Adam Day, founder of one of the very earliest online agencies, Hatched, has joined easyProperty as head of operations.
The move unites two well-known figures in the industry, Day and easyProperty chief Jon Cooke, both regarded as innovators.
The new appointment comes after EYE earlier this month reported Day’s departure from Hatched, now a Connells Group brand.
Day told EYE that a few days later, after seeing our story, easyProperty CEO Jon Cooke rang him.
“I knew immediately it was one of those calls that I really wanted to take,” said Day.
“I had been planning to take the summer off, but that all changed after the EYE story and Jon’s call.”
In his new job, which officially starts today, Day will be responsible for establishing the new systems and procedures needed to transform easyProperty from a consumer-facing online agent into a business-to-business entity, enabling high street branches to offer an online brand.
easyProperty is licensing its brand and technology to independent estate agents who belong to the Guild of Property Professionals and Fine & Country, both of which are part of GPEA. So far, there have been commitments to buy 270 monthly licences.
easyProperty was acquired by GPEA on July 13, in a deal financed by Toscafund, previous backers of easyProperty when it was led by Robert Ellice.
For the first time, GPEA has formally confirmed that the reverse takeover deal was worth £60m.
Cooke – who was behind both the LSLi venture and Fine & Country – said: “I’ve known Adam for a number of years and, like me, he has worked in a traditional agency so understands the best of both worlds.
“Adam brings his vast experience and knowledge of the online sales and lettings processes to easyProperty which, in conjunction with our licensees, is a real asset to our future growth.
“With Adam now on the team, we are confident of a successful relaunch in early September.”
Day launched Hatched in 2006, the second online agency to emerge in the UK. Connells acquired the business in November 2015, making it the first bricks and mortar property company to buy an online agency. Connells paid £400,000 for the business and potentially up to £1.5m.
Day, who left after running Hatched for 11 years, confirmed there was no gardening leave but has previously revealed that succession plans were put in place a year ago.
He said: “I had a wonderful time with Hatched. It was fantastic, and I don’t think I would have changed anything.
“Connells knew I wanted to move on, and were respectful of that. In any case, I am not the kind of person to sit around for months on end doing nothing.”
Day said that September’s relaunch of the easyProperty brand will be in the “new world”, enabling high street agents to complement their existing offering.
He also revealed that while there will still be an easyProperty presence in its current Docklands offices in London, the main hub will move to Kettering, in Northants.
At the weekend, easyProperty had 132 available sales properties on Rightmove. Many look to have been reduced in price, with the last new property added on July 14.
Here is how we reported Day’s departure from the Connells brand: