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  • FIRST POST
    • HaydenB
    • By HaydenB 11th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    • 139Posts
    • 39Thanks
    HaydenB
    New online estate agents
    • #1
    • 11th Apr 18, 4:54 PM
    New online estate agents 11th Apr 18 at 4:54 PM
    I have used this forum in the past for advice to help get myself out of debt problems and thanks to advice on here and a debt management plan with PayPlan my past problems are now well behind me.

    I am now looking at setting up an online estate agents as a part time (for me) venture along with my wife and friend. We have no visions of grandeur and just want to provide a reliable service and earn a bit of spending money.

    We are working on our costs and believe, by operating online and limiting our overheads, we can undercut our competition.

    I am just wondering what peoples thoughts would be if they were able to list their property with photos, flooplan and an EPC for 299 on the main sites (Rightmove, Zoopla, etc)?

    Also, has anyone else set up on Estate Agents?
Page 2
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 12th Apr 18, 2:01 PM
    • 939 Posts
    • 857 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    Upfront fee. They get paid whether they sell or not. Short term large profit for little work - then sell on the business. Made sense to me. Many people will just sign up with a mega cheap one saying exactly the same thing as you did, usually without caring much about reviews. 99 x however many people sign up. That's probably a lot of dosh over say 6 months or a year...
    Originally posted by hazyjo
    Are you deliberately missing the point? 'Many people will just sign up'... That is just not true, hence the lack of interest in our property. If loads of people would then why does the agency only have 2 flats within a 10 mile radius or so on their books? This is whereas a high street agent that charges 1800% of the online agent has a whole range of them.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Apr 18, 2:07 PM
    • 11,833 Posts
    • 13,780 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    What?!

    What good is an estate agent if it cant attract buyers? That would be literally as useful as an underwater hairdryer...

    If it is known widespread that online agents cant sell, then people wont use them...

    One of the most absurd comments I have heard....
    Originally posted by NineDeuce
    It doesn't need to attract buyers, it needs to attract sellers.
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 12th Apr 18, 2:12 PM
    • 1,711 Posts
    • 2,307 Thanks
    Surrey_EA
    Are you deliberately missing the point? 'Many people will just sign up'... That is just not true, hence the lack of interest in our property. If loads of people would then why does the agency only have 2 flats within a 10 mile radius or so on their books? This is whereas a high street agent that charges 1800% of the online agent has a whole range of them.
    Originally posted by NineDeuce
    The fact they have only 2 flats within a 10 mile radius of yours is irrelevant. Their business model is such that they cover virtually the whole of the UK. Rightmove tells me they have nearly 2000 properties currently listed, in barely a year of trading.

    Whether any of these properties sell or not makes no difference to their short term revenue. As you point out, if in the medium to long term it becomes apparent that if you sign up to dorrsteps then you are unlikely to sell then their reputation will be harmed. However, reliable statistics for such things are notoriously difficult to produce. I suspect by the time any such evidence becomes available, if indeed it is the case, then the current owner will be long gone.
    • googler
    • By googler 12th Apr 18, 2:20 PM
    • 14,905 Posts
    • 9,790 Thanks
    googler
    Where did I say we would not be treating it as a business?
    Originally posted by HaydenB
    In the section of your post that I quoted. Should I quote it again, with what I see as the salient points?

    OK ...

    "we have no USP and have no visions of grandeur or immediate rush to generate profit or medium-term desire to make massive profit. There are no financial pressures to ensure it is a success but we are willing to give it a go, test the market and see if we can make it work."
    • HaydenB
    • By HaydenB 12th Apr 18, 3:07 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    HaydenB
    No, still cant see where I said we wont be treating it as a business.
    • hazyjo
    • By hazyjo 12th Apr 18, 3:50 PM
    • 11,143 Posts
    • 14,774 Thanks
    hazyjo
    Are you deliberately missing the point? 'Many people will just sign up'... That is just not true, hence the lack of interest in our property. If loads of people would then why does the agency only have 2 flats within a 10 mile radius or so on their books? This is whereas a high street agent that charges 1800% of the online agent has a whole range of them.
    Originally posted by NineDeuce

    No mate, you're missing the point. The two below explained it just fine so I'm outa here.

    It doesn't need to attract buyers, it needs to attract sellers.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe

    ^^This.

    The fact they have only 2 flats within a 10 mile radius of yours is irrelevant. Their business model is such that they cover virtually the whole of the UK. Rightmove tells me they have nearly 2000 properties currently listed, in barely a year of trading.

    Whether any of these properties sell or not makes no difference to their short term revenue. As you point out, if in the medium to long term it becomes apparent that if you sign up to dorrsteps then you are unlikely to sell then their reputation will be harmed. However, reliable statistics for such things are notoriously difficult to produce. I suspect by the time any such evidence becomes available, if indeed it is the case, then the current owner will be long gone.
    Originally posted by Surrey_EA
    ^^This.
    2018 wins: Single Malt Whisky; theatre tickets; festival tickets; year of gin(!); shoes; Thai cooking stuff; Jo Brand talk; Slime Factory; Flawless tickets; Comedy night tickets; Triominos
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 12th Apr 18, 3:50 PM
    • 939 Posts
    • 857 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    It doesn't need to attract buyers, it needs to attract sellers.
    Originally posted by AnotherJoe
    That's right.... as long as you continue to blissfully ignore that if there are no buyers, then no sellers will want to be there...

