A persistent critic of online firms is to close the doors of his high street office this week – and adopt a hybrid model.
Chris Wood, of PDQ Estates in Cornwall, will work out of his home. He has already been off Rightmove a week, and is not on Zoopla, but does use OnTheMarket.
Wood, who has constantly challenged the ‘call centre’ models and in particular Purplebricks, said that he will not use a call centre – although he does use a phone handling service.
He also says he will change his business model to accept fewer properties and raise his fees.
Wood accepts that many agents will think he is going hybrid for financial reasons. But he said that, contrary to what many may think, he is actually a fan of alternative business models; he said his current offices are simply too big for his requirements, and that Rightmove’s fee was too high for him to swallow.
Wood said: “Having devised and developed the hybrid model for Tesco/ RBS in the mid noughties as their sole consultant, I have always been a fan of the idea and the business model – despite what many may believe from my posts about ‘disruptors’.
“Why do so many seem to think I am apparently anti ‘online’/ call-centre? I believe they don’t read what I repeatedly say.
“I am for all business models, as long as they trade honestly, within the rules, and don’t make claims they can’t substantiate. If you know your local area well, know your job well, why in today’s world of social media, 3D and 4K photography, must you have a high street presence?
“Certainly, in some areas, you still do, and a high street presence is a 24-hours a day passive advert of who you are and your business, but whilst I will undoubtedly lose some business from more traditional sellers, I am confident I will be able to more than offset this in other ways.
“PDQ has been offline with Rightmove for over a week. The deal agents have had from Rightmove has been a bad one for several years now and it’s simply uneconomical to continue at the current rates, so as it stands at the moment, as far as I’m concerned it’s a no deal.”