There is no getting away from the fact that the rise of online estate agents has caused quite a stir in the estate agent community of late. There is always two sides to every story and while some people think that a great job is being carried out by the new agents operating in the market, there are plenty of people who believe that these new agents and their online services are not all that they are cracked up to be. This is the backdrop to an astonishing war of words which has broken out due to comments made by a head of a brand new estate agent website.
Ian Springett is the Chief Executive of Agents Mutual, a site that has been put together by some of the biggest estate agents in the country. The site has been created in an attempt to provide competition to firms like Zoopla and Rightmove. Springett has labelled the internet only rivals as being “parasitic” and that they will be banned from the new site. This is down to a belief that these new sites are a bit of a con.
The Agents Mutual company is aiming to launch in January 2015 and the site was put together by representatives of Strutt and Parker, Glentree Estates, Chesterton Humberts, Knight Frank, Douglas & Gordon and Savills. The new site say that they will provide a better level of support to clients but they will also ensure that clients are paying less money in fees than they would if they were working with PrimeLocation, Zoopla or Rightmove.
Estate agency war of words likely to spiral on
Springett believes that this sort of move is necessary to protect the well-being of traditional estate agents but he is also keen to identify what he believes is a con in the online market. He states that online estate agents will only provide 20% of the services that a traditional estate agent provides. Springett also believes that online estate agents charge too much money without offering too much in return.
Of course, comments like these will always spark a reaction and the founder of the online estate agency eMoov has stated the comments as being “glib, unsubstantiated and overtly protectionist.”
Market leaders have tipped this new company to deprive some of the newer portals like Rightmove, of substantial revenue if they can sign up around 5,000 offices across the UK. The figure stated with respect to Rightmove suggests that a sum of £60m worth of revenue could be involved, which is clearly a huge sum of money. Rightmove is a massive company at the moment, both with respect to profits and coverage but if a reputable firm comes in and replaces what Rightmove does, the firm could see its popularity and relevancy dropping extremely quickly.