Adam Day: ‘Being the big bad wolf of agency helped grow my business but I was wrong in predictions’

Online agency pioneer Adam Day has reiterated his comments made in an interview carried by EYE on Monday, admitting he was wrong to predict the sector would be “mass market” by now.

Day, who founded the first online agent Hatched in 2005  before selling it to Connells in 2015 – and left Emoov as head of estate agency after just a few months in the role – said it was a mistake to have predicted a “pivot point” for internet agents by last year.

Speaking in a wide-ranging video interview with industry consultant Christopher Watkin, Day said: “I was wrong. I hold my hands up.”

Day also revealed that he “revelled in being the big bad wolf” in early media coverage.

He said Emoov founder Russell Quirk has since replaced him as the “big bad wolf”, but added: “It gave us free publicity and more oxygen to our business models.”

Day, who has now set up his own consultancy, said Purplebricks has benefited from having lots of money behind it, but he also warns that agents should keep an eye on individuals running “bedroom businesses” as hybrids that he claims are also taking online market share.

He revealed that online agency has evolved into something he doesn’t agree with.

Day described the automation and efficiency from online agency as positive but said “charging up-front doesn’t help the customer or the agent”.


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  1. ArthurHouse02

    When he talks about automation, does he really mean cheaper and need for less staff? This “tech” was always championed as a customer service benefit to the client,yet hearing it described as automation means something very different.

    Nice of Adam to say he was wrong though…cheers

  2. J1

    Little pig more like

    Dont big yourself up sunshine

    To think Agents will be prepared to take your advice going forward is also fantasy

  3. Essjaydee51

    You know what they say. Those that can, do and those that can’t, consult!

    1. Traditionalist


  4. Kopredwebb

    He wasn’t the first online/hybrid. Purplebricks Ken Bruce worked in Southampton and copied a business named Smartmove that traded there in 2003/4.

    1. Robert May

      At least 4 years before that Radio 4 ran an article about a new breed of ‘agents’ who were taking a fee to list on the then very young portals and then doing nothing  after that. They warned listeners against what they were effectively calling a scam..

      It’s a shame  iplayer and the R4 archives don’t go back to 1999, a lot of what is going on now was featured in that program

  5. sanctuary45

    Been at the helm of how many failed businesses? And now you’re a “consultant” expecting people to listen to your advice on how to run their business? Laughable!

    1. HD23

      I’m not particularly a big fan myself, but he didn’t do too badly with Hatched selling it to one of the big boys. That’s the end goal with most of these tech companies to sell

      1. dave_d

        He sold a sinking ship, maybe he’s just a good salesman

  6. Tealeaf

    Don’t take this Guys advice,   His Partners at Hatched are the ones that made the moves, Adam D could not sort out a knife and fork draw.   Ring Ring – I need to hear the phones ring.    

  7. Woodentop

    At least it proves the point, as many of us said when the sold called on-liners shouted a loud they would revolutionise and take over estate agency.  Not only did they not revolutionise estate agency, they actually offered less service with cheap fee’s running from breadline to breadline, being valued at mega £m’s with no assets or fiscal viability. Time has proven that not only have they never run  a successful estate agency before they ventured into our market, they have used others money to keep their sinking ships afloat and for many it has run out and they are going bust. It will not be long before others fall by the side and if we should be going into another housing recession they have no fat to tied them through, unless some gullible investor dosen’t do some sensible research first. They have reached their peak and the only direction now is down, down, down.  
    All they have achieved is save some people money on fees for simple sales, disrupted the market to the point that many have suffered, small agents struggle to survive, people being made redundant, local communities suffering and investors not seeing any return in the form of a dividend. Will I cry for these on-liners, err no way.


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