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Agents

New Online Estate Agent Launches Charging Just £99 to List A Property

A new online agency has launched offering a rock-bottom fee of just £99 including VAT to sell or let a property. London based 99Home are offering sellers a listing on Zoopla, Gumtree Pro and their own website for the knockdown price, however sellers are expected to take their own property photo's and, controversially, value their own home. The new business shares an address with established North London agents, Property Hub, which is run by Vijay Vashisht and is reported to be the online arm of the agency. Their…

First Ever e-Signature Used for Exchange of Contracts of Residential Property

In the click of a mouse the property industry may be experiencing the beginning of yet another online disruptive business. On Thursday 6 April at 15.59pm an e-signature was used for the first time to sign the contract for both the sale and purchase element of a residential transaction. Lawyers for both the buyer and seller uploaded the agreed contract to electronic signing system Bonafidee, which was then sent to the vendor and purchaser for them to sign electronically. The transaction was overseen was Convey Law,…

Online Agent easyProperty Made A Staggering £11 Million Loss In 2016

easyJet, easyCar and easyGym all made significant inroads into their respective industries, but it appears as if sister company easyProperty is not having such a smooth ride. According to its filings, the online agent had a full year loss totalling £11.4 million in 2016, having lost £6.8 million the year before. DMZ investigates whether the emerging agent can turn things around and plug the crushing £18 million losses. The company was launched in 2014 by larger-than-life easyGroup Chairman, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou,…

Countrywide MD Jumps Ship To Purplebricks As Profits Nosedive

Lee Wainwright, a senior Managing Director for Countrywide has jumped ship and moved to controversial hybrid agent Purplebricks as their new Operations Director. Wainwright was a Countrywide veteran, spending his entire 27-year career at the troubled agency. A spokesperson for Purplebricks said, "We are pleased to confirm that Lee Wainwright has joined our business as operations director. He’s a strong addition to our management team and has the drive, commitment and enthusiasm to help us grow our brand and offer our…

Brucey Bonus! £17 Million Payday For Purplebricks Founders

Purplebricks brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce have sold large chunks of their shares in the company, netting them an eye-watering £17 million in cash. They joined a number of senior directors in cashing in hefty chunks of their ownership, including the hybrid agency's Finance Director, Marketing Director and Chief Technology Officer. Head honcho Michael Bruce cashed in the most selling 3.6 million shares, well, specifically his wife cashed in as the shares were held in Isabel Bruce's name. As one of the founder's of…

Foxtons Profits Hit An All Time Low

London property markets have hit Foxtons hard as their pre tax profits have halved to £18.8 million in 2016. Foxtons have been hit by an “unprecedented sequence of events” and said 2017 was likely to be worse still. In a year which has seen Brexit and also rising stamp duty on top end properties led to revenues from sales falling 31% to £55.5 million. Foxtons Chief Exec Nic Budden said the capital’s market “was severely impacted by an unprecedented sequence of events”, adding: “We expect trading conditions to remain…

Estate Agent Body Claims “11 buyers now chasing each property for sale” in the UK

An industry body has claimed there has been a severe widening of the divide between prospective home buyers registered at estate agents and the number of properties for sale in the UK. The research claims that there are now a whopping 11 buyers for every property for sale. Research by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) suggests Estate Agent branches in the UK now have an average of 425 prospective buyers registered, a 10% uptick on the previous months figure. Meanwhile, supply is progressively becoming…

Are The Boom Times Back? Average London Property Professionals Salary Jumps 7% to £61k

Property professionals, including surveyors, planners and architects, have experienced a chunky pay rise over the past year with an increase of 7.2% on average. That figure exactly matches the rise in house price in 2016, as measured by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). However, the survey of 8,000 people by RICS found that Estate Agents had a more difficult year – their pay actually fell by a whopping 21%. Managing Director for the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), Mark Hayward, wasn’t surprised by…

London Estate Agents Demanding £1,000 ‘Reservation Fee’ To Take Properties Off The Market

It's been reported that homebuyers are being pressured into handing over £1,000 to estate agents in so-called reservation fees. A new change in The Property Ombudsman code of conduct in England and Wales now allows estate agents to ask for a controversial  'pre-contract deposit'. The payment is supposed to act as a guarantee to the seller, confirming the buyers intent to move the process forward. They're not always non-refundable, some agencies are allegedly offering reimbursement of the fee following a collapsed deal,…

I Quit! Two Senior Director’s Resign From Countrywide As Firm Feels The Strain

Two Senior Director's at the UK's largest estate agent, Countrywide, have quit within the past few weeks. Chief Marketing Officer Helen Normoyle resigned from her position at the troubled agency this week after less than a year in the role. The news came hot off the heels of the news that Vince Corley, a Director and one of the longest-standing senior figures at the company, announced he would be jumping ship after 13 years at the firm. Normoyle joined Countrywide last year with a strong CV; previous roles included…

Startup Online Agent Disappears After Failed Prime Time TV Adverts

Wannabe online estate agent Homeseller entered the market in 2015 with one of the most expensive advertising campaigns the sector has ever seen for a start-up. In addition to expensive London Underground adverts, they hired an Oscar nominated director to create a series of TV adverts that were screened on prime time slots in between the X-Factor on Saturday evenings. The adverts starred Peak Practice and Doctor Who actress Sarah Parish, who played a Sherlock Holmes-like character who solved mysteries surrounding…

Purple Patch: Hybrid Agent Purplebricks Approaches £500Million Market Cap In Record Breaking Week

