A respected proptech commentator has commended eMoov as a business model that works in online estate agency.
American Mike DelPrete was writing in US publication Inman, ahead of Purplebricks’ launch in America – where he said the battle is about to heat up.
However, instead of focusing on Purplebricks itelf, he has chosen eMoov as his case study.
He picked it because it has been around longer than Purplebricks – four years – and is “battle tested in the field”. It is also on its third iteration of technology.
DelPrete says that while eMoov believes technology plays an important part by empowering customers and making agents more efficient, it also believes that the human element is still needed in certain areas such as negotiation and progression.
However, viewings are entirely scheduled online – a process so efficient that eMoov says it is now handling double the number of viewings it had last year with half the staff.
Some steps that were done manually a year ago, are now done by eMoov’s customers themselves, using the on-site technology.
The process of listing a property is now so quick and so automated, that eMoov now employs a team of nine to handle new customers, instead of the 15 it had. Its larger team handled 60 new cases per person at any one time; its current smaller team can handle over 100 new cases per person.
Del Pretel also points out that not all of eMoov’s technology has been successful, quoting founder Russell Quirk as saying: “We’ve ripped up an entire build and thrown it away and a team with it. We … just didn’t listen to the customers. We focused more on the solution than understanding the problem.”
DelPrete also finds that some technology simply didn’t grab the customers or add anything to the proposition – virtual tours being a case in point.
We don’t include a link to the article, because Inman is for paying subscribers only, but we can add an observation from Quirk.
He told EYE: “Mike DelPrete is a highly respected proptech commentator and we’re grateful that he asked to use us as a case study.
“What we should glean from his synopsis is that technology in estate agency is a differentiator amongst the various players and even online agents, most of whom have no technology at all.
“The platform that we have built truly empowers both seller and buyer and puts THEM in control of their listing and their transaction providing 24/7 access and proper transparency.
“Whilst this is a huge differentiator for us, such platforms will be essential for all industry participants ultimately and especially as high street companies’ margins are squeezed and squeezed, whereas our tech significantly reduces the cost of servicing each customer even though we believe strongly that people themselves are still a VERY integral part of the estate agency proposition.
“Such tech creation is without doubt hugely under-estimated by most. The team needed to deploy our kind of solution and the time and cost involved make the necessity of embracing our approach equally daunting for those that have not done so.”