Estate agency comparison website raises £2.2m from investors

Estate agency comparison business GetAgent has raised £2.2m from a consortium of investors.

The round was led by Marchmont Ventures, backers of Motorway.co.uk, and joins the Channel 4 Commercial Growth Fund, the investment arm of Channel 4 Television which invested last year.

Other investors include Christian Woolfenden, managing director of PhotoBox.

GetAgent claims to compare the performance of every UK estate agency via multiple third party data points to help potential home sellers choose the right agent based upon performance.

It uses key indicators such as sales performance; time taken to sell; and price achieved relative to original asking price.

Colby Short, co-founder and CEO of GetAgent, said: “Some ten years since the appearance of the first cheap, online estate agents, the market share of traditional agents is a resolute 95% despite hundreds of millions of pounds spent on TV and Google ads.

“Whilst we remain ‘agent agnostic’, it is clear that the house selling public hugely favours the local, branch-based business that they know and trust and that is nearby enough to be accountable.

“Our approach is to shine a light on all agents regardless and to ensure that we assist in helping the consumer make an informed decision when choosing someone to oversee the sale of their most valuable asset.

“Plainly, it’s not just about who’s ‘cheap’.

“We are delighted to have the backing of an outstanding venture capital fund, a leading TV channel and a number of notable high net worth individuals that will, together, fuel our growth journey still further.”

Alan Martin, managing director of Marchmont Ventures, said: “We’ve been impressed by the huge progress made in a short space of time.

“We are confident that GetAgent will grow rapidly as the public continue to recognise the benefit of the trust and transparency that they provide across the estate agency market.”

GetAgent claims to be currently serving over 10,000 enquiries per month. The site is promoted by Which?

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28 Comments

  1. Chris Wood

    Congratulations on the venture Colby. I wish you all the very best. Though I still feel that the name ‘GetAgent’ could be mistaken for an upmarket rival service to the gay dating app Grinder 😉

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    1. Bless You

      Leeches on the industry. Only people winning are them and AdWords . Great idea people but you are the enemy.

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      1. Bless You

        Also can rightmove give them an Api to print agents average selling time. At the moment they measure an agent who takes 130 days (we are 38 days) as the best agent. Reason :  they sell near asking price (after reducing prices) and come out top. Great. 

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  2. Jrsteeve

    Has anyone actually had any business from this?

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    1. ArthurHouse02

      Actually yes we have had several vendors off the back of it. The only thing to bear in mind is where GetAgent take 0.25% of the selling price of the property (not a % of the agents fee) you have to make sure you are allowing for this when agreeing a fee with the vendor. Not saying you should increase your fee, just be remember that you will have to pay them later.

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      1. purplepatchy

        Yup, just one so far, lots of valuations but the conversion is low (they don’t seem to come to market at all).
        Encourages a lot of speculation IMO.

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        1. Bless You

          and then factor in the 0.5% you have to lose to get the business in the first place = no point.

          Careful with this. It the same as rightmove. Once they have numbers you are dead.

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  3. cyberduck46

    Not really a measure of how good an agent is but who knows it may be a profitable business.

     

    If these type of agency comparison websites do prove popular though then it could be self defeating and even damaging to the sector. Agents will refuse to take on difficult properties just to appear higher in the rankings.

     

    It could even spawn temporary agents. Set up a company, take on only easy to sell properties, achieve a high ranking, drop the selective criteria at the same time as setting up a new company and then reap the benefits as sellers list with the original company.

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    1. ArthurHouse02

      This company only provides the lead as an agent we still have to go out and win the business against competition like any other valuation. In my experience the agents also called out have been the normal local agents i would normally be competing against. Without GetAgent would the enquiry have been there anyway….probably.

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      1. cyberduck46

        >Without GetAgent would the enquiry have been there anyway….probably.
         
        I suppose it’s a similar situation to when Rightmove first came along.
         
        I did have a look at their offering a good while back and think that the idea could appeal to some sellers who probably won’t understand that the results don’t necessarily rank agents properly. Some people aren’t the brightest when it comes to technology. I can remember when I was marketing my own websites on Google and people would search for “cheap car insurance” and think that Google delivered the cheapest car insurance site. Google had no concept whatsoever of what the word “cheap” meant.
         
        I think that when I looked at the GetAgent site the fact that all local agents weren’t listed was for me a problem that would raise questions to even those users who weren’t sceptical about how the agents were ranked.
         
        Another problem was that they were suggesting Agents who weren’t even local 🙂  
         
        Even without these issues, sellers need to know GetAgent exists and £2.2m doesn’t go far when it comes to marketing but clearly some people believe in the project.
         
         

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  4. Ric

    Crowdfunding starts tomorrow for the website service everyone really does want…

    http://www.RateTheRaterSite.com

    Fed up of different rater sites saying different things, we rate the rater sites so you can use the best rater site.

    Don’t Wait, Rate The Raters Today!

    This is the one Ric, I’m gunna be Richie Rich soon… or locked up.

