Foxtons was the first residential agency to go through a digital transformation – but the firm’s bespoke system is now its weak spot.
The claim comes from proptech experts Eddie Holmes and James Dearsley – who worked at Foxtons for five years.
They say that in the early 2000s, Foxtons built its own system, BOS, making it the most efficient, finely tuned estate agency in the country.
“Combined with a sprinkling of talented individuals and a ruthless culture, an amazing business grew to dominate London.
“The internal mechanics allowed the salespeople to focus on just one thing – speaking to customers and doing deals. Not even national TV exposés could halt the juggernaut.”
But, say the pair, Foxtons need to transform again or risk huge challenges ahead.
The same systems that were set up are now “in danger of becoming the albatross around Foxtons’ neck”, the pair claim.
They say that because BOS is a closed system, no one outside Foxtons can easily integrate with it. That rules out partnerships, for example, with Fixflo, leaving Foxtons at a competitive disadvantage.
The pair conclude: “Foxtons, the original PropTech agency who led with the innovation, must start looking forward, embracing innovation and ally it to the best of their past strategies.
“Their current approach will not serve them well in the future London property market and that will hurt shareholder value.
“We also know that the market isn’t solely to blame for Foxton’s ills. LSL-owned Marsh and Parsons’ recent results prove that Foxtons are under-performing.
“If Foxtons don’t make a change then they may, in fact, find themselves buried by start-ups.”