Hundreds of agents sign Letters of Intent to secure easyProperty licences

More than 500 territory requests have been logged by Guild of Property Professionals and Fine & Country agents expressing their intention to secure an easyProperty licence.

Each easyProperty territory will cost a Guild or Fine & Country agent £500 and consist of some 20,000 properties.

News of the  early take-up follows an eight-day, ten-city regional roadshow hosted by new CEO Jon Cooke.

At the time of the announcement earlier this month, the deal was described by Guild and Fine & Country parent company GPEA as a merger.

For example, Guild managing director Malcolm Lindley announced the deal under the headline: “GPEA and easyProperty announce merger.”

He explained at the time: “We have secured financial backing from Toscafund Asset Management LLP [backers of easyProperty] in order to acquire the licence to easyProperty and fund the marketing required to launch and successfully penetrate the market.”

The deal does not complete until at least next month, so it does seem unusual that a new CEO is already in place.

The easyProperty brand will be relaunched in September, with a flotation to be explored in January, according to the timeline.

This morning’s statement from Cooke simply says that it is GPEA that has acquired easyProperty but goes into no further detail as to the financing of the deal, rumoured to be worth £60m.

A spokesperson explained that GPEA has most control of the parent company, e-Prop Services.

Cooke said in the statement that “since GPEA announced its acquisition of easyProperty on June 7, enquiries by members have been strong as well as many requests from non-members to join to secure an easyProperty licence”.

He went on: “Letters of Intent have been sent by easyProperty to those GPEA members who attended the three-hour presentation and we have already received back about 31% duly signed.

“There has been a lot of industry speculation from naysayers who seem to have a louder voice than those in support of our licence proposition.

“However, a large number of members are receptive to the online proposition.

“One message we continuously repeat at easyProperty is that consumer behaviour is changing and we are offering members the opportunity to cater to the do-it-yourself, technology-enhanced preferences for home-sellers and landlords without undermining their own brand.

“GPEA has always been an advocate and champion of independent agents.

“The easyProperty licences offer more ammunition, another string to the bow for independent agents to use to defend and increase their market share. This is about enabling members. There is no compulsory requirement from members – it’s an option available.”

Since June 14, easyProperty has met with hundreds of members across the UK in areas including Coventry, London, Tunbridge Wells, Southampton, Exeter, Bristol, Manchester, Yorkshire, Newcastle and East Anglia.

Due to what Cooke says is strong demand, a final roadshow will be held in London this Friday (June 30).

For more information call 0207 629 4141 or email parklane@guildproperty.co.uk

At the weekend, Cooke told EYE that the roadshows so far have been “incredibly popular”, and attended by agents with “open minds”. He said that they liked the public recognition of the ‘easy’ brand, and the fact that they were at least being offered an option to meet what Cooke called a change in customer behaviour.

Non-members had also asked about joining the Guild, so they could also take up the easyProperty option. He said the 31% sign-up rate was in line with, or slightly in excess of, expectations.

Of the future, Cooke said he believed there were be two players in the online agency space: “There will be us and one other,” he said, declining to be drawn on who the other player might be.

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14 Comments

  1. 123430

    “There will be us and one other,” 

    Could the other player be:

    Doorsteps.co.uk charging £99 who are currently fundraising on Crowdcube? Could it be Ezylet who are currently fundraising on Invesdor? Or could it be letproof who are looking to fundraise? Or could it be Youhome.co.uk? Not to mention the millions other that already exist (and failed) and millions others that can start up (and also highly likely to fail).

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  2. Aaron

    I just don’t get it, I’m not a guild member but used to work for a company who was and also who held a F&C license, it was all about providing quality and charging the fee to go with it. EP just portrays cheap, the two brands don’t mix, or is that the point? I feel like I’m missing something.

    I just don’t see how the business owners who have a Guild and F&C license are going to mix the brands, or would even want to. I personally think it cheapens the service, and the overall experience for your clients, you’ve been working hard to build!

