It’s a bit worrying when a national newspaper, The Sunday Telegraph, explains to its readers: “Britain’s high street estate agents, already competing against low-cost online rivals and a new listings website, OnTheMarket, are now facing a threat from across the Atlantic.”
But this was spotted in yesterday’s paper under the headline “Trustworthy agents are coming to a high street near you (and they’re American)”.
This turned out to be a story about Keller Williams which we don’t think is actually all that new. Eye reported it as setting up operations in the UK last April, ahead of its launch in September.
Keller Williams may well present agents with competition. However, yesterday on Rightmove it had 18 properties for sale of which only four were listed this year, and one property to let.
As for agents facing competition from the portal they helped to set up … we imagine that may get corrected in the online version, which can be found here
As one person commented:
“Britain’s high street estate agents are already competing AGAINST new listings website, OnTheMarket?! Onthemarket is owned by a company called Agents’ Mutual Ltd which is owned by… er, Britain’s high street estate agents. (The clue’s in the name, you see.) I know the Telegraph has been going to the dogs a bit lately but this surely sets a new low, for astonishing ignorance of the subject. Worth reading for the laugh though – keep up the good work.”
Could that have come from an Eye reader? Probably not, because Eye readers would have commented on the PrimeLocation ad that many will have noticed next to the story.
The story has also attracted debate about US realtors and their fees as well as the usual diatribes against estate agents in general.
PS Is anyone else getting intensely irritated by those HouseSimple adverts that have been popping up left, right and centre since Sir Charles Dunstone lobbed £5m at it? It’s not the adverts we object to, it’s the misspelling “Rightmve”.