Browsing Category


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

Foxtons Finance Officer Departs

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 Nomination

Gaping Holes In Purplebricks’ Model, Expert Says

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.

Purplebricks Oz The ‘Aldi Of Real Estate’

Purplebricks’ Australian operation was to estate agency what Aldi is to the retail sector, so claims a report on an Australian news site. 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

Online Agents – Ahead Of Their Time Or Doomed ?

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

Purplebricks Exits Australia, Bruce Exits Purplebricks

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.” Paul

Countrywide Income Falls, Improvement Not Expected Just Yet

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. Countrywide’s statement 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 US: Massive Marketing Spend But Not Enough Customers

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 Deprete. 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 per customer. However, despite this Deprete is not dismissing the impact Purplebricks could have on the US real estate market. He

Humberts Launch Living Concierge Service

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 building work. Humberts comment: “Humberts Living makes even the most challenging of sales, purchases or lets possible. Viewed a

The 5 Companies Most Likely To Buy Countrywide

“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

Where Property’s Heavyweights Go After They Quit The Boardroom

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

Dexters Buys Jackson-Stops Branches, Plans Expansion

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. We now