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  3. Malcolm Barnard

    Can anybody explain what will happen if the F&C license holder and Guild member are different in the same area. Who gets the first opportunity to hold the EasyProperty licence?

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  4. Mark Walker

    I will make the prediction, right here, right now, based on easyProperty’s performance to date – the launch will be delayed.

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  5. Bless You

    Careful,,could be PR lying again…why would a fine and country agent (posh)  get dragged into a easy jet cheapy cheapy brand?

    Doesnt make sense .  ‘Intent’  means ..they went to the meeting.

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    1. Mark Walker

      I thought this immediately too.  There’s a big difference between vaguely interested in the fineprint and actually considering signing up.

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  6. Jonnie

    Nice work, the easyJet stab at estate agency continues to ‘disrupt’ the market, dinosaur bums, funeral marches, several million quid jizzed up the wall with turnover that just about pays its illustrious leaders salary and then following the prediction of the death of the high street agent they………….well they buy access to the high street.

    To cover the cash the amusingly optimistic investors have coughed up they can now sell this gem of an offering and at £500 quid a pop to a third of the firms that rocked up to see the admittedly excellent and likeable Jon Cooke that decided to give it a punt or at least say they will think about it. So, 500 firms at £500 a time = £250,000 a year, about the annual turnover of a less than average EA branch.

    Quite clear no one nipped down to Rymans with a tenner of the 70 odd million quid and got a calculator.

    Jonnie

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    1. observer

      I’d make some remark about not going to specsavers and getting some glasses but I can’t be bothered.
      Pretty sure you’ll find it is £500 a month which would lead to revenue of £3m per year.
      Admittedly not a lot of revenue but equally that’s £3m they didn’t have before.
      They are also getting paid whilst the people who are paying are doing their marketing.
      It’s not the complete dead duck that everybody seems to think.
      Equally, I’d rather be on the outside for this one looking in!

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      1. PeeBee

        “Pretty sure you’ll find it is £500 a month which would lead to revenue of £3m per year.”

        Funny, that – ‘cos I’m pretty sure you won’t find it stated anywhere that it is a monthly charge, ‘observer’ – but if you know better please show us where and accept the honourary tille of uberobserver

        …but all in all, a “Licence” fee is usually an annual thing.

        That being the case – demote yourself to the rank of ‘unobservant’

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        1. observer

          June 7th on this website:
          Headline: 
          NEWFLASH EYE EXCLUSIVE: easyProperty and The Guild plus Fine & Country merge in ‘£60m deal’
          Relevant quote:
          “It means that Fine & Country agent branches will, for example, be able to offer both their own luxury high street brand as well as acquire licences at £500 per month each, to access easyProperty’s fixed-price packages aimed at the volume residential market.”

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          1. AgentV

            So you pay £500 per month to have access to a system that loses you a lot of money, because unlike the owners of easyproperty, you don’t have the £1,000 to £2,000 (or more, maybe a lot more) subsidy from investors for each listing you make.

            I think they can dress it up all they like to look like something else, but the whole offering just seems crazy to me. Why would anyone want top do this? Why? 

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          2. PeeBee

            observer

            You are right – the ‘Newsflash’ on 7/6/17 does in fact state that the paymment to acquire a licence is £500 per month.

            Maybe uberobserver has been ‘born’ here, right before our very EYEs

            HOWEVER, it also states

            “The deal will allow the 5,000 Guild agents…”
            which I think you will find is quite a few more than the “approximately 800” claimed by the Guild itself.

            So – maybe someone from ePlopServices or whatever name they plan to sail under would be good/brave enough to come on and tell us what the real figure is…

            …and we’d better put a hold on the (re)naming ceremony for a bit.

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    2. PeeBee

      Jonnie

      DONT YOU EVER disappear for so long again.

      EVER.

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  7. smile please

    Ah the famous letter of intent.

     

    Did not work as well as OTM had hoped.

     

    Also seem to remember “EasyChris” in here when first launched saying he had 50,000 expressions of interest using easyproperty…. How did that work out?

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