Agency selling properties for free rolls out across the UK

Strike, the hybrid agency, formerly Housesimple, has announced that it is rolling out across the UK after initially providing its services in the Midlands and the north of England.

The move by the company, which aims to undercut traditional high street estate agents by offering vendors a free property sales service, comes as little surprise after it raised fresh investment last year.

The agency has long planned to scale up its online offering to increase its market share after raising £ 11m via its latest funding round.

The investment was partly provided by two new backers of the business – Sir Peter Wood, via SPWOne, and Channel 4 Ventures – with further funding from existing investors Freston Ventures and Toscafund.

Strike has firmly set its sights on becoming the largest UK estate agency brand this year, with ambitions to surpass both traditional and online counterparts.

Also backed by Sir Charles Dunstone, an early investor in the business, the latest funding round has also enabled Strike to increase brand awareness through Channel 4 Ventures’ investment in a media-for-equity deal. This is where the broadcaster provides airtime in return for an equity stake in the business.

Sam Mitchell
Sam Mitchell

To date, Strike claims to have sold £5.42bn of property, and to be the fastest to get a sale agreed – 40 days – out of the top 10 estate agent brands in the country.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer at Strike, said: “From  day one we knew the potential in what Strike could achieve and our regional launch has proved the thirst for it. Since our last funding round, we’ve continued to invest in technology so there’s a seamless selling experience. We’re confident we’ll be the obvious choice for anyone looking to sell this year who wants a straightforward, no cost option, that puts them in control.”

Chris Wensley, investment director at SPW One, commented: “It’s been a bumpy year for the housing market but Strike is one of the winners. As we consider the prospect of more restrictions, it’s difficult to predict the movement of the sector in 2022, but selling a property for free isn’t going to lose its shine. We’re excited to support Strike in their next missive as they stride towards being the market leader in the UK.”

Vinay Solanki and Hannah Redgewell issued a a joint statement on behalf of Channel 4 Ventures: “Strike is shaking up the sector like no other and revolutionising how people move home. There are many synergies between our brands, and we’re excited to give access to our influential marketing platform to help Strike reach even more sellers across the UK.”

 

Strike claims to be ‘the fastest growing estate agent brand in the UK’

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12 Comments

  1. PepeM

    With respect to the lovies at Channel 4 Ventures the only thing that Strike are revolutionising in the Estate Agency industry is how quickly money can be p….d away !

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    1. Robert_May

      Don’t be too hard on C4; far more entrepreneurial and business savvy folk (Caan/ Desmond/ Springer) have confidently invested quite a lot of cash, respect and  reputation  into revolutionising estate agency since 2013. It’s a polished, well rehearsed compelling script- magic beans, bean stalks, gold egg laying geese, boo hiss expensive estate agents.

      FSBO is part of the industry, this is the latest pike in that particular pond. Strike will compete with the local low performers  and the other passive intermediary listing firms. Professional estate agents  (M62 area) use them  as a weapon against their closer competitors as a way of getting  better fees.

       

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  2. PeeBee

    “To date, Strike claims to have sold £5.42bn of property”

    Their website states 5.02bn.  Where has the extra FOUR HUNDRED MILLION POUNDS of sales come from that you credit them with, EYE?

     

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  3. tinytimy88

    I wonder whether ‘sold’ is completed or ‘sales agreed’ by Strike?

     

    Having tried to get any sense from their ‘after sales team’ I would guess the latter.

     

    Would also be interesting to se how they could substantiate the below claim:

     

    “we sell for £6,800 more”

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  4. Shaun77

    I’m surprised nobody has flagged up the very obvious conflict of interest with this model. If Strike essentially make their money through mortgage referrals, how can they be impartial when recommending which buyer to choose or in fact, which offer to push?

    Why would they be recommending a cash buyer or buyer with their own mortgage broker over and above somebody they’ve shoehorned into using their own offering? Surely there must be a breech in there somewhere??

     

     

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    1. Woodentop

      This happens all the time when referral fee’s are involved. How many agents will direct a person for nothing, when they can get paid?  
       
      There was an agent some years ago exposed by a TV documentary of how they would not forward offers unless they used their mortgage services or later on they would tell the seller falsely that their buyer had pulled out, but don’t worry we have found a new one (one they subsequently found that would use there FS and gazummped their first buyer and sometimes for lower sale price). The story to the first buyers was, sorry the vendor has decided not to proceed with the sale!
       
      The agent in question ravied it could get any mortgage from any lender but in  reality only used a panel that paid a referral fee, not necessarily the best for the customer.
       
      It was a condition under Estate Agency Practice Orders of the 1990’s to include conflicts of interest, disclosure of commissions earned in agents contracts with vendors which has never been recinded.
       
      There is a duty of care under the Estates Agency Act to disclose material information and if you have any other financial interest in the propertrty transaction and particulary mentiones financial services commissions.

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  5. KByfield04

    There’s always going to be people trying to reinvent the agency wheel- especially with the reputation our industry continues to carry. ROPA and the ongoing professionalization of our sector will make this increasingly hard to do. However, the question ultimately;y has to be the commercial viability of a business model. Although rebranded, this is a mature business of 10 years- yet their latest accounts filed just 3 days ago now show cumulative losses of over £54m with around £5m lost over the previous 12 months accounting. As they scale nationally, and their advertising spend has to go one way- up, you have to ask how they will radically transform their financials. ATM I can’t see how they can so this hole is surely just going to keep getting bigger. Sam’s a great guy and I actually like the brand they’ve created but at some point the pied piper will want to get paid or he stops playing.

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  6. phil@4cornersproperty.co.uk

    Nothing is FREE, how can the look themselves in the mirror knowing they are blindsiding the clients into mortgage deals and referral fee’s that arent in the best interests of the Vendors and buyers?

    In addition, referral fee’s are on the roadmap to be banned, so how else will the money train continue to chug along?

     

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  7. skipdale

    I appreciate that I am late in the day posting on this one, but I have been out most of the day providing market appraisals where once instructed I will get a fee, that will give me the motivation to sell these properties at the best possible price and see it through to the end, using local solicitors and mortgage brokers. When I say local, I mean in my town.

    My question regarding the story is this. Just how long will it take to re-pay the £11 million investors back? First they have to pay for brand advertsing, property portals, staff, overheads, etc. Lets say they get £300 commision for conveyancing and same on a mortgage. So £600 a sale, Fag packet maths says 18,333 completions just to get the £11 Million back with out any outgoings.Factor in the outgoings and I just cannot see that they will ever make any money, but will without doubt take some stock away from us. If these investors want to buy a business that will give a good return, I turnover about £400k and make 20% nett profit (after all salaries including mine). 60 hour week, but looks like a better investment to me.

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    1. PeeBee

      “Just how long will it take to re-pay the £11 million investors back?”

      Ask those that chipped in to Mr Quirk’s emoov how their “investment” is going – it’ll give you a guide…

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  8. Leicestercitystar

    Are Strike the new Purplebricks?

    While Yopa call themselves the best hybrid estate agency and attention still seems to be focused on Purplebricks within the industry, Strike seem to be taking a huge market share across the UK without any media attention which is very clever.

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    1. PeeBee

      “Strike seem to be taking a huge market share across the UK without any media attention which is very clever.”
       
      Nah… they are just the next accident waiting to happen, Leicestercitystar.

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