A new start-up says that its model – which claims to charge vendors less while paying estate agents more – could see the end of high street agents.
Moveli aims to have a network of local agents working across London.
There will be no offices, with agents working out of their homes, cars and local coffee shops.
Each agent will offer a full service, from valuation through to sale, charging a £160 plus VAT upfront marketing fee, and then 0.75% plus VAT.
The agents earn half of that 0.75% fee – claimed to be about double what they would normally get from a high street agent.
Moveli is founded by Ben and Christian Littlewood, who claim over 15 years of experience in London property.
They previously launched property publication Property Square Magazine, which had a print run of over 150,000 copies, before launching a high street agency, Brik, in Fulham in 2008.
The pair said that while running Brik – which is still very much in business – they felt frustration at how both the high street agency and new online agency models were working.
As a start-up, they are currently concentrating on Fulham, , in south west London, but say that “significant expansion” is in hand.
They aim to launch in Battersea and Fulham this month, and have a further 25 areas planned within 12 months.
They are looking for agents across London who have worked in their local areas for at least a few years and, say the Littlewoods, “are keen to continue their careers in a more modern and profitable format. We;re not running a franchise model. Our agents are employed on a very high commission, and low basic salary.”
Ben Littlewood said: “Home owners will get the same full service they’d expect from a top high street agency, yet pay considerably less in fees, even though Moveli’s agents earn more per sale then their high street counerparts, and are consequently more motivated to give a better service.
He said: “Basically we think high street agency needs reforming and we believe that good estate agents themselves add a lot of value to a sale.
“Purplebricks did it in the mid to lower end of the market where price sensitivity is the biggest driving factor. Moveli intends to do it in the mid-upper end of the market where service and price is the driving factor.
“Everyone is waiting for this change to happen.
“Moveli allows really great estate agents to leave the agencies they work for, have more autonomy working for themselves and the possibility to earn much more than if they stayed in their current job.
“At the same time it allows them to charge about half the price to sell vendors property. The result is a genuine win win.
“Everyone wins except high street agencies, as they charge more and pay their agents less.”
On its site, Moveli says that in London, a typical high street business charges 1.5% and the actual agent would typically get a tenth of that.
Despite the reference to Purplebricks, Littlewood emphasised that Moveli is not an online agent.
He said: “To me an online agency is something that allows you to list your sale on the property portals and provide you with some half decent technology to manage your sale.
“We think online agents in general have a bad reputation in our market, and stand for low service, low price. Obviously they are attempting a rebrand to ‘Hybrid’ to appeal to people who still value a more traditional agency service.
“However we believe that fundamentally their business model cannot support the level of service, from great estate agents, that is necessary in the London market.
“We see ourselves as a full stack business.
“We intend to take control of the entire value chain which includes genuine local estate agents working a local area and the technology to support them and the seller.”