High street agents could have lost 7% market share to online firms so far this year

Traditional agents have lost 7% of market share so far this year to online competitors.

The estimate comes from Mark Worrall, a high street estate agent who has co-created love2move as a national online agency brand that can sit alongside existing businesses.

Worrall launched love2move in February, promoting it as “your high street agent online”.

It was originally designed for Worrall’s own family agency, MovingWorks, in Lancashire, but is now being rolled out to businesses elsewhere.

Worrall said: “My research, based on 15 areas in the UK where we have been talking to agents, shows that this year 7% of new instructions have gone to online agents, with every area showing some exposure to the onlines.

“If that is happening on a national scale, then traditional agents have lost 7% of total market share.”

He went on: “The truth is, cheap will always appeal in every market and the online agents have developed a business model that has such an appeal.

“We have adapted that model so that high street agents can compete on a level playing field. By having a high street presence we can also offer additional services that online operators are not able to, so we are operating in an ideal space to appeal to both vendors and agents.

“We believe that offering an online option allows high street agents the opportunity to get through the door then sell the product that most suits the client, whilst demonstrating a forward-thinking and flexible approach.”

Worrall said: “Property marketing has been transformed by the advent of online agencies, and the traditionalists among us have watched their progress closely whilst jealously guarding our own business models.

“Many companies feel that by advertising properties on Rightmove they are online, but they are not. An online platform gives the vendor the power to complete the full sales process from arranging a viewing through to completing the sales progression using a fully automated online platform 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

“At MovingWorks we have always prided ourselves in delivering a first-class service to our customers, whether vendors or purchasers. But in today’s ‘always on’ society, that is no longer enough.

“Younger people in particular are looking for ways to take control of their own life choices and save money by so doing, and it was inevitable that this attitude would extend to property.”

He added: “It is my contention that whilst there will always be a place for a traditional offering, we traditional agents would not be fulfilling our duty as property professionals if we did not embrace the full power of the internet.

“It is for this reason that we decided to launch our own online property marketing service, whilst at the same time being conscious not to dilute our traditional business model.”

Worrall said that developing the software had been a massive investment, and said that online services like love2move would not appeal to every vendor.

“They do, however, appeal to the new generation of home sellers who are so exposed to all the advertising that they have no appetite to pay £3,000 to sell their home because they think selling homes is easy. It isn’t, of course.

“Meeting great agents up and down the country has reinforced my belief that there is some real talent in this industry, but we just need to be open-minded enough to adapt our offering to enable us to not only survive, but prosper as well.”



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  1. Trevor Gillham

    “Many companies feel that by advertising properties on Rightmove they are online, but they are not. An online platform gives the vendor the power to complete the full sales process from arranging a viewing through to completing the sales progression using a fully automated online platform 24/7 from anywhere in the world”.

    Am I correct in thinking that Rightmove do not allow agents to list their properties if the vendors are arranging viewings directly themselves? This is deemed a private sale, making it really, well…Gumtree.


    1. Chris Wood

      Rightmove ‘says’ a great deal and its contract is quite clear however, it continues to allow FSBO systems to operate and is failing to vet hundreds of agents in line with its contractual obligations.

    2. Bless You

      Yes but if online agents said to the public you basically do it all yourself,,they re wouldn’t be an online market…absolute rip off industry trading on coat tails of genuine business with real costs and service.

      1. Bless You

        Its amazing that pb slate the estae agent industry but can u imagine getting paid anyway and how bad our industry would be then…until the govt. wake up or asa or which do something and make PAY ANY WAY agency illegal nothing will change.

  2. AgentPink92

    So, when a vendor gets three onliness out to value how do they choose who to sell with?

    Seeing as the vendor is attracted by cheapness invariably it will be the agent who is prepared to cut their throat the deepest.

    Many years ago I was involved in an industry where a similar scenario transpired and over a period of five years the regional competition price cut each other literally into oblivion until only one of the original companies remained.

    Exactly the same will happen to the onliners, the more aware the public becomes the deeper these agents are digging their own grave.



    1. Blue

      … and with those three onlines’ being paid regardless of an actual sale, the highest valuation with the lowest fee … the mind boggles. Criminal.

