Firm claiming to be UK’s first fully digital agent launches today

A service claiming to be the UK’s first fully digital property management agency launches today.

Called NoAgent.co.uk it says it will disrupt the lettings sector.

Despite its name, it is listing on Rightmove and Zoopla, which only allow agents. However, while Rightmove has clearly accepted that is an agent that offers letting agency services, it is not allowed it to advertise as “No Agent” and it will be listing properties under the name “NA Technologies”.

No Agent, operating from a 24-hour call centre, says it will allow landlords to save up to £1,600 a year in letting agent fees.

It charges tenants no fees.

Landlords pay a flat fee of £29 per property per month outside London, and £39 inside the capital.

Included in that price is listing on portals including Rightmove and Zoopla.

It explains: “No Agent provides free advertising on the UK’s major property portals (eg. Rightmove, Zoopla), granting access to a much wider audience without using local letting agencies.”

Landlords manage their property via a real-time dashboard, with all admin handled online or via the 24-hour call centre, including viewings, referencing and credit checks, contracts, move in, compliance reminders, management of repairs and deposit and rent collection.

Landlords also have access to a legal helpline and to a property manager.

No Agent has appointed a former CEO of Propertyfinder as its chairman.

Gillian Kent, who headed up Propertyfinder before it was sold to Zoopla, said: “Despite the impact of the digital revolution, property services haven’t fundamentally changed.

“No Agent is the only service that completely automates a range of essential tasks such as marketing, bookings, reference checks, maintenance and compliance.

“Strategically what we’re doing is empowering landlords to fully manage all aspects of the letting of their property – and save money as a direct result. Agencies currently earn £115m a year for doing these sorts of tasks.”

“The use of technology throughout the process allows No Agent to offer industry-leading prices as well as access to round-the-clock support. The process saves money, time and increases transparency.

“The average monthly rent outside of London is now £779. So when you add on standard agency charges like a month’s rent together with monthly management fees of up to 15%, the first-year cost for a landlord is close to £2,000.

“Using No Agent would save them just shy of £1,600.

“Tenants will also be better off as we don’t charge for services like drawing up tenancy agreements and credit checks.

“However, letting agencies now typically charge tenants £337 in fees, and many in London are forced to pay over £400.”

We asked No Agent about its ability to list on Rightmove and Zoopla.

A spokesperson said: “The answer is that they’ve developed close relationships with both. Both platforms recognise No Agent is a better way of letting for tenants and landlords so it’s very much a natural fit.”

We also asked both Rightmove and Zoopla if they would like to comment.

On its website, No Agent says: “Say goodbye to agents.”

Yesterday evening, Jason Bushby, commercial director of agency at Rightmove, told EYE: “New joiners go through our vetting process including they operate as an agent and belong to the appropriate redress schemes.

“How agents advertise themselves on Rightmove must not mislead consumers and we have had ongoing contact about the name and requirements around this. They made the appropriate changes on Rightmove, and do not advertise as No Agent.”

Instead, he said, the firm is advertising as NA Technologies.

We did not hear back from Zoopla, but according to this wording found via the portal, the firm is:

  • A refreshing new way to manage your property. Say goodbye to traditional letting agents. Save time, money & hassle.
  • No Agent is an online property management platform that makes up for where human interaction fails. With 24/7 customer support – online, over the phone and by text – we offer an unrivalled end-to-end customer experience.
  • We invite you to join us on our mission as we revolutionise a dated, under-serviced and over-priced sector.
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14 Comments

  1. nextchapter

    I believe in the moral fibre of this company but can see the fees increasing over time, the need for continued investment and can’t see it making any money.

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  2. eduardo

    15%? this is potentially as misleading as one hybrid estate agents assertion that the average selling fee is close to 2%. The ASA really need to crack down on this nonsense.

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    1. Mark Walker

      Sorry Eduardo, I think you have missed the very recent threads where we have established that the ASA has no powers whatsoever other than to invite advertisers to sit on the naughty step if they want to.

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      1. Robert May

        Sit is a bit strong there Mark, they take a more modern, liberal approach to reprimand, miscreants are first advised of the possible existence of a naughty step (but only once the bit about Father Christmas not bringing presents has been exhausted)

         

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  3. Typhoon

    I hate the way RM bend the rules about who they let on their site if it makes them money. This new outfit is either an agent or not. And to me they are not.

