing a deal to buy football ground Inver Park. Larne Football Club, which is owned by multi-millionaire Bruce, has bought Inver Park for £117,500. Mid and East Antrim Borough Council listed the ground for sale in February and entered into negotiations with the club, which has been based at the grounds since 1918. Under the deal, the ground is subject to a covenant prohibiting the use of the land for anything other than sports or…

PropTech Start-Up Nested Taking Off With Robinson At The Helm

PropTech start-up Nested is on track to make a £10 million turnover this year, just two years after being launched by property entrepreneur Matt Robinson. The agency-cum-lender, whose turnover totalled £3 million in 2017, gives people the funds to buy a house while also getting them the best price for their current home. “Last year 61% of London properties were withdrawn from the market because agents consistently failed to deliver what they had promised,” Robinson told the Evening Standard. The 30-year-old, who is also the…

Foxtons Swings To Loss As London Housing Market Slows

Foxtons swung to a £2.5 million loss before tax in the first half of the year, with overall revenue falling 9% to £53 million. The estate agent, which made a £3.8 million profit a year ago, blamed declining sales on “ongoing weakness in the London sales market”. Foxtons has cut its interim dividend from 0.43p per share to zero. Foxtons’ sales revenue plunged 23% to £17.2 million in the first half, although the lettings business performed better with revenues slipping by 1% to £31.7 million. The agency said its decline in…

Countrywide On The Brink: Shocking £100m Plea To Investors In Last Ditch Attempt At Survival

Countrywide, the UK’s biggest estate agent, is planning to ask investors for more than £100 million to help it survive the huge changes taking place in the housing market. The company, which owns the chains Hamptons and Bairstow Eves, as well as dozens of other high street estate agents, is planning a placing or rights issue to help tackle its debts and the fierce competition posed by online rivals, the Telegraph said. The funds will be used to bankroll an attempt to revive Countrywide and cut its debt burden of about £200…

Tej Lalvani Becomes Latest Dragon TV Star To Invest In Proptech Start Up

Air Agents, a London Airbnb management company, has signed a large investment deal with BBC Dragon and Vitabiotics chief executive Tej Lalvani. Set up in 2015 by friends Mark Hudson and Fran Milson, Air Agents manages properties on behalf of corporate clients and individual owners. The team has 650 homes on its books, but this is set to rise to 1,500 by the end of the year. The latest round of investment will help the operation expand further, with Tej Lalvani taking a 7.5% share in the company. Tej Lalvani is a British…

Estate Agency Portal Triplerr Seeks £750,000 Funding Ahead Of London Launch

Triplerr, an estate agency portal that is harnessing the power of so-called “voice leads”, is seeking to raise £750,000 from investors ahead of a London launch. The digital portal, which is already operational in Dubai and New York, has set up a campaign on funding platform Seedrs to drive its expansion. The firm offers a free-to-list, consumer-facing property portal at TheMove.com, backed by a remote fleet of “super agents” who can call and qualify enquiries within five minutes. Sam Singh, founder and CEO of Triplerr, said:…

The New Blockbuster: 7,000 Estate Agents On Brink Of Collapse

More than 7,000 UK estate agents are showing signs of financial distress and are on the brink of collapse, raising fears the market could become the latest Blockbuster - the video rental chain that folded in 2013. The research by Moore Stephens, an accountancy firm, reveals another 153 estate agents have gone insolvent in the last year, up from 148 in 2017. It blamed this on the increasing pressure from online rivals. Traditional estate agents often have higher staff and property costs than online-only firms, meaning they…