New online national estate agent launches as founder shrugs off sector’s woes

A new national online estate agency has launched – just as others have been closing or running into difficulties.

iMOVEHOME founder Amy Dixon says she is unworried by the sector’s woes because she claims her own offering is completely different.

For a start, it has no Local Property Experts: vendors set their own asking price.

She also prefers to call her agency ‘digital’ rather than ‘online’, and the site itself lists no properties – they are all uploaded to Rightmove and Zoopla.

Dixon said: “I registered the domain in 2012 but sat on it for several years because I didn’t think the market was ready to go completely digital.”

She points out that Warrington-based iMOVEHOME has no valuers. Instead, vendors are offered a choice of valuations – top, middle and bottom – and make up their own minds.

iMOVEHOME went live with 35 properties in March and Dixon says it is on track to double the number this month.

Dixon sold her former business Dixon & Co in Stafford to concentrate on her new venture.

She bought the domain name back in 2012 but waited until 2017 to have the site built, and this was trialled last year.

Her new agency charges sellers upfront, from £249 to include listings on Rightmove and Zoopla, but with a choice of add-ons, including EPCs, floorplans, professional phototography, virtual tours, sales boards, and premium listings on the portals.

Negotiation and progression are offered, while viewings are charged at £25 per hour.

Dixon said that vendors have so far fallen into two distinct camps – either opting for the cheapest price, or choosing to buy a package of add-ons costing £444.

No deferred payment option is offered and, says Dixon, won’t be.

She said: “Our customers upload their details, and select how we can help them on an individual basis.

“Each and every customer can assemble their own bespoke service – they can even choose what colour board they have, or if they have one at all.

“Our message to vendors is that we’re supporting their knowledge of their own property.”

Customers can use the valuation tool that is on the site – it gives a range of three possible asking prices to suit different circumstances – or call for an over the phone valuation, or set their own asking price.

Dixon said: “Freedom of choice is our absolute aim. No sales person will call and there is no pressure, just pure old-fashioned service meets top-end proptech.”

Dixon said that as a high street agent for many years, she had become aware that with all the available data, vendors know how much they want for their property.

Dixon said: “I also think that it can be quite embarrassing to tell estate agents that you are perhaps in financial difficulty so need to sell fast and therefore cheaply.

“Alternatively, perhaps you might only be prepared to sell if the property makes the money you want – which may be more than a visiting agent might agree.

“This freedom of choice is rarely given by either online or high street.

“We obviously have our experts cast their eye before we launch it for sale – the asking price can’t be ridiculous.”

The business has a network of 2,000 people in the field, but none are local agents. Instead, they are service providers such as photographers, and suppliers of EPCs and floorplans.

Dixon, whose business currently employs 18 people, said that currently one or two listings are being launched a day, and that about 20 people each day are creating accounts on the site.

Dixon said: “We have many more tech-meets-property plans ahead of us – this is just the first.”

Yesterday on Rightmove, iMOVEHOME had 40 properties listed, of which 29 were available.

https://www.imovehome.com/

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53 Comments

  1. GPL

     
    Eeeenie Meenie Mineee Mo…..  
     
    What next? …..pour this sachet, add hot water and hey presto …. your home valued/sold?!      
     
     

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    1. Bless You

      Again, rightmove needs to decide what a real estate agent is.

      The public don’t know they need service until they need service

      why is UK prop Industy so bad at educating the public?

      Report
      1. Eyereaderturnedposter12

        Hang on chaps and chappettes…those of you still paying Righmove for advertising may be missing a trick!

        Given RM’s “incremental” pricing increases…by 2021, advertising with Ms Dixon may be a less expensive way to have your stock listed on RM…;)

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        1. Certus

          Seriously this is how we should deal with Rightmove.

          Propertymark should have an account through which we list at the onliners rate.

          Property mark logo everywhere and not our however id take the discount right now.

          Im a 1 branch sales office only – was £975 – now £1352

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          1. Property Pundit

            Doubt you’re anywhere near paying those sort of rates. Getting to the level of racketeering now.

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            1. Certus

              its very true – sadly.

              what does everyone pay?

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          2. Certus

            its very true – sadly. what does everyone else pay? I’ll email the letter.

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      2. AmyDixon

        Whilst I understand all the politics at play here and I fully engage with Rightmove and agree to their T&Cs (they must keep their data source clean and correct) – I’m interested to know why you think Rightmove should decide what an estate agent is?
        Shouldn’t this be trading standards and the general public that say what they would like an estate agent to be.
        I see Rightmove as the new form of a newspaper – not as the estate agency government?!  Am I the only one with this view?
         

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  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    Completely different to all the other offerings.

    This company will go far, providing transport is provided!!!

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  3. Jrsteeve

    So what exactly makes them an estate agent?

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    1. AmyDixon

      Good morning Jrsteeve, 
      where to I start!
      We encourage our customers to instruct us as they wish but that really is the begining – we all know that this is just where the work begins.
      We are very well supported by tech but we are a team of very driven estate agents providing superb customer service in all aspects of the service.
      Amy

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  4. Moveaside01

    I don’t want to rain on your parade Amy but the Online Model DOESN’T work?

    Stick your money in a Ponzi instead, just get in early in order to get a return on investment!

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  5. gardenflat

    Another example of Rightmove supporting a non estate agent which could affect high Street offerings which in turn will affect the number of monthly subscribers to their own portal.
     
    #selfdestruct

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    1. AmyDixon

      Don’t confuse the method by which we are instructed with the service we provide – placing a property on the market is only the begining for us 🙂
      We are very much the hard working extate agent you all are 
      Amy

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      1. Mothers Ruin

        I’m all for innovation but I hope you don’t end up doing all the work for no money. You will need volume sales to make money and you will be relying on others as there is only so much you can do yourself. What happens when you don’t approve of the vendors own brochures? What if they spout nonsense and can’t spell or string a sentence together will you leave it on the internet and advertise your own business in a negative way or will you spend your own valuable time changing it and at what cost. Genuinely interested.

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  6. Blue

    Surely that does not meet the criteria of being an estate agent for Right Move.

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    1. AmyDixon

      Good morning Blue, I’m pleased to tell you we do comply – we work very closely will our third party connections.
      Amy

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  7. PaulC

    How is this not FSBO????? Surely surely not allowed..

    Anyway, good luck with the new venture.

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    1. AmyDixon

      Morning PaulC, we are most definately our clients acting agent – we just allow our customers to choose how they instruct us to act for them, every client an individual.  
      Amy

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  8. Countrybumpkin

    Good luck Amy Dixon. Whether it works or not, I applaud anyone who has the ‘balls’ to try.

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  9. J1

    Welcome to the Lions Den Amy

    Nice name.

    Rightmove non compliant though – like many

    Needs loads of money to get this going – what is your budget for advertising may I ask?

    SimpleHouse are offering to sell for free and have listed 300 houses in one area in a month or so – why would people pay you when they can get them to do a full job for free?

     

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    1. AmyDixon

      Good morning J1 – I’m pleased to tell you we are full compliant with Rightmove 🙂

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      1. J1

        Good morning Amy; nice to hear from you.

        If clients are uploading their own bits and bobs how does this comply?

        Surely this is an fsbo site with bolt-ons?

        Good luck with it by the way……..

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  10. surrey1

    No. Just, no.

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  11. El Burro

    I wasn’t aware that an having an EPC is an option, I thought it was a legal requirement? Agent ‘Do you want to take up the option of an EPC?’ Seller ‘Do I need one?’ Agent ‘Yes’. Seller ‘Ok then’.
    Also thought estate agents had to be registered with HMRC under AMLRs but what do I know, after all she’s only had 7 years to think about it.

