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Agent who complained about portal juggling by competitor is ‘sent round the houses’ by regulators

January 24, 2017

An estate agent who complained about a high street firm’s alleged portal juggling of one property has accused various regulators of passing the buck back and forth between themselves. David Mintz, of Normie & Co in Whitefield, Manchester, says he was sent round the proverbial houses when he complained to the Advertising Standards Authority, The […]

Fraud alert: Agents warned to be careful in uploading information on to portals

Twice very recently we have come across separate cases where agents have inadvertently – but seriously – breached data protection by uploading personal information on to Rightmove. In both cases, anyone seeking identity fraud would have been provided with invaluable information. In the first instance, a hybrid agent had uploaded a jpeg of someone’s driving […]

Sleeping with the enemy? Agent sets up Airbnb property management service

As the saying goes, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. Most agents that have any strategy with regard to Airbnb simply churn out dire warnings to anyone even thinking of using the service. Airbnb is, after all, the enemy, assaulting market share. However, London agent Portico has taken a separate tack and launched a […]

Trading Standards confirm probe into closed-down letting agency after theft claims

An agency which closed just before Christmas amid claims of unpaid rents and missing deposits is being investigated by Trading Standards and police. Morgan Hampton, in Wimborne, Dorset, was founded by Andy Hampton in 2001. Hampton, who became Mayor of Wimborne between 2013 and 2015, told the local paper at the time of the closure […]

Belvoir set to swoop on buying up businesses as letting agents’ fees ban draws near

Franchise chain Belvoir has said that it believes it can substantially mitigate the impact of the proposed ban on letting agent fees. It had previously said that a ban would cost it 8% of revenue. It also strongly suggested that some letting agents will go out of business, leaving their portfolios to be snapped up […]

Nearly one-third of applicant leads from portals ignored by agents – but do the portals deliver?

January 23, 2017

Up to almost one third of all inquiries coming through portals from people asking to be registered as applicants are ignored by agents. But compelling new research from proptech firm Reapit also shows the small percentage of portal leads which actually convert into an offer or instruction – just 7.5%. The research shows that the […]

Dealing with estate agents? It’s not that stressful, says public

The supposed stress of dealing with estate agents is one reason which puts people off moving home. However, in a list of ten possible deterrents put to people by online firm YOPA, it ranks in only eighth place. YOPA, in a survey of 1,000 UK home owners, found that other factors which stop people from […]

Hunters says it expects to expand ‘significantly’ this year after strong performance in 2016

Hunters has said that it expects ‘significant expansion’ this year, after putting in a strong performance during 2016. Last year the group – whose chairman is estate agent and Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake – opened 30 new branches, whilst reporting impressive trading updates throughout 2016. During the year, Hunters’ offices opened in counties including Greater […]

Thankyou so much to our readers as #FlorenceDay gathers in thousands

Proof – if it were needed – that EYE has the best readers. After we declared Friday to be #FlorenceDay your donations poured in to help two-year-old Florence Jackson, daughter of estate agent Rodney and his wife Caz. Florence is ill with a rare form of cancer, Neuroblastoma, and has so far endured an enormous […]

Double amputee estate agent shows extraordinary courage as he takes on new challenge

Shaun Whiter, the estate agent left for dead by a hit and run driver last July, is shortly to take on a 150-mile cycling challenge. Shaun, 28, who had to have both legs amputated, will join 100 others in the two-day charity challenge around Suffolk. He will be using a specially built hand bike, and […]

Purplebricks lettings director cashes in on shares

Purplebricks lettings director Richard Jacques has sold shares in the company. The sale of the 35,000 shares was at £1.6025. Purplebricks made the announcement, while also advising the London Stock Exchange that an employee has exercised options to subscribe for 30,451 ordinary shares in the company at 0.1p each. The options were granted prior to […]

Today we announce ‘#FlorenceDay’: Please give what you can to help save agent’s small daughter

January 20, 2017

Today on Property Industry Eye is ‘#FlorenceDay’. We ask every reader who visits EYE today to donate a minimum of £5 to the crowdfunding effort to raise £250,000 needed to take desperately ill two-year-old Florence Jackson to America for a potentially life-saving operation. Florence is the daughter of estate agent Rodney Jackson, a negotiator at […]

