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Hybrid agent: ‘We have not even begun to capitalise on market disruption’

KREMER NS

Express Estate Agency, which claims to be the second biggest hybrid agent in the UK, says it has “not even begun” to capitalise on the disruption taking place in the world of estate agency.

The Manchester-based business was founded by brothers Chris and Mark Brogan and business partner Sam Ballard in 2009 and has an unusual celebrity endorsement in the shape of former cricketer Sir Ian Botham, who features on its website.

It has previously been described as a quick sale agent but Mark Brogan said it was never a term that he and his brother have ever used for the business.

He said: “We’ve always dealt with sellers of all levels of motivation. I think that’s something people have incorrectly assumed as we have the word ‘express’ in our name maybe.

“I suppose we were the original hybrid before the term existed.”

The business, which has been self-funded up until this point, charges on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis.

Its typical fee ranges from 1% to 1.5% for what it describes as a “full service no sale, no fee” offering.

It claims to have grown its sales listings levels by over 40% in the second half of 2017.

According to its own research, based on listings on home.co.uk on February 8 this year, it calculates that it lies in second place among hybrid/online agents with 3,029 listings, behind Purplebricks with 15,620 and ahead of Yopa with 1,835.

It currently has 3,622 properties listed on Rightmove, including those sold STC.

It also has 33 agents in the field — considerably fewer than its nearest rivals — and is aiming to recruit more.

It estimates that Purplebricks has 714 ‘Local Property Experts’ while Yopa has 102 agents.

Mark Brogan told EYE: “Through our research we are comfortably the second largest hybrid/online estate agent in terms of available stock and revenue levels (with almost twice as many listings as third place Yopa and approximately double Yopa’s revenue levels).

“Unlike the vast majority of other hybrid/online estate agents, we see great value offered in many cases by traditional estate agents.

“We are firm believers in the full service plus ‘no sale, no fee’ model.”

He added: “On a shoe-string budget we find ourselves in the top two hybrid/online estate agents, plus in the top ten estate agent companies in Britain by sales listings.

“Despite this, we believe we have not even begun to more aggressively capitalise on the tremendous disruption that has been taking place.”

Last year, a mystery league table of estate agent businesses placed Express Estate Agency ninth by brand, and tenth by estate agency group.

The table examined the number of properties from each group and brand in December 2017.

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Source:: Hybrid agent: ‘We have not even begun to capitalise on market disruption’