Hybrid agent: ‘We have not even begun to capitalise on market disruption’

Express Estate Agency, which claims to be the second biggest hybrid agent in the UK, says it has “not even begun” to capitalise on the disruption taking place in the world of estate agency.

The Manchester-based business was founded by brothers Chris and Mark Brogan and business partner Sam Ballard in 2009 and has an unusual celebrity endorsement in the shape of former cricketer Sir Ian Botham, who features on its website.

It has previously been described as a quick sale agent but Mark Brogan said it was never a term that he and his brother have ever used for the business.

He said: “We’ve always dealt with sellers of all levels of motivation. I think that’s something people have incorrectly assumed as we have the word ‘express’ in our name maybe.

“I suppose we were the original hybrid before the term existed.”

The business, which has been self-funded up until this point, charges on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis.

Its typical fee ranges from 1% to 1.5% for what it describes as a “full service no sale, no fee” offering.

It claims to have grown its sales listings levels by over 40% in the second half of 2017.

According to its own research, based on listings on home.co.uk on February 8 this year, it calculates that it lies in second place among hybrid/online agents with 3,029 listings, behind Purplebricks with 15,620 and ahead of Yopa with 1,835.

It currently has 3,622 properties listed on Rightmove, including those sold STC.

It also has 33 agents in the field — considerably fewer than its nearest rivals — and is aiming to recruit more.

It estimates that Purplebricks has 714 ‘Local Property Experts’ while Yopa has 102 agents.

Mark Brogan told EYE: “Through our research we are comfortably the second largest hybrid/online estate agent in terms of available stock and revenue levels (with almost twice as many listings as third place Yopa and approximately double Yopa’s revenue levels).

“Unlike the vast majority of other hybrid/online estate agents, we see great value offered in many cases by traditional estate agents.

“We are firm believers in the full service plus ‘no sale, no fee’ model.”

He added: “On a shoe-string budget we find ourselves in the top two hybrid/online estate agents, plus in the top ten estate agent companies in Britain by sales listings.

“Despite this, we believe we have not even begun to more aggressively capitalise on the tremendous disruption that has been taking place.”

Last year, a mystery league table of estate agent businesses placed Express Estate Agency ninth by brand, and tenth by estate agency group.

The table examined the number of properties from each group and brand in December 2017.

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17 Comments

  1. 40yearvetran08

    Who? Never heard of them so I had a look on their website. Voted UK number 1 estate agent apparently!! What a load of bo*****s

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    1. dave_d

      1 According to Review Centre. The UK’s largest independent review websiter | 2 Express Estate Agency internal statistics correct as of August 2017 | 3 According to the NAEA Housing Market Report – December 2016 | 4 January 2017 Rightmove House Price Index

      Jan 2017, Dec 2016, Aug 2017

      Surely this is against Advertising Standards?

       

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  2. GeorgeOrwell

    That’s correct, they are indeed “On a shoestring budget”

    Express Estate Agency. Awful, Truly Awful. I can’t find the energy to say much more about EEA, apart from Express Estate Agency are Awful

     

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  3. ValueCounts31

    How come GeorgeOrwell? Fact they charge no,sale,no,fee at 1-1.5% among the majority of online based providers that charge fixed fees surely is a good thing? That being said if their actual service is rubbish all a waste of time.

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  4. AgentV

    Unlike the vast majority of other hybrid/online estate agents, we see great value offered in many cases by traditional estate agents.

    Then stop sending targeting letters to our clients the moment we put a house up for sale, and then follow up letters to us as the agent telling us our client has disinstructed us (even though we had by that time agreed a sale for our client).

    It makes all agents look as though they are at each other’s throats all the time….it makes the whole industry look unprofessional!

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    1. AgentV

      My understanding is that these guys get most of their instructions through targeting letters to properties up with ‘traditional agents’…..so to try and make out they are friendly towards us is just unbelievable!

      They just behave like a centralised mass letter writing corporate.

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  5. FlyingSheep54

    Absolutely the worst agency in the country along with Springbok. So many horror stories from people they’ve duped into signing up with them. They make PB look good

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    1. PeeBee

      Based on this one post alone, I’m starting to warm towards you, FlyingSheep54…

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  6. AgencyInsider

    Never seen a board, never seen an advert. Express who?

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    1. Mark Walker

      Used to see them a bit in our patch a few years back.  Died off completely now though.

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  7. South of the City EA

    Express have always been a ‘quick sale’ agent. I think Mr Brogan’s memory is rather selective. Their listings on Rightmove all used to start with some jargon about only selling competitively priced properties. I believe they have now had to change their business model as the market has improved. Their fees have come down too. Vendors are perhaps not believing their sales pitch. They’ve got investors on their books who only they can introduce to the property! I remember going out against them some years ago, they were charging 2% plus vat with a minimum fee of £1900 plus vat! Unlike the other call centre agents they will at least be profitable. My understanding is that they have a tie in with a home buying type company. If vendors don’t want to sell at low price to them then express estate agency is introduced . With no other agents going out they get the business, very clever!

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    1. modernestateagent46

      Yes and I’ve been told by a client that the relationship goes the other way. If they don’t sell you’re property quickly, they badger you to drop the price and then make an offer through their house buying connections if that doesn’t work. It is the worst of both worlds, traditional pricing with online service. Heard nothing but negativity towards them.

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  8. paulnewboy26

    Garbage Agent. I have had two vendors now who unbeknown to them have been put on RM with images a child could do better etc etc, no terms signed, nothing. 3 weeks to take off and ruined initial marketing. I have dealt with many “quick sale” firms and they all default to one another to see if they can squeeze a deal out of each other…horrid….

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  9. paulnewboy26

    Actually, sorry I retract the above…..I don’t think they are an agent, more a parasite.

     

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  10. Property Peep

    Always remember them doing ‘offers over’ on every property they advertised, under valuing them. Can’t really criticise as it did work for a while.

    But their fee’s have come down, they would never deviate from 1.95% + VAT a few years ago.

    I can also remember having a look at there accounts and thinking they aren’t going to be around for long.

    Wondering if this press release is just a teaser before coming with hand out begging / crowdfunding / floating.

     

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  11. PeeBee

    More than meets the EYE, I would suggest.

    We should look forward to a follow-up, perhaps.

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  12. Carlottie83

    Am I missing something……So they offer a fee of between 1-1.5% plus VAT, and their competitors charge £839-£1140…..They have 33 agents covering the whole of England and no high street premises…..? Why would anyone use them? I do ‘get’ the attraction with cheap online agents as its pure cost saving, but with this outfit, the client doesn’t even save money….So what’s the point?

     

    They are right when they say they have not begun capitalising on disrupting the market…..I would suggest they don’t bother, as there are others already doing that efficiently with a real reason to disrupt….Low fees. Although I do suspect longevity will become an issue with these businesses now the tide has turned on the property market and it is no longer ‘order taking’ selling a property, some actual thought has to go into creatively selling and working the buyers you have.

     

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