easyProperty has relaunched as a hybrid agency service vowing to “paint the country orange”.
It says it is now the second biggest online player behind Purplebricks.
The agency, which launched in 2015 ‘among the dinosaurs’ at the Natural History Museum, went on to deploy a public stunt which featured a funeral procession marking the supposed death of the high street agent.
However, it will now be high street agents selling the online option.
Following huge losses posted in March, the easyProperty business has restructured following a ‘merger’ with GPEA, parent company of the Guild of Property Processionals, and Fine & Country.
The £60m ‘merger’, backed by Toscafund Asset Management, sees the establishment of eProp Services as the holding company for GPEA and easyProperty.
Jon Cooke, new chief executive of easyProperty, admitted mistakes were made at the time of the first launch and that the focus should be on the consumer rather than “competitor bashing”.
He admitted some agents had mentioned the funeral procession marketing campaign during meetings.
Robert Ellice, founder and former chief executive, remains with the firm as commercial director, while Hatched founder Adam Day has been recruited as head of operations and has been leading the training.
Since the ‘merger’ in June, easyProperty has divided the country into territories and Guild and Fine & Country agents have been offered the chance to apply for an exclusive licence covering a set area.
The licence, costing £500 a month on a 12-month rolling contract, lets an agent use the easyProperty branding and technology to provide an online offering if a vendor would prefer that route.
Agencies won’t offer the online service through their own website but can instead mention the service when talking to vendors and refer them to the easyProperty offering.
Vendors can also go direct to the easyProperty website.
Sellers – who will pay between £295 and £1,500 – will be referred to a local property professional who would be an employee of one of the licensed agencies – who can provide a market appraisal in a vendor’s home and help with the listings, floorplans and photographs.
Over the past 84 days easyProperty has signed up 333 licensees and has 368 local property professionals during training seminars. In comparison, Purplebricks’ latest accounts showed 540 Local Property Experts, while YOPA shows 74 local representatives, and eMoov ten.
Cooke said there had been a mix of Fine & Country and Guild agents opting to buy into the service.
Property enquiries, viewing requests and bookings can all be made online and easyProperty’s contact centre also helps with sales negotiation and progression.
The local property professional can also help with viewings, depending on the service a seller opts for.
Vendors can choose from three easyProperty products – easySpeed, which offers an auction-style service for £295, easyStandard for £825 or easyPremium for £1,500.
The licensee will share some of the revenue if a vendor goes for the easyProperty service.
A lettings service is also being worked on for launch in October.
eProp Services has appointed private equity veteran Mark Phillips as chairman and experienced fundraiser Iain Manley as chief finance officer.
EYE asked if the appointment of individuals experienced in fundraising meant easyProperty would one day go for a public listing, but Cooke said they were focusing on its current offering for now.
Adverts relaunching the service will be run on television and radio, starting on Sunday during ITV drama Victoria.