Housesimple becomes Strike

In a surprise move, the online agent Housesimple has rebranded as ‘Strike’.

 

Strike is launching across the North of England with a combined ITV and Channel 4, radio and digital marketing campaign.

Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer, said:

“Strike is here to redefine the way we move. Estate agency hasn’t changed for 200 years, we’ve been overcharged and underwhelmed. It’s time for a change.

“We set out to shake up the estate agent industry last year, becoming the first estate agent in the UK to sell homes for free.

“In the process, we’ve become a market leader across the North, including in Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.

“We’ve sold £1 billion of properties and saved our customers over £15 million in total fees since we launched our free service.

“But now it’s time to go even further.

“With Strike, we’re taking everything customers loved about Housesimple, making it more intuitive and adding a new mobile edge.

“We’ve launched a new app that lets you sell your home from your phone.

“And expanding across Tyne Tees, into Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough, doubles our geographic footprint and makes Strike a real northern powerhouse.”

Sir Charles Dunstone, the majority investor in Strike, said:

“We are so excited to be challenging the establishment with Strike.

“We believe the way Strike blends people and technology to sell homes for free is a truly disruptive proposition that will lead to a great deal for customers.”

The enhancement of Strike’s digital services comes at a time when demand for online services has never been higher. Strike has created the simplest, most intuitive way to buy and sell your home — with a seamless customer journey across its new app and redesigned Strike Hub.

Strike says that the company has triple its listings since going free and that the expansion will see the creation of dozens of jobs in the North East, while the company continues to recruit in its growing headquarters.

The rationale behind the name change is not clear and is surprising given that Housesimple has had some success as a brand.

Unsurprisingly the company’s revamped website makes full use of the punning potential in the word ‘strike’.

“Your next home is within striking distance.”

“Strike a better deal.”

“Go on strike and never settle for less.”

As is to be expected from Sam Mitchell, the site takes a swipe at traditional agents via some rather stereotypical insults:

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28 Comments

  1. smile please

    If at first you don’t succeed, give it away.

     

    If you still don’t succeed, change the name.

     

     

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    1. Bless You

      Govt needs to stop these fake companies.

      How they going to pay for public sector pay rises if rats are allowed to kill industries for no reason.

      Devaluing an industry is not the same as disrupting it..

      Amazon still sell for same price,, its delivery that is their usp.

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  2. Hillofwad71

    Sometimes what  you wish for you get with a  name change. The latest set of accounts  showed up a pocket thawing deficit of £ 13.4m and revenues of £2.5m

    Investors can only hope those figures are substantially   improved or they might face  a situation where their  name change hits too close to home  and get struck off

     

    It’s as simple as that.

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  3. ValueCounts31

    Let us hope they don’t end up needing to be dissolved via a voluntary STRIKE-off lol

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  4. Robert_May

    Because of this story I’ve compared two agencies who have sold about 3000 properties in the same area in the  last year

     

    I cannot find a single negative comment on social media or any review site about the agency who charges a traditional commission for the service they offer. That defies the claim Mr. Mitchel is making that  vendors are being overcharged and underwhelmed.  From conversation with the owner of the traditional business they have  been able to raise  their fees  as a  result of “disappointment of disruption” (whacking it on the web  didn’t do it and vendors were prepared to pay to get the job done properly)

    Comparing the financials for  both agencies, where one has reduced their debt ratio by 43% and increased their net assets by more than 500% the other has increased their debt ratio by 124% and put their firm about  £21m behind the other.

     

    I’m not sure how long investor patience will last but I thought the idea of disruption was to disrupt, not to burn investor cash and help your  traditional competition increase their fees and profits.

     

     

     

     

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  5. Mrlondon52

    On the one hand I give Strike some credit – they do have a disruptive business model whereby the sale of your house is free and they earn their ££ from commission. They are walking the walk and spending Mr Dunstone’s cash.

    On the other hand, free only works if you make money. And they’re going to need a LOT of deals to make the business work. So I wish them well but it looks difficult from here.

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  6. haveathink

    Can this be classed as an estate agent?

    Why does Rightmove list them when the service contract in RM means you have to give your clients a degree of service?

    If their business model is about selling FS does this mean they get the best price for their vendors?

     

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  7. Keyser Söze

    Congrats to HS/Strike on their recent win at the ESTAs.

    They were the only entrants in the Online category but they seemed to enjoy the win and have it plastered everywhere…

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    1. Woodentop

      Makes a mockery of the win. But then that is pretty much the norm with many categories with ESTA’s. ASA should reign in the misrepresentation of winning adverts for failing to tell people they won out of how many entrants.

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  8. JustPlainSavage04

    “Market leaders Across the North, including in Manchester”

    I work in Manchester and I can ASSURE you, that you are NOT market leaders.

    Plus for the properties you list, the adverts are AWFUL.

    Why change your name if you were market leaders!!!!!!!!!!!

    Am I living in a different world?

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  9. JEL

    It can’t be very satisfying selling a house and not sending a bill

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    1. Robert_May

      the satisfaction comes from denying  another business income and  having investors  with enough  cash to subsidise about every sale to the tune of close to £3000 a time

      Being so wealthy  you  can expand the madness to more areas must be massively satisfying. It  doesn’t make sense to you or I but when you have got so much money  you can literally let it blow  away on the breeze  that must be a great feeling.