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    1. Edgar

      Quite. From their website:

      Step 2: Your Energy Performance Certificate – a legal requirement

      Step 3: Optional Extras …. Add on only the extras you want like …. Energy Performance Certificate

      Frankly I’m disappointed that the word “disrupt” does not appear in any of their marketing!

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      1. AgencyInsider

        And supposing the vendor already has a valid EPC? They would not need to buy another. Good thinking Amy.

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    2. AmyDixon

      Good morning El,

      Of course we are fully registered, compliant and experienced in all compliant matters.

      For the first time our customers are encouraged to use the EPC register to find if they already have an EPC and upload it if they do to save where they can 🙂

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      1. El Burro

        But your company name doesn’t appear on HMRC’s list of registered businesses Amy?

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  12. Mark Walker 2

    “vendors set their own asking price” – *skeletorlaugh gif*

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  13. smile please

    Best of luck, don’t try you wont succeed.

     

    But the odds are stacked massively against her. How can she succeed where others with multi millions of pounds have failed?

     

     

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    1. ArthurHouse02

      In fairness to Amy if she has realistic ambitions then she may be able to succeed if she has a long term view and is prepared to grow naturally. Those who spent millions (of other people money) had flawed business plans and felt they could succeed just because they had loud mouths and plenty of money to spend. They failed because they employed the wrong people and wanted to grow too quickly.

      Inspite of all my anti PB /Emoov/Tepilo/Doorknobs chat i do think this type of company has some legs as long as they are honest with themself that their market is limits and they are never going to dominate professional local companies.

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  14. GeorgeHammond78

    Look, we all know this will crash and burn soon enough but if Amy can keep it going for enough time to get ‘investors’ on board through some sort of lemming, sorry crowd, funding take a nice salary, rinse and repeat, then it’ll have been a huge success.

    And, any one setting up any form of residential real estate business in this market has got to be admired, whatever we may think about the underlying offering.

    And, finally, we need agents like this to come and go to remind the public how valuable a real agent actually is. You just feel sorry for those that pay needlessly for a non-service.

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  15. Hillofwad71

       

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    1. J1

      Best post you’ve ever made 🙂

      Report
  16. Woodentop

    This is nothing more than a get rich quick trick DIY for vendors but I’ll charge you £249 to list on RM & Z. Oh but if you want help then its going to cost you £25 an hour plus and then I’m right in it, because I will have great difficulty in complying with the Estate Agents Act and other legislation as I will have to go back and correct all the DIY errors and time trying to convince my DIY vendor they did something wrong and no control with chains, the biggest headache for vendors and agents!!!

     

    Shabby business plan, another jump on the bandwagon with the motive to do as little as possible and rake in the listing fee until it goes belly up.

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  17. FlyingSheep54

    Scientists discover second black hole in 2 days.

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    1. Hillofwad71

      Flying sheep  I guess Ewemove sets the standard  in customer service?

      Conversation this morning regarding a property being sold in Cardiff where its still being offered on Ewemove’s site by a closed office Ewemove Cardiff as the contact .I am sure the seller of the apartment is chuffed that the online chat doesn’t know who is handling it?

       
      CONVERSATION
      Amy
      Hi, welcome to EweMove. Are you looking for a free accurate valuation of your property? Shall we chat?

      Visitor
      Who is the franchisee dealing with properties in Cardiff?
      Amy
      Thanks for coming on to chat. Let me see what I can do for you.
      Visitor
      Hello?
      Amy
      I’m sorry. Could you please confirm if you’re enquiring about this property? https://www.ewemove.…iss-way-cardiff-cf11-0sd-21952

      Victoria Wharf, Watkiss Way, Cardiff CF11 0SDProperty listing for Victoria Wharf, Watkiss Way, Cardiff CF11 0SD

      Visitor
      Yes
      Amy
      Thank you. I’m afraid I don’t have that information to hand at the moment. If you would like, I can ask the team to get in touch and confirm who this will be?

      Are we still connected?
      Visitor
      Yes I am a little confused .You are selling a property but dont know who is handling It
       Read
      Amy
      9:18 am
      I’m sorry about that as I have limited access to the system. This branch is currently close, but I can ask the team to get in touch and confirm who this will be? Would that be ok?

