easyProperty’s new owner reveals ambitious expansion plans – and says he has ‘no regrets’

The new owner of easyProperty says he has no regrets about his purchase.

He is set to launch a comprehensive set of new features, while more than doubling the number of licensees and territories.

David Brierley, who bought easyProperty in August for an undisclosed sum, will unveil a new website, new CRM software, an interface that will connect all parties to a transaction, and new pricing later this month.

Brierley has also spoken of his ambitions to grow the brand which has so far passed through two owners.

The first was Robert Ellice, who famously held a ‘funeral march’ through London to mark the death of the high street agent; and eProp Services, parent company of The Guild and Fine & Country, which had the painful task of reporting losses of £9m and liabilities of £22.8m over a 15-month period for its online venture and not surprisingly got out.

Brierley, who also owns floorplans-to-photography industry supplier Evolve, is clearly determined to breathe new life into easyProperty.

He revealed that there are currently some 23 licensees covering 40 territories. Most of the existing licensees are Guild or Fine & Country agents, but Brierley says he took on the business knowing that many agents would stop trading the easyProperty brand.

He said: “It was inevitable that we would lose quite a lot. Most had already given in notice, and we have lost another eight or nine since.

“The previous business model just wasn’t working because of the conflict of interest between easyProperty and the existing high street business.

“Those licensees who have remained see easyProperty for what it is, and perceive value in the brand.”

However, Brierley says he is in active talks with prospective licensees for 54 additional territories – in Wales, the midlands and the north. “We will also be launching in Scotland in January,” he revealed.

None of the licensees in the pipeline are connected to the Guild or Fine & Country, but are drawn from the wider industry.

One oddity has been that licensees are free to set their own pricing, which is why there is no mention of cost on the current website.

This will change at around Christmas when Brierley launches three packages – upfront, split between upfront and sale, and no sale, no fee.

He won’t be drawn on what the new pricing will be, but says it will be in the same ballpark as Purplebricks and Yopa, although slightly cheaper.

Brierley also says that he is strongly supported by easy founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

“Stelios cannot understand why ‘easy’ isn’t doing for property what it did for travel,” said Brierley.

He believes that this will soon change – not least because he thinks the brand offers such opportunities for agents wanting to set up on their own.

“What we’re offering is an iconic brand and a business in a box,” said Brierley.

“The easy brand will give licensees huge leverage, probably the most recognised in the country after Virgin.

“Thirty years ago, someone wanting to set up on their own would have found premises on the high street, put their name over the door, and started trading. Now the costs are prohibitive for most people.

“We’re offering a business model that will appeal to branch managers and senior negotiators who want to work for themselves, and which they will find much more accessible.”

The cost is £350 per territory per month, with most potential licensees wanting two territories. Each territory has around 25,000 owner-occupiers in it.

There is no joining fee, and licensees get to keep 70% of their listings money – payable once it has been received.

Brierley accepts that to be successful easyProperty will mean hard work – both for the franchisees and his own Hampshire-based team. He firmly believes it will pay off, but accepts that there was some incredulity when news broke of his acquisitision.

“We’re offering both consumers and the industry more choice, and that can’t be bad,” he said. “I have no regrets about the purchase – far from it.”

Below, David Brierley, CEO of easyProperty, with Sir Stelios

 

More top news stories

Landlords’ Barometer – #77: How will landlords survive and thrive this year?

Continue Reading ...

New ‘business incubator’ service launches for agents wanting to go it alone

Continue Reading ...
x

Email the story to a friend

13 Comments

  1. dantheman78

    Well there’s another game about to be changed.

    Report
    1. J1

      Don’t you mean disrupted ???

      Report
  2. J1

    Actually it looks cheap and low end.

    If you are happy dealing with low value stuff – this might be your way forward.

     

     

    Report
  3. jeremy1960

    Double nothing equals nothing!

    Do these folk never take any notice of how others have failed?

