An agent is offering a business based on what it sees as the ultimate in customer service.
The model is based on assigning each client and property to just one dedicated client manager, who handles the deal all the way through, from marketing appraisal to instruction, marketing, negotiation and sale.
In return, individual staff get much higher commission – 40% of what the business earns from the deal – with no colleagues sharing the commission pot.
Jamie Gray launched Nexa, in Portsmouth, three months ago with his start-to-finish business model largely aimed at fighting back against online agents.
He says online rivals are not motivated to sell, but only to list.
Gray, who ran an estate agency in Dubai for two years, said that start-to-finish was common there, and also in other high-end international markets.
He said: “When I came back to the UK, I couldn’t believe that the same thing didn’t exist here.”
Gray, whose other businesses specialise in development and property investment, said: “Property investors in particular are used to dealing with the same adviser – so why isn’t this the norm in estate agency?
“Instead, agents are defined, labelled and categorised to single specific roles.
“There are no start-to-finish agents and for a customer, this is incredibly frustrating. Customers want to be able to build a relationship with an individual and create trust and confidence.
“There seems to be a completely backward practice in this country whereby an agent that wins an instruction doesn’t seem to have full accountability and responsibility for the sale of that instruction.”
In a blog on his site, he tells clients: “In high performing markets, individual agents are driven by their sales and generally paid approximately 50% of the commission for each deal.
“This means that an agent will fight tooth and nail to get you as a client, keep you as a client and sell your property.
“This structure completely removes the ceiling of what an individual agent can earn and motivates them to love and be great at their work.
“As a seller, surely, you’d like to know that the person selling your property is financially incentivised to do so, rather than someone who will get their same salary regardless if they sell it or not.”
Gray added that the big ticket earning a client manager can get out of one sale incentives them to achieve the best possible price to the most stable buyer.
He said: “Currently in the market agents get a 2-5% share of the x% commission.
“This really is where the market has faltered.
”Whether a sales negotiator sells it or not it makes very little difference to their earnings and even if they do just want to work out of self motivation and integrity, but have no real ownership of the sale because the responsibility is shared amongst the whole office and therefore it’s very difficult to be personally motivated.”
Gray said that the firm currently employs himself and two others, and lists some 12 sales properties and about 30 rental homes.
He said he is confident that the “first to last” business model will hold up as the firm expands – and that it has already picked up instructions specifically because of its approach.