The Secret Agent: Purplebricks, OnTheMarket IPO & the Guild – EasyProperty Merger

The Secret Agent is a senior UK estate agent who provides an opinionated, frank and tongue-in-cheek take on recent market news.

Disclaimer: The Secret Agent’s views do not reflect that of DealMakerz or our editors.

No conclusions from Purplebricks BBC Watchdog appearance. 

Did anyone else think Purplebricks appearance on Watchdog led to more questions than answers?

I’m interested to know what they define as ‘local’. Is that 5, 10, 15, 30 or even 50 miles away? Also, they need to get their facts straight – the Local Property Expert (LPE) said ‘I list 20-25 properties a month on my own’ but Mr. Bruce said that was the teams total listings. Mixed messages there.

But isn’t that great, the particular LPE gives me faith in Purplebricks. I believe that he has listed that amount, as that is what everyone suspects Purplebricks do: list stock…but fail to sell it.

I do think theres a darker shadow lurking in the bushes here – LPE’s are self-employed, so how does that work with qualification, HMRC and other routes of compliance? Food for thought at a later date…

On The Market. Question; is that Property Market or the Stock Market?

I’m lost on the whole angle of where OTM are going.

They raved and shouted from the rooftops when launching, advertising went up, TV adverts, constant calls to agents to get more people signed, I had to warn them off calling all my offices and then this court case comes along, all goes quiet, it’s as if they just shut up shop. So they won their argument for now, but are they just clutching at straws? I did a quick search online as am looking for a property to buy in Surrey.

All the big names pop up, but page after page of searching and OTM do not appear, surely if you’re a portal you will make your presence known. Silly me, they are going to float, that’s why.

Seriously, you are not going to compete with the other two – accept it, move on and enjoy the finer things in life.

The Guild & easyProperty merger is about as useless as powdered water.

I would hate for anyone to think that I was full of negative comment about the industry, I’m not, I do love it, but being The Secret Agent means I get to speak my mind. We all do it, we say one thing but think another. Which is a bit like the joining of two failures: Guild and easyProperty.

easyProperty was great at the launch, I loved the drinks and nibbles but after that, well, it went downhill quicker than Lance Armstrong after a dose. The Guild on the other hand hasn’t been too bad, it’s more supported by the smaller agencies who like the idea of appearing bigger than they are with a glossy magazine, this has always made me laugh, you have marketing material of your competitors in your premises for your clients to read…smart. They do some other things which aren’t worth mentioning and promote the London office address all for a fee.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that you can buy an address and phone number that is answered under your brand, which only costs a fraction of the price.

Now they are combined, so you can market your properties online for a fraction of the fee…think I am having a moment here – I can market my properties online at a fraction of the cost to maximise my online exposure. Sorry but don’t we do that already?

Seriously, where has the backbone gone? If our industry is under threat by onliners, then stand up and fight back. If you can’t beat, don’t join them, keep going. There’s some people in the industry I have respected for years, but it seems like they’re just giving up.

Our future is evolving and we need to move with the times – I get that. But easyProperty merging with Guild? I guess the ideas have just simply run out.

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