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 with the service offered by some online
Making out the case that
these agents are ahead of their time, the newspaper says that Purplebricks UK business
is considered viable in the long term by analysts, as well as the fact that it actually
makes money. It says that online agents have succeeded in pushing down the
level of fees in the wider estate agency market.
At the end of the day The
Telegraph article doesn’t offer a definitive answer to its own question. It
seems to suggest, however, the online model has rather more negatives than