The share price of online estate agency Purplebricks reached a dizzying all-time high this week after it broke the £2 per share barrier, more than double their original launch price. At the time of writing present market capitalization of the firm is just under £500 million, dwarfing the UK’s largest estate agency, Countrywide, who’s market cap is sitting around the £375 million mark. It was confirmed that the firm’s Chief Technology Officer, David Kavanagh, sold just over 100,000 shares just before Christmas which…

Property CEO: “Online Agents Are Callous Exploiters of Naïve Sellers”

Charlie Wright, founder and CEO of CRM property software firm Easymatch, has stunned the market with his damning comments on online agents. The ex-city trader held nothing back in a series of comments and also wrote an open letter to independent agents encouraging them to come together to defend their interests from corporate and online threats. The controversial CEO’s new group is The Charter of Independent Estate and Letting Agents (CIELA) and has been created to “fight against corporate domination and unfair…

Shutdown! City Brokers Call ‘Death’ Of High Street Agent Offices

Hotshot city brokers Peel Hunt have released a report slamming traditional estate agents, warning investors that 2017 will be “another year of structural change” for the UK's property industry. The report singles out agency stalwarts Foxtons, Countrywide and LSL, gloomily predicting "an increasing number of high street estate agents will close in 2017". It goes on to claim that traditional agents business model is unsustainable if there are any further cuts in commission rates, citing the negative impact of the …

Meet The Estate Agents Selling £4.8M Apartments via Snapchat

A group of estate agents in New York have started a side business called 'SnapListings', which is successfully marketing multi-million dollar properties by exclusively using Snapchat stories. Following Snapchat's announcement that London will be the home of its international operations, DMZ looks into how SnapListings actually works and investigates the growing trend of using social media to reach potential property buyers. New Yorker Dolly Meckler was so impressed when visiting a friends upmarket apartment she decided…

Knight Frank Fuels Redundancy Rumours As Senior Agents Fired

Top tier London agency Knight Frank has denied closing their super prime London property department, as two senior partners left in a rumoured redundancy cull. The casualties were Tim Wright and Richard Cutt, both veterans at the firm and department heads within the super prime division. Officially quoted as “retiring from the partnership”, DMZ investigates whether these were one-off redundancies or if the news speaks to a broader trend in the London market. The agency were keen to play down the impact of the news.…

Bloodbath! Countrywide Slashes Jobs & Pivots To Online Model

The UK's largest estate agency group Countrywide announced a wide-scale lay-off of middle management this week, simultaneously stating they would be rolling out their online only offer to the rest of their well established brands. DMZ looks at the tough situation Countrywide are facing at the moment and the implications for their agents and brokers. As a group, Countrywide employs over 11,000 people in the UK across a whopping 50 different agencies, including established firms such as Bairstow Eves, Hamptons…

Zoopla Creates A Home Away From Home For Employees

Portal giant Zoopla has revealed it's stunning new headquarters in London Bridge. Appropriately, just like the houses and flats that pour through it's portal, the new digs resemble a home rather than a traditional office. Zoopla's founder and CEO Alex Chesterman said, “This move marks another exciting chapter in our journey and it is great to have all our London-based staff under one roof. Our team are dedicated to helping consumers find, move and manage their homes...so it is great to have the opportunity to…

Purplebricks CEO Slams High Street Agencies And Promises Profit Within Months

Michael Bruce, CEO and Founder of online estate agent Purplebricks, didn’t hold back when asked what he thinks of the role of traditional high street agencies. He also reiterated that his firm would be profitable by its third anniversary, just five months away. DMZ takes a closer look at his controversial comments, including what impact Purplebricks and other online agencies are having on the broader market. Bruce founded Purplebricks alongside his brother Kenny after selling their Midlands based estate agent Burchell…

Portal Kombat: Is OnTheMarket Being Crushed By Zoopla And RightMove?

DMZ investigates whether OnTheMarket (OTM) is being crushed to the point of extinction by the two portal bigwigs – RightMove and Zoopla. Property portal OnTheMarket hasn’t had the easiest ride since its launch in January 2015 – multi-million pound lawsuits, counter claims and rebel agents rising up against them like a band of suited William Wallace’s in Braveheart. Owned by Agents Mutual, OTM was created to gain market share from the two market leaders Rightmove and Zoopla by allowing agents to list homes on only one…

Veteran Recruiter: London Agents Need ‘Reality Check’ On High Salary Expectations

Specialist Real Estate recruiter Anthony Hesse has made a stark warning that jobs are drying up at estate agents as firms cut back on recruitment, slamming London sales agents for their inflated salary expectations. Hesse, a 30-year veteran recruiter and Managing Director of Property Personnel, singled out residential sales agents, “some candidates are still demanding rather than commanding a salary…they need to take a reality check over their expectations and follow the same advice they themselves would give to a client…

Real-Life Wolf of Wall Street Forced To List Wimbledon Mansion For Knockdown Price

DMZ can disclose that ‘The Wolf of Wimbledon’ has placed his half-built dream home in south London on the market for £3.75 million to help pay off the court ordered fine, which will go towards helping his victims. Real-life Wolf of Wall Street fraudster Jeffrey Revell-Reade has been ordered to raise £10 million by the courts, or face another 10 years in jail after swindling investors of their life savings in a high level boiler room scam. Plans approved by Merton Council show that the finished product would be a…

Foxtons Flop in 2016: Can The Rockstar Agency Turn Things Around?

London-based Super Agency Foxtons announced that revenues declined by a staggering 34% last quarter (Q3 ’16). The business, founded by Jon Hunt in 1981, said the results reflected “a continuation of reduced activity in the London property sales market”. Their shares have also taken a bashing, down nearly 50% year to date and a monstrous two-thirds since they floated in 2013. These painful results come hot off the heels of CEO Nic Budden issuing a profit warning in July, blaming the groups dwindling profits on Brexit…