Letting agents’ fee ban consultation gets icy reception from industry bodies

(Today on Property Industry Eye is ‘#Florence Day’. We ask that every reader who visits EYE today donates a minimum of £5 to the crowdfunding effort to raise £250,000 needed to take desperately ill two-year old Florence Jackson to America for a potentially life-saving operation. You can donate here ) The timing of the consultation […]

Romans sign up to Zoopla after years of listing only on Rightmove

(Today on Property Industry Eye is ‘#Florence Day’. We ask that every reader who visits EYE today donates a minimum of £5 to the crowdfunding effort to raise £250,000 needed to take desperately ill two-year old Florence Jackson to America for a potentially life-saving operation. You can donate here ) Property Service Holdings, parent company […]

Free platform allows high street agents to promote themselves – and their fees

(Today on Property Industry Eye is ‘#Florence Day’. We ask that every reader who visits EYE today donates a minimum of £5 to the crowdfunding effort to raise £250,000 needed to take desperately ill two-year old Florence Jackson to America for a potentially life-saving operation. You can donate here ) A new service has launched […]

Home mover numbers fall for first time in five years as lack of supply hits market

(Today on Property Industry Eye is ‘#Florence Day’. We ask that every reader who visits EYE today donates a minimum of £5 to the crowdfunding effort to raise £250,000 needed to take desperately ill two-year old Florence Jackson to America for a potentially life-saving operation. You can donate here ) The number of home movers […]

NEWSFLASH: Government announces consultation on lettings fee ban to be in March

January 19, 2017

During a debate in the House of Lords this morning, it was made known that the consultation on the ban on letting fees charged to tenants will be in March/April. Baroness Grender, who introduced the Renters’ Rights Bill, tabled a question asking about the “steps to implement a ban on lettings fees announced in the […]

New industry trade body gets set to go ahead after first meeting of founding members

A new trade body – and potential property portal – is set to go ahead after a preliminary meeting yesterday. The prospective founder members of the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents, all active owner-managers of independent firms, unanimously signed a Letter of Intent to move forward with formal inauguration, expressing total support for […]

Thousands respond to agent’s moving appeal to save two-year-old daughter with rare cancer

An estate agent and his wife have launched an urgent appeal in an attempt to save the life of their two-year-old daughter Florence. The appeal has met with an extraordinary response from kind-hearted strangers within just two days. Florence has a rare cancer and was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma just over a year ago, […]

Housing minister to headline NAEA national conference

The National Association of Estate Agents has announced that the housing minister will be among speakers at its national conference next month. Around 500 delegates are expected to attend. Gavin Barwell will discuss the Government’s housing plan and there will be time for a 20-minute Q&A at the event on February 9 in Bishopsgate, London. […]

Surveyors predicting drop in transactions over next three months

Surveyors have reported a subdued start to the year with a slight drop in sales activity and many predicting a fall in volume over the next three months. The latest RICS UK Residential Market Survey found that 1% more chartered surveyors saw a fall rather than a rise in sales in December and only 4% […]

New podcasts to help letting agents to run throughout this year

Hamilton Fraser, parent company to mydeposits, the Property Redress Scheme, Client Money Protect and Total Landlord Insurance, has launched a series of property podcasts. ‘Brand ambassador’ Paul Shamplina and Hamilton Fraser managing director Eddie Hooker will be covering key topics in the private rented sector. The audio podcasts are released every month and cover the […]

Agents told not to fight letting fees ban but concentrate on making it work

January 18, 2017

Civil servants have stressed that it is the “political will” of Government to ban letting agent fees and that the industry’s focus should be not on preventing the ban but on how it will work. The message has been relayed by the Fair Fees Forum Working Group, set up towards the end of last year […]

Residents evacuated after agent’s board ruptures gas pipe and sparks emergency

Fire and rescue officers from three stations had to be called and residents were evacuated after an agent’s board put up in the front garden of a property ruptured a gas pipe. The drama happened last Saturday evening. The board had been put up earlier that day at a rental property and is said to […]

House prices DID go down last year while demand and supply both dwindled, says haart

Actual average house prices across England and Wales went down on both a monthly and an annual basis in December, estate agents haart have reported. The ‘actual’ data from haart’s own sales information contradicts other figures which suggest that house prices have continued to rise. However, from its own network’s data across some 100 offices, […]

Mother and daughter await sentencing for property fraud where they fooled estate agents