    So I think that buyers are kind of important. If not, why even put a telephone number for buyers to enquire?
    • NineDeuce
    • By NineDeuce 12th Apr 18, 3:56 PM
    • 939 Posts
    • 857 Thanks
    NineDeuce
    That is because you have not understood the market these companies are in. People like Doorsteps are not trying to be estate agents and 'sell' properties, they are a cheap listing service enabling the owner to sell their own home themselves.

    They are offering a different type of service, with a different pricing structure.
    Originally posted by Surrey_EA
    You would think I would realise that having stated that I have listed my property via Doorsteps. However, if they are charging fees and not getting any traffic, then future sellers wont bother if they know this.

    An estate agent that has around 100 properties listed will a) get more people calling them / more buyers on their books and can b) recommend other similar properties to buyers that they may not have looked at. If you have 2 properties on your books then you have nothing to recommend and therefore have less buyers lurking around.

    Not difficult to understand....
    • HaydenB
    • By HaydenB 12th Apr 18, 4:05 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 39 Thanks
    HaydenB
    We have recently put our house on the market with Doorsteps, which charge as little as 99. This is great but there has been an obvious downside

    In 2 months the interest in our property has been poor and so we are now moving to a high street estate agent and already the interest has picked up.
    Originally posted by NineDeuce
    It may be me but I am struggling to get this. How has moving it to a high street estate agent changed how much interest is in the house? Do people still actually go into estate agents to look for property? There is never anybody in the ones near where I work.

    I assumed, possibly incorrectly, that in this day and age, the first port of call if you are looking for a house to buy would be online on your Rightmoves and Zoopla, etc?
    • Surrey_EA
    • By Surrey_EA 12th Apr 18, 4:08 PM
    • 1,711 Posts
    • 2,307 Thanks
    Surrey_EA

    An estate agent that has around 100 properties listed will a) get more people calling them / more buyers on their books and can b) recommend other similar properties to buyers that they may not have looked at. If you have 2 properties on your books then you have nothing to recommend and therefore have less buyers lurking around.
    Originally posted by NineDeuce
    But, they're not trying to be estate agents in the traditional sense. They do not want prospective buyers ringing them so that they can recommend other possible properties. They aren't going to hold details of prospective buyers on their books. As has been mentioned above, they are trying to attract sellers, not buyers.

    They are purely a pay upfront listing service, with the property owner dealing with the buyer direct.
    Not difficult to understand....
    Originally posted by NineDeuce
    I'm not entirely convinced of that.
    • AnotherJoe
    • By AnotherJoe 12th Apr 18, 4:20 PM
    • 11,833 Posts
    • 13,780 Thanks
    AnotherJoe
    That's right.... as long as you continue to blissfully ignore that if there are no buyers, then no sellers will want to be there...

    So I think that buyers are kind of important. If not, why even put a telephone number for buyers to enquire?
    Originally posted by NineDeuce
    These EAs, or at least the OPs , don't have buyers, they don't sell anything.
    As the OP said, I didnt need them to 'sell' my house. I needed them to take the photos, do a floorplan and an EPC; advertise my house and let me know when someone wanted to view it and when an offer was received.

    So the telephone is just for someone to call and make an offer. And that's about it.

    So it's pretty much a proxy for getting a good looking listing on RM or Zoopla. Nothing more. There's no one plugging away trying to sell your house, it's not what they do..
    • victoriavictorious
    • By victoriavictorious 12th Apr 18, 4:20 PM
    • 349 Posts
    • 530 Thanks
    victoriavictorious
    We are currently SSTC with one of the longer-established online agents (not Purple Bricks.)
    We chose to pay our 775 upfront, although they also offer a pay later option. So far, every aspect of the CS has been far superior to any High St agent we had ever instructed previously.
    Contrary to some people's opinions, the online business model simply cannot afford to adopt the stance of *take the money and run* because its reputation and very existence relies on results, good reviews, word of mouth and satisfied customers.
    The company we are using is slick, professional, reliable, responsive and highly organised. The reason it can be so organised is because everything is automated; its probably not for the novice / nervous seller. There is a small degree of hand holding, but you have to ask for it - and know what to ask for.

    Like it or not, the majority of today's buyers will go on RM first, and probably don't venture anywhere near an EAs office. Yes, there is the odd conscientious EA who will tip the wink to buyers who register with them before a property goes on RM, but this certainly has not been our own experience. The only properties we got told about, were those we had already found on RM ourselves - and dismissed - days or even weeks before.

    As for the OP - you really need to find a USP, and fast, as well as knowing the business inside out, if you want to get anywhere. There are already several doing it really well, and imo people would rather pay that bit extra for one of those already-established online agents, and get a decent service, than chance their arm at 299 when there is nothing special to distinguish you from the Doorsteps offering at 99.
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