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  4. surrey1

    I seem to have some sort of Pavlovian response to the words “disrupt the sector”, instantly glazing over and ceasing to read further.

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  5. leonard404

    Yet another so called online firm trying to set themselves out from from mainstream agents. The fact that Rightmove and Zoopla continue allow these type of firms to list on there portals!! pretty much smacks of biting the hand that feeds them. Will only drive more disgruntled agents that list with them paying the ever increasing fees to look more closely at OTM model.

    As is mentioned on so many occasions, without the listing of agents properties the likes of Rightmove  will not be in the strong position of continually dictating the odds!!!

     

     

     

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    1. Typhoon

      totally agree with this

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  6. Woodentop

    Ooops now how do they stand with the TPO and council regulations? They are trading “as agents” and how on earth is a call centre going to cope with all the legal work that requires local man hours of work, immigration checks are genuine, fire, legionella and asbestos risk assessment, HMO’s within one hours drive and the screw is about to be tightened further in England as it is already in Scotland and Wales. Sounds to me like someone didn’t do their homework and set–up a company that cannot provide the service for the fee they are charging or be allowed to manage! One of the golden rules of lettings …. always see the landlord and tenant face to face or you are open to fraud and the like. I hope they have plenty of insurance cover.

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  7. LocalAgent201625

    Hmmmm, not sure I agree with rightmove allowing someone who deem themselves as not an estate agent to list properties on an estate agency website? Whilst I don’t like OTM, if rightmove continues to allow this I can see a lot of big agents pulling their business away and switching to OTM.

     

    On the NA technologies themselves, I can’t really see this actually making any money at all. They will still have to pay a subscription and unless they list a significant amount of properties and actually get them let, they’ll disappear in no time at all.

     

    All these online/hybrid agencies popping up out of no where claiming they’re “game changers” do make me chuckle – much like how spicerhaart thought they’d change things when teaming up with Tescos and creating iSold.

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  8. mrharvey

    I love irony.

    A company called NO AGENT advertises on Rightmove, as an AGENT, but can’t advertise themselves as being NO AGENT because they are, technically, an AGENT.

    ????

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  9. Property Paddy

    How about a prize for the best name for an online agent (that isn’t an agent) with the best upfront fee (not £1.00 cos that’s just dumb!) The business has to pass RM scrutiny as a bonafide property based biz.

    Eureeka I think I have it.

    You have a website offering saucy photos and all you got to do is pay a subscription to view these images. say £10 per month.

    Call the site … Well it doesn’t matter does it ? RM will still take it on

    As for selling or letting property?. Best leave this with the professionals.

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    1. Thomas Flowers

      This new start up is headed up by the former CEO of Propertyfinder,

      I know, instead of calling it ‘NO Agent’ how about NO IDEA’? I don’t believe full service agents would have a problem with that?

      Just a thought.

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  10. PeeBee

    Dear Mr Bushby  (and, for good measure, whoever your Oppo is at Zoopla)

    This company have apparently passed your vetting process.

    Maybe then you can shed some light where there is thick, black murk to us all.

    The company – that go by the name of NO AGENT (park that somewhere for a wee while – I’ll come back to it before long…), have, in addition to the above listed by the author of the article, the following to say on their website:

    “To put it simply we do everything a traditional agent or online agent can do. ” 

    So – they must be neither.  What does that make them?  How does that (whatever it is…) place them in relation to being eligible to advertise on your portal? 

    Are they registered with a Redress Scheme?

    Do they visit each and every property prior to listing?

    Do they have ‘Local’ representation (not that this minor point seems to matter with yourselves…)?

    I take it that they are currently being charges a subscription level commensurate with their claim of being able to market a property “everywhere”?  That must be taking a toll (not that you’ll give a shizzle…) – only having FIVE properties currently on the site and all that – but of course that will no doubt rise with your assistance in that direction…

    Unfortunately, there is no information whatsoever on the website relating to the company (which I was of the belief was a legal requirement…) so we assume it has all been provided to satisfy your ‘vetting process’.  You are therefore in the best position to confirm categorically that this company – named specifically NO AGENT (see I told you I’d unpark it soon…) – IS ACTUALLY AN AGENT to give it the right to advertise on your portal.

    Thank you in advance for the response.

    Even though I’m still waiting for several from previous emails sent over two months ago.  Doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?

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