A mother and daughter face sentencing for their parts in a property fraud in which they fooled estate agents and lenders. Laylah De Cruz, 31, and her mother, Dianne Moorcroft, 62, are due to be sentenced on March 10 following a nine-day trial at Southwark Court. The pair had taken part in a plot to […]

House price growth increases, but sales decline – ONS

Average house prices in the UK increased by 6.7% in the year to November 2016 to £218,000, but sales are down, the Office for National Statistics has revealed. While growth increased from 6.4% in October, sales volume data, only available up to September, shows that transactions fell to levels similar to 2013 at just over […]

TV property presenter backs Purplebricks – and accuses high street agents of ‘hiding’ their fees

January 17, 2017

Purplebricks has rolled out to a second territory in Australia, while claiming that in the UK people are paying too much in commission to high street estate agents. Property TV presenter Amanda Lamb, an ex estate agent who now presents A Place in The Sun, backed the claims, including UK’s ‘commisery’ campaign by Purplebricks. She […]

Fall-throughs: Why agents should tell vendors not to go elsewhere

Vendors whose sales have fallen through lessen their chances of selling again if they switch agents. New research into fall-throughs last year shows that 44% went on to sell through the same agent. By contrast, the chances of selling through a different agent were less at 38%. Those fall-throughs that were listed with a second […]

Countrywide gets ready to appoint new retail director

Countrywide may be closing offices and consulting with staff on redundancies – but it is still recruiting. Our eye was caught by an advert for a senior residential sales and lettings director for London. Experience is, of course, required – but it would appear not in sales or lettings. The job description on Countrywide’s own […]

UK online agency founder named by Forbes as one of Europe’s top young entrepreneurs

Daniel Attia, the 27-year-old founder of online agent YOPA, has been named by Forbes on its list of Under 30 entrepreneurs. Attia is one of 30 finalists in the technology section. Other young innovators on the list include the likes of Hello Fresh founder Edward Boyes, football player Gareth Bale, star of Slumdog Millionaire Dev […]

How to build a strong sales or lettings team that really works

When hiring estate agents for your sales or lettings team, who wouldn’t want a self-starting, go-getting, close-the-deal-at-all-costs superstar? Nothing seems to faze these impressive individuals. An ambitious sales target? No problem! Every competitor in the area sniffing around a hot prospect? No sweat. In fact, you may think recruiting a team full of ambitious, high-achieving […]

Claims between Agents’ Mutual and agent withdrawn in Competition Appeal Tribunal case

January 16, 2017

An order has been issued in the Competition Appeal Tribunal relating to Agents’ Mutual v Moginie James, the Cardiff-based independent estate agent. The order, made on January 6, was on the application of the parties. It says that by consent it is ordered that: “1. Pursuant to rule 44 of the Competition Appeal Tribunal Rules […]

New trade body for agents will welcome high-tech firms but will insist on no sale, no fee model

A preliminary founder members’ meeting of a new trade body is to go ahead this Wednesday, founder Charlie Wright has confirmed. He also revealed that the over-riding pre-requisite of membership will be a no sale, no fee model – and that all the prospective founding members are male. Wright, who is the founder and managing […]

House prices almost reach pre-Stamp Duty rush peak in ‘strong finish to uncertain year’

House prices almost recovered to their March peak at the end of 2016 but transactions were down 3.9%, according to the latest Your Move House Price Index. The figures for last month show prices grew 0.4% in December, up 3.1% year-on-year to £297,678. The figure is close to Rightmove’s new average asking price of £300,245 […]

Referral fee is last reason why estate agents choose conveyancer partner

Most agents choose a conveyancing partner based on their quality of work and reputation, rather than the referral fee. New research among 92 smaller independent agents shows that only 5% have no relationship with any conveyancer, 70% have a relationship with more than one conveyancing partner, and 25% refer customers to just one law firm. […]

Estate agency trainer Richard Rawlings sets out on an ‘estate agent survival tour’

Estate agency trainer Richard Rawlings is starting an “estate agent survival tour’ tomorrow. Rawlings said: “I am convinced 2017 will be seismic for estate agency, both in terms of threats and opportunities. Most agents won’t know what will hit them! So I have arranged a series of seminars over the next six weeks.” Rawlings said […]