       

      Considerably richer than yaow!  (for the time being)

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  10. WiltsAgent

    Looks like an expensive hobby for Charles Dunstone.

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  11. JEL

    Everybodies richer than me Robert, but I still like sending and a bill. Its a small pleasure in life.

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    1. Robert_May

      I doubt that JEL, wealth isn’t always measured in money, respect, honesty and integrity have far greater value than money.

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  12. SLF

    If you’ve ever worked with him Sam Mitchell is no numpty. He’s a very experienced and focused estate agent. He’s not someone to get involved with a turkey.

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    1. ThePeasantsAreRevolting

      I didn’t realise he was an actual estate agent. So when he claims we have all been overcharging and underwhelming, which is not at all what we hear from our customers, perhaps he’s referring to his own career.

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    2. Property Pundit

      Let’s see how history judges him and his, ahem, business career. Your post needs pinning.

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  13. ThePeasantsAreRevolting

    “we’ve been overcharged and underwhelmed. It’s time for a change.”

    They say whilst ‘changing’ their brand name and business strategy. I wonder who it is who’s been overcharging and underwhelming…yes speak for yourselves Housesimple/Strike. This is the way a free market economy generally works, those of us who charge fair fees and meet high expectations stay in business, those that overcharge and underwhelm are forced to pivot and pretend they’ve re-invented the wheel.

    I love the audacity in the face of confirmed failure.

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  14. Property Pundit

    The next accounts, due by 31st December, should give us some answers. No sign of the CEO’s name on the current confirmation statement though some share allotments have taken place since it was submitted.
     
    Sam Mitchell on LinkedIn: ‘..we’re really pleased, feels a bit more monzo. Trying to not feel like an estate agent‘.

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  15. Woodentop

    If it was a success they wouldn’t changed the brand. The only reason to change brand is the public have lost faith in them and loosing money left, right and centre, so change name and people will be gullible into thinking it is a new company to try.

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  16. Neil Robinson

    I wouldn’t worry about this.
     
    I’ve been saying for years that some people want to pay next to nothing and receive next to nothing, and most want to pay a decent fee for a full hand-holding service.
     
    Strike is a service for the former. Whether they realise that, or whether they’re kidding themselves into thinking everyone wants something pared down and cheap, is another matter.
     
    There is literally no point complaining about companies like this. They serve a niche market that I personally wouldn’t want to serve. People who use this kind of service are the ones who complain that estate agents are rubbish, and then feel validated when the service they get bears this opinion out. It’s estate agency for people who don’t like estate agents, and like to be “proved” right.
     
    We would all serve ourselves and our industry much better if we simply left them to their business model, and concentrated on ours – being brilliant, full service estate agents. 

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    1. Robert_May

      It isn’t worrying about anything to correct  inaccuracies and  unsubstantiated claim. It isn’t complaining to discuss on a discussion forum for the industry anything that affects the industry.

      Since  2012 there has been a sustained  and consistent attack on an industry where 95% of all transactions complete without concern or complaint about the fees. When I read  questionable marketing claims from a  company that  would not exist without  naive investors its reasonable to question the claims being made.

      Personally I think its a shame for Mr. Gosling  that what started out as a business that was growing steadily  and well, a credit to those involved has been reduced to what it has become.  The financials of the firm offer different perspective to the story being told here.

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    2. GPL

      You make a fair point Neil.
       
      Indeed, there will always be those that reach for “Free”.
       
      In the “Service” Industry ……”Free” usually means you receive something of little value …..so, rock-on Strike, hoover away.
       
      Serious Estate Agents will get on with the real world of Estate Agency.
       
       
       
       

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  17. htsnom79

    Yet consider a ( good ) Estate Agent in this economy at this time, if you want to move and you choose wisely you have the property equivalent of a bodyguard and a concierge . One who takes it personally just as you do if it fails ( Ok, well, almost…… ) and by definition is only able to survive if successful enough and often enough to achieve aligned interests, the client journey ( yuk ) is accompanied whereas the alternative is O/O, they are harvesters.

    The agents that I respect, male and female and of all ages or stages of their career, would be successful at anything they put their mind to in my opinion.

    ,

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  18. GPL

     

    Arrived at this story late…

     

    Shouldn’t really bother, however…..

     

    Strike?

     

    S h ! t e 🙂

     

    Next!

     

     

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  19. PeeBee

    “So let’s lose the jargon” (credit: Sam Mitchell)

    “Let’s make moving simple, transparent and free.” (credit: Strike website)

    So – how come they are being as transparent as a steel reinforced concrete, lead-lined fall-out shelter about how they make their money?

    How come at no point on their website do they state that they receive monies from their Conveyancing Service?  They actually seem to state the opposite on the website when they say

    “A flat rate, with no hidden fees”

    And would anyone like to hazard a guess at what is encompassed by the term “Removal services”?  That is what they state as an income stream.

    It’s my bet that one of those “services” is carried out by a conveyancer – and not ‘Mr Shifter’ and his chimpanzee companion.

    You hum it Sam… I’ll play it.

    Just play it fair.

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  20. its all good

    Good luck to Strike, a good proposition and option for clients. With Covid prompting us to scrutinise our “normal” day to day business, maybe this will also encourage us to look at what a client expects from us and ensure we are doing what it takes to be THE go to agent. Good luck to old and new, and let’s hope we all come out of this better on the other side!

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