love2move, a hybrid estate agency which allows high street firms to run separately branded online operations, has launched a crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube.
Valued at just over £1.25m, the company is looking to raise £120,000 in exchange for 8.7% equity.
The fund-raise aims to allow love2move – which launched exactly two years ago – to recruit more independents and provide them with the proprietary tools necessary to compete with online-only agents.
The pitch explains how love2move fills a gap in the market that has been created by the rise of online-only estate agents.
It further claims that whilst the new generation of home-owners want a convenient way to sell their home without paying high fees, online-only estate agents can lack local knowledge.
The love2move concept was devised by Lancashire based high street estate agents MovingWorks.
CEO and NAEA Propertymark board member Georgina Cox said: “We always believed there were flaws in the online only model and these flaws are now becoming more apparent.
“Our business model is different to anything else available and we have USPs for house sellers, the estate agents we partner with and importantly our investors as we have a lower cost per acquisition than other agents competing in the online space, which means we will quickly become profitable.”
With 18 estate agencies now signed up, a pitch video shows firms reporting an increase in traditional fees and conversion rates.
David Leake from Goole-based housesetc credits love2move with helping to increase his valuation conversion rate by more than 10% to 56%.
The video also features two other agents, from Oldham and Nottingham, highlighting the benefits as they see them.
The service claims to achieve an average of 99% of asking price and charges a fixed fee of £895.
Co-founder Mark Worrall said he feels vindicated in his original belief that the best person to accurately value a property is a local, high street estate agent.
He said: “Crucial to a house sale is an accurate valuation and high street agents have years of local knowledge so it has always seemed obvious to us that the best person to help house sellers get the best return is a local, traditional estate agent.
“A number of our partner agents have jumped at the opportunity to invest which will help us achieve our ambition to create a national brand.”
There have been few online property businesses using crowdfunding platforms lately – The House Shop cancelled its campaign, while online agent 99home said that its funding effort had been affected by Emoov, which crowd-funded last summer but went into administration in December.
However, a property business nearing the end of its campaign on Seedrs is online firm Vesta.
With just over a week to go, it had yesterday raised some £625,000. It is looking for £750,000 in exchange for 7.7% equity in the business, which it values at almost £9m (£8,981,429).
The love2move pitch is here:
The Vesta crowdfunding campaign is here: