Proptech firm comes down firmly on side of traditional agent

Published : 5th May 2017


Delegates at yesterday’s Proptech conference in London were told that high street agents are a better bet for vendors than hybrid and/or online firms.

Colby Short, of comparison site GetAgent,  told his audience that, based on listings in January 2016, Purplebricks vendors have since completed on 57%.

Short yesterday said it meant that 43% of Purplebricks customers had not saved money.

An excerpt from his talk said:

“People have been asking for completion rates for online agents forever and a day so we did the research.

We looked at 500 new listings by Purplebricks in January 2016, alongside all of the properties listed that month by Tepilo, HouseSimple and Emoov and this is what we found.

Purplebricks’ home owners completed on just 57% of the listings from that month: 57%.

Housesimple did best but only completed on 58%, while eMoov and Tepilo were down at 51% and 48% respectively.

So over half of Tepilo’s customers paid more than they would have with a no win, no fee agent, just by paying something: 17% of vendors went on to instruct a high street agent meaning they paid Tepilo and then paid a high street agent anyway!

Looking at Purplebricks, 43% of their customers definitely paid more. So for almost half of customers it definitely wasn’t cheaper and they definitely didn’t save any money. 

And these are people who were so keen to sell their home that they were prepared to part with £1,000 up front.”

Short yesterday evening told EYE:  “At GetAgent, we feel that the huge majority of people should not use an online agent.

“Whilst it may work for the few people out there who have good local market knowledge, are good negotiators and have lots of time on their hands, that is not often the case in today’s busy world. We feel this is shown by the fact that their market share is still so small despite spending £45m on TV and radio advertising in the past two years.

“We believe that a good traditional agent who has a strong track record of selling properties like yours, in your area, well is the only option when choosing who to use when selling your home. The challenge is seeing who those are and that is where we come in.

“Over the next few weeks we will be releasing more data and would encourage everyone to help us get the word out there about the amazing job many agents do using the hashtag #loveyouragent.”

GetAgent is an online service claiming to help people find the best agent in their area.