     

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  5. purplepatchy

    So far I’ve had one lead that’s converted to a sale and quite a few valuations booked in, especially the higher end which are good relationships to cultivate over the years. Went to one yesterday with an £8000 fee 🙂

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  6. surrey1

    Never quite understand why agents would want to give away their fee. Be more inclined to invest the money in marketing my own business for more leads.

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    1. Woodentop

      Precisely. If you are in a town with a handful of agents the public already have a good idea who is who and if they don’t that surely is down to the agent. What does it matter about rating with an agent in another town or part of the country … irrelevant to the consumer, who want to know how good their local agent is. Might work for the cities but again the consumer is looking at their local area agent for confidence. National agents do not turn over “high” volumes of people moving around the country as it all depends have they the property the buyer wants. National chains rely on big brand awareness and as we all know, some branches are naff.

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      1. surrey1

        Complaining about giving our money to Rightmove and the monster we created is the number one pastime on PIE. Yet here we have agents saying, “Yeah we had some leads, so I’ll give them quarter of my fee”. The mind boggles. 

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        1. Woodentop

          They are sold the hype (as did RM & Co) one extra lead generated will pay your cost. May very well work when not all agents are in the same barrell … the other scaremongering to join, before they do.

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  7. seenitall

    Does it work for lettings?

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    1. Peter

      Can’t see how it can, they won’t have the data for rents achieved.

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  8. GPL

     

    Why is it when we have a News Story about a New/ReLaunch Tech Thing we have these shiney new posters suddenly appearing to provide “glowing testimonials” about the Fab/New/Tech thing? I wonder…..???!!

    It’s another Fast Buck (0.25% of Sale Price? **** Off!) Lightweight Tech Company looking to sponge easy profits off the back of hardworking estate agents.

    I assume they will burn through 2 Million in superquick time then we can rate them on how fast they burned through their investors money.

    If you as an agent are handing 0.25% of your Sale price to GetShafted then give me your address so we can all walk through your door and collect our easy hand-outs.

    Is there a Dragons Den style workshop out there for “How to make a Fast Buck from Estate Agents!”

    Is it April Fools Day yet? ……0.25%??? Zzzzzzzzzzzz

     

     

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    1. Woodentop

      Agreed. While the paper exerecise may have it merits, there is always the other side to consider …. does it actually provide a CORRECT comparison? What has been learned from price comparison sites is (1) They are not accurate, (2) Not all companies are listed (3) Disclosure of referral fee’s!!!!!!!!!!! (4) Leads to reduction in income for business’s either buying into the comparison site or to stay competitive. Too many have cut costs on the latter, to the point they are working for nothing and close to the breadline.
       
      Comparison sites should be banned, they are misleading and the consumer is often not getting the best deal.  Their sole interest is to make money.

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  9. AJL20

    We’ve had quite a few leads from them, and decent ones at that. I do however struggle with the Which? affiliation. Which? act as an independent consumer body existing to offer members best value. Which? get a kickback from GetAgent and, inevitably, agents tailor their published fee to accommodate both the (hefty) referral fee back to GetAgent and their onward fee to Which?. How, therefore, can Which? claim that the consumer gets bets value, when they are paying more for essentially an identical service?

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  10. Rob Brady

    LINK REMOVED – PROPERTY INDUSTRY EYE TERMS & CONDITIONS #6. Users posting comments on the site may not post direct hyperlinks to other websites and especially may not do so by use of their username. Users may not use comments to promote a service or business.

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  11. fluter

    JUST SAY NO FOLKS!

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  12. Estate_Agent_Memes

    We are about to cancel these we were “set up” without realising the whole situation.

    If you have already spoken to the potential vendor in more than just 4 weeks prior to GA sending you the lead you have to pay them the 0.25% regardless! We all know some clients take more than 4 weeks between valuation and listing.

    Just another company trying to make money off the back of agents. They claim to be helping potential sellers AND agents, but both of the parties they are trying to help are having to either pay more or charge more for a service.

    As ever – add a third party to the transaction then the cost goes up for them to be paid – at the expense of the very people, they are reporting to help.

    Vote with your feet ASAP.

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    1. DB999

      I did the same a few months ago but potential clients were still receiving a message suggesting I would contact them without the request to contact being sent to me so it looked like I hadn’t bothered. Keep an eye on that.

      I am aware of agents increasing their fees on such introductory sites so potential vendors are actually paying more, not saving money as can often be claimed although I don’t think that is suggested here.

       

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  13. Highstreetblues

    I asked to be taken off their database. At 0.25% of the asking price they’re living in dream world. We do all the work to get the sale through and they cream off the top.

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  14. GPL

     

    On the subject of GetAgent?

    I believe the Scottish Translation (Gaelic) is….

    a reubadh dheth (rip-off)

     

     

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  15. Ric

    I’ve just emailed them – what a joke.

    System doesn’t work. Clearly cannot collate the correct information and just mixes it all up!

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