Agent’s fury after seven members of ‘staff’ get touting letter from EweMove

January 13, 2017

An agent has complained strongly after a ‘touting’ letter was sent to seven members of his staff at work seeking to recruit them to EweMove. The letter from EweMove’s Glenn Ackroyd headed ‘private and confidential’ was sent personally to seven named people at Buckinghams in Virginia Water, Surrey. However, none of the names is known […]

Nearly 3,000 agents ‘unlikely to still be in business in three years’ time’

New analysis from an insolvency firm which monitors levels of financial distress across the UK economy has claimed that 2,893 estate agents were experiencing financial distress at the start of this year, up 13% from 12 months ago. These businesses all have at least one ‘red flag’ against their name, which Begbies Traynor said was […]

Savills shares soar after firm says profits will be ahead of expectations

Savills’ share price soared over 14% yesterday after it said that profits for last year “will be meaningfully ahead of our previous expectations”. The shares jumped 97.50p, or 14.12%, to finish at 788p – up from a starting price of 690.50p. In yesterday’s trading update, Savills said it had experienced a strong finish to last […]

New franchise launching for estate and letting agents will offer hybrid service

A new estate and letting agency franchise is being launched. Called Monopoly Buy Sell Rent, the business was originally started by managing director Simon Evans in 2013 and has operated two branches, in Wrexham and north Wales. It is only now that franchises are being offered. The model has been developed by a specialist business […]

Email advert for online agent angers high street firms

An advert sent out on behalf of an online agent to Zoopla customers has annoyed agents who also received it. However, Zoopla has defended it, saying that any customers can choose to advertise in this way. A Zoopla spokesperson said: “Our email marketing services are available to all our members on a local basis and […]

Website bans property sourcers after fleecing customers of ‘life saving’ amounts

January 12, 2017

Property sourcers have been banned from posting on the Property Tribes website unless they belong to a redress scheme. The decision follows what the site describes as “an increasing number of calls from people who have lost life-changing amounts of money to deal sourcers, portfolio building companies and other such entities”. The site says: “Today, […]

Former Marsh & Parsons boss Peter Rollings buys stake in Viewber

Peter Rollings, ex-MD of Foxtons and until recently CEO of Marsh & Parsons, has taken a stake in Viewber. This is the outsourced viewing service for the property industry, including both online and high street agents, led by Ed Mead, formerly of London firm Douglas & Gordon. Rollings, who stepped down from Marsh & Parsons […]

Time to move on from London’s annus horribilis, says agent

An agent has said it is time to move on from 2016 – which he described as London’s annus horribilis. Michael Wilson, sales director of London agent Mountgrange Heritage, said sales prices in the capital are now 15% down from peak. However, he went on: “Our sales figures in the final quarter of 2016 were […]

Purplebricks shrugs off negative reviews on allAgents

Purplebricks has shrugged off negative reviews on allAgents. Of the 24 reviews, almost all give the lowest possible one-star rating. A spokesperson for Purplebricks said: “More than any other estate agent we actively encourage our customers to leave feedback, good or bad, and we will always listen to it, improve and make amends where necessary. […]

Proptech venture firm Pi Labs announces latest start-ups it will support

Proptech venture capital specialist Pi Labs has announced the latest new businesses that it will back this year. They are: Ask Pam, a chat-based assistancy service to help households get jobs done around the home. Falcon DHQ, which describes itself as the digital headquarters for the private security industry. Keepsite, a platform for those that […]

NEWSFLASH: Foxtons warns that trading conditions remain challenging after slide in profits

January 11, 2017

In a trading update this morning, Foxtons said that it expects this year to be challenging following a fall in profits and revenue during 2016. The company said that total group revenue for the year was circa £133m (2015: £150m), with revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2016 totalling circa £26m (2015: £35m). Adjusted […]

Plans afoot to launch new mutual body for independent agents – complete with possible challenger portal

Attempts are to be made to form a new mutual body, complete with portal should members decide they want one, for independent estate and letting agents. A meeting of founder agents is to be held in London in a week’s time to discuss getting the Charter for Independent Estate and Letting Agents (CIELA) off the […]

Total of 31 illegal immigrants removed from UK as a result of Right to Rent

A total of 31 people have been removed from the UK following implementation of the Right to Rent regime which showed they were illegal immigrants with no right to live in private rented accommodation. The figure, revealed in a parliamentary reply in the House of Lords, covers the period to September 30 last year. The […]