    Report
  4. PeeBee

    “…it will be in the same ballpark as Purplebricks and Yopa, although slightly cheaper.”

    Ahhh… the “Quirk differentiator”!  Worked a treat for him, didn’t it?

    There is one idiot in every school playground that thinks the way to be best at football is to kick the ball harder than anyone else.

    Report
  5. Woodentop

    “Stelios cannot understand why ‘easy’ isn’t doing for property what it did for travel,” said Brierley.

     

    Mention EasyJet to anyone and one things is common. Cheap, low service on a budget. Just what a home owner is looking for!

    Report
    1. Ostrich17

      “Stelios cannot understand why ‘easy’ isn’t doing for property what it did for travel,” said Brierley.

       

      I think Stelios does understand – but he is happy to let some other mug buy into the Easy franchise and try and crack a market which, unlike the airline business, has low barriers to entry.

      Report
  6. APE

    So, as and when you build up a huge (in online Agent terms) revenue of, say, £300,000, you get to keep £205,800.  I’ve not bothered to account for VAT, as that would be the least of your problems.  Figure in all the other running costs that a naive franchisee would be blissfully unaware of and you’ll soon be rebranding to easyDebt.

    Report
  7. Dyane

    << Brierley also says that he is strongly supported by easy founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.
    “Stelios cannot understand why ‘easy’ isn’t doing for property what it did for travel,” said Brierley.  >>
    Because he and you Mr Brierley, are deluded about how our profession works. Big ‘brands’ mean nothing in a profession run by real people.

    << “Thirty years ago, someone wanting to set up on their own would have found premises on the high street, put their name over the door, and started trading. Now the costs are prohibitive for most people.  >>

    Yes exactly, put your name above the door.

    Not thirty years ago though as this is what proper, professional estate agents do NOW.

    They rely on the own personal reputations and expertise to provide high quality and personalised service to their customers (both buyers and sellers) and that is why ALL of these so called disrupters, have or are failing. Not one of them is a profitable trading business for all the millions of pounds that have been wasted chasing an impossible dream.

    Will the Brierleys and Sir Stelioss of this world never learn? They, and all these similar companies, are doomed to failure from the first for their fundamental failure to understand the profession that they think that they can buy into.

    Report
    1. Woodentop

      Will the Brierleys and Sir Stelioss of this world never learn? They, and all these similar companies, are doomed to failure from the first for their fundamental failure to understand the profession that they think that they can buy into.
       
      Err No. Don’t need any qualifications, have a camera, tape measure and can spin a yarn or two, ‘Easy’ money!
       
      They will never get it, nor will all the investors who have pumped meggar £m’s in and lost it over years. This is the dotcom boom and bust all over again. They are in blind denial which just goes to show how stupid some people are with money that will be burnt (other peoples money) and actually haven’t a clue what is really involved. Bigger players have tried to crack the code and failed when this lot were still in short pants. It is not how much money you have, the brand name or how big you are that makes you successfull in this industry. 

      Report
    2. Dyane

      P.S.

      ……..and if you run the maths, 40 odd territories (and reducing) at £350pcm you get and ‘Easy’ turnover of just £168,000 + VAT, which is half what our local corner shop takes! (I know as I had to value it the other day.)

      So once again I have to ask why these insignificant companies are given the oxygen of publicity in pages such as these? They are so irrelevant to our profession that we have to stop treating them like they matter at all.

      And stop commenting on them so that’s me over and out!

      Report
  8. AgencyInsider

    Just a quick look at the picture tells you all you need to know about who is getting fat on the proceeds of easy licences…

    Report
  9. Snyper

    “Stelios cannot understand why ‘easy’ isn’t doing for property what it did for travel,” said Brierley

     

    Well when I fly EasyJet it’s because it’s the only airline flying from where I’m leaving to where I’m going.

    For selling a property? I have a much wider choice.

    Report
X

You must be logged in to report this comment!

Leave a reply

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.