  3. JP98

    7% loss to online agents? That assuming lending stayed exactly the same, which according to CML it did not and it was up on last year by 3%. Still a decent market share from online agents – Would be good to see what they class as completely online, what areas were sampled etc BUT I guess analysing and debating data doesn’t make the headlines.

  4. esales7895

    My Rightmove rep has always says the online agents must have seen the property and taken details never mentioned about the vendors arranging or being in direct contact with viewers.

    I’ll be honest it’s actually quiet funny How many online agents are appearing just flooding the market, none that I have dealt with todate show any quality of service to sellers / buyers or agents.

    What has been an eye opener is  that a seller really only judges how good an estate agent is if they just find a buyer and get an offer agreed  that’s it, E.g.: PB are in my chain right now: client says I need an update: I confirm PB are not calling anyone with an update: client says but they have been brilliant: I ask how have they ?: client confirms they sold my house in 8 weeks just what they say they do on the tin: two days later I call the client to say I am so sorry you have lost your onward purchase due to a lack of update from your agent PB who just not call anyone back and the chain won’t wait any longer:


    1. PeeBee

      …and then that person blames YOU for pulling the sale and posts it all over his glowing 5* review of you-know-who on (lackof)TrustPilot!

    2. Trevor Gillham

      They should esales7895 because I had over 900 properties give or take removed overnight after RM said I put a viewer directly in touch with a vendor.

  5. esales7895

    Twitter has proved very useful for me when showing the prospective clients thoughts on different online agents especially PB, pages and pages of unhappy tweets

    1. Bless You

      its the customers you don’t get to talk to you want to worry about.

  6. Chris Wood

    7% market share… And the factual data (not survey and estimation) to substantiate that claim used to sell software is….where?

    1. RealAgent

      Funnily enough exactly the point I was going to make.

      “15 areas where I’ve been talking to agents say it’s 7%”….Oh ok well that’s alright then, as long as it’s not an outright guess!!

  7. AgentV

    If the review sites wanted to maintain any credibility they would not allow reviews being posted a third of the way through the ‘job being done’.

    An estate agent’s role is to sell the property. Therefore they should only show reviews from people who have either completed their sale or withdrawn their property after an unsuccessful attempt.

    1. gk1uk2001

      Exactly. I’ve just seen a 5* review posted for PB on TP by an employee that has just completed their training course, presumably to be a LPE. How is that allowed?

      1. PeeBee

        That “review” was #nuked – and I firmly believe as a result of it being posted here on EYE –


    2. Bless You

      Agree agent V –  who ever invented fake news must have been in the PB board room the day  they decided to use trustpilot in such a gross way.

      Amazing how all those happy customers seem so happy and talk like they have been in the industry for years as well…#fake agents #fake rightmove  # fake asa   …..iam off to Greece.

      1. AgentV

        Can I come to Greece as well?

        1. Bless You

          yes of course , thought we could start a fishing business. Pitch up next to a hotel, 10 rods £10 an hour…. SOLD!!

    3. PeeBee

      “An estate agent’s role is to sell the property. Therefore they should only show reviews from people who have either completed their sale or withdrawn their property after an unsuccessful attempt.”

      Hmmm… look like I’m going to be a bit controversial here – but that’s never fazed me before – so here I go!

      First sentence – incorrect.  That is – or, certainly, should be – the GOAL… not ‘the role’.

      And for those that operate a NSPR Fee structure, the “sale” for them has already been concluded – which is my main reason for adding the “should be” caveat to my statement above.  Remove entirely the reason to achieve and the need or want for achievement often becomes diminished.

      Second sentence – I would again suggest this is incorrect.  I am firstly making an assumption here, AgentV, that you are angling that sales completed will predominantly result in positive comments and property withdrawals will be those that attract negative reviews – am I correct there?

      Thing is – in the main us Agents share an annoying human trait in that we steadfastly believe we are perfect until someone tells us we’re not – and then we usually discount that person’s opinion as billshut.

      But getting back to why I would argue against the second sentence, read again my answer to the first.  We AIM to “sell” property.  We can’t make it happen if the circumstances aren’t right.  You need a buyer, for a start – and if that main ingredient isn’t in the mix, then nothing’s going to rise from it.

      The best Agent in the world can’t “sell” a property if the “right buyer” isn’t looking for it at the time.  On the same note, the worst Agent in the world really has to be going some in order not to “sell” if all the right ingredients are present and correct.

      I think it is perfectly reasonable to accept that an Agent could be given an excellent review for effort – for ‘trying’ to do the best they could – even if the final goal wasn’t achieved.  It is equally reasonable that they could ‘do the job’ but in such a slip-shod way that they scored very poorly in their paying customer’s view – which should be then passed on to others.

      You have to take the rough with the smooth.  You have to accept that you, as an Agent, are simply one of the ingredients.  You are basically the egg needed to bind everything together – but whatever it is that puts the ingredients in the bowl has the final say on the whole process  hand – and sometimes the last laugh.

      One last thing.  I would respectfully request – for my benefit as much as anything – that if you disagree you actually post why, rather than click the button.  I think it would be a genuinely interesting debate.

      1. AgentV

         I am firstly making an assumption here, AgentV, that you are angling that sales completed will predominantly result in positive comments and property withdrawals will be those that attract negative reviews – am I correct there?

        No… I didn’t mean that at all…….I just believe that good or bad reviews should only be posted at the conclusion of the whole service….whether the property sold or not, not part the way through. If you complete a sale, but have made the whole process very difficult through lack of contact and input, then you don’t necessarily deserve a good review. Equally if you have done your best for someone, and they respect that, but then stop it all before a sale has ever been achieved, then they may wish to sing your praises at the effort you have put in…. often for no final reward.

        I think reviews need to be at the end of the business relationship, not part the way through. Otherwise its like critically reviewing a film based on the opening sequences. They might be spectacular, but the rest of the story might be rubbish.

        1. PeeBee

          Then I do apologise for misreading your post in that respect – however at least we’ve potentially opened the floodgates for debate  slightly wider!

  8. revilo

    With the majority of sales having a chain of related sales, there is no way that ‘online’ will work. Communication and knowledge are key to success here. Anyone – well nearly anyone – can agree a sale but the work starts after that.

    I just wonder if we are doing our industry and our clients a disservice by trying to ‘join in’ with these online offerings.

    Should we be setting ourselves apart and maintaining customer service standards?

    We all know that a large percentage of buyers and sellers don’t have a clue really about the process (we all see this every day!)  Sticking a process like this online and passing the buck to these parties really isn’t going to work!

  9. Chris Wood

    Local property experts?!

    Job advert in The Sun today for Purplebricks




    1. Property Paddy

      purple brick scare ers ?

      Did I read that right ?

  10. Property Paddy

    One more thing.

    We have lost 7% to the on line business model.

    7% of what, there is a huge drop in property for sale with potential vendors not selling, not coming to market and sitting on their asset and either renting it out or leaving it empty because interest rates are s low.

    so 7% of very little is not very much and how much are PB shares trading at ?

    1. Bless You

      you can deny it all you want,,last 3 months purplebricks caught on….people see a few boards change to sold and think that’s all there is to it…they forget that its just the start but have paid anyway…


  11. PepeM

    This mob, who say they have being going since February are showing a whopping 24 properties available, hardly qualifies them to comment on anything ! Don’t think they will be seeing a return on their “massive investment” anytime soon !

  12. Hillofwad71

    Love em or loathe em. Bricks have certainly won hearts and minds .Not bad for the punters too as the share price tripped over £5 this morning who could have waded in at less than a £1 in November last year.

    Todays heady market valuation is over £1.3bn !! which indicates that the market thinks it will be capble of  turning in profits of £85m pa


    Way to go!!! Humpty Dumpty

    1. AgentV

      Profits of £85m p.a.

      I don’t think they’ll even have that as turnover.

  13. Paul

    I’d focus my efforts on the 93%.

    In a buyers market, it’s never been more important to have an agent in your corner to hold sales together.

    When people are chipping the price mid transaction, who’s best placed to keep it together, those that have been paid already or those that don’t get paid until the deal is over the line?


  14. StatementOfFact

    7% is nothing if correct given 3 of the 11 agents in my town have closed in the last 18 months. I’m on a NET increase.


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