       

       

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  18. Property Pundit

    Dixon, whose business currently employs 18 people

    Doing what exactly?

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    1. AmyDixon

      Good morning! 
      Lol – we’re very busy litle bees getting ready for many, many customers 🙂
      Amy

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  19. MrM07

    Do you know what, I quite like this.

    Disregarding the compliance issues for a moment, and with some fine tuning, I can see a model like this working long term, I really can.

    A lot of new things are ridiculed, and the audience here clearly has an agenda in keeping their careers alive, but like it or not change is coming and I believe we are on the brink of some massive changes within the industry.

    Nothing out there at present is what the public wants (it seems), with the traditional model under fire at all times, the larger corporate firms on the verge of breaking up, and it seems only very good, very professional independents are doing well. But even that will change as the homeowners become increasingly dependent on technology and the system evolves.

    One thing I have become tired of hearing is the like of Watkins preaching “Be the local expert” No sh*t Sherlock, but if you have 3 or 4 (or 9 or 10) good firms, with good staff, who all offer basically the same things (RM, Z, OTM, floorplans, virtual tours, social media yadda yadda) what is the deciding factor for the public?

    Id suggest £££.

    I’m off to sunny France to grow grapes & enjoy the evolution of the sector, but make no mistake, Winter is coming.

     

     

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    1. Woodentop

      A clear lack of understanding what Estate Agency really involves, all the headaches that the good agents has to go through on behalf of the vendor and buyer. Its isn’t just the £££’s, this is a service industry and all these cheapo outlets are offering is cheap £’s with as less service as possible …. a big step backwards from anything that is revolutionising the house buying process. They have not reinvented anything, most are disruptors leaving a trial of misery for many, many who thought they were onto a good thing paying peanuts. We are also a heavily regulated industry …. why?  ….. because there is so much involved than taking a picture and shoving it onto a web site. Pay peanuts you get monkeys or as the old and tried and trusted saying goes …. you pay for what you get and there is a bottom line for good service.

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    2. AmyDixon

      Well said MrM07.
      The best of the best high street will still be chosen for their great service by some.
      Some will be led on fee.
      And some will be lead on convienieance.
      We are the first to offer full convieience in my view – sit in your arm chair with a glass of something nice any day or any evening and click until you build the package you’d like.  Then POOF(!!) we appear exactly as you’ve asked us to the very next day (just like just eat or Uber) and from there on use our system to keep yourself informed of the progress – we communicate 24/7, the customer choosing how and when they communicate with us.
      It’s how I’d like estate agents to be – so I built it.
      Amy

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      1. Woodentop

        We are the first to offer full convieience in my view …. haven’t we seen that in print by others before and some no longer around!    
         
        we communicate 24/7, the customer choosing how and when they communicate with us. …. you can expect calls in the early hours then?    
         
        It’s how I’d like estate agents to be ……. What create a mess! Improving standards not short cuts is what the public normally expects.    
         
        You have an idea and that’s fine but when others scrutinise your idea, don’t be surprised if they think it is hare-brained.  All you have to do is prove them wrong. I wish you luck on that. ALL others with much bigger backing have failed. Ask yourself what are the problems in the home listing and selling process …. have I really improved it or just made my own job easier regardless of the consequences for the customer …. back to “It’s how I’d like estate agents to be”. Really?
         
        All your little venture is doing, is earning you some money based on very little effort and high risk of creating problems and misery for others to clean up.

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  20. Paulfromromsey87

    OK, you’re trying something a bit different so well done for that.  For me though its just another attempt at reinventing the wheel but moving away from what an Estate Agent really is.  Do you go to the doctor or take your car to the garage and then proceed to tell them whats wrong and how to fix it?  No, because they’re the experts and will tell you.  I cant believe you think letting a vendor set the price is ever the right thing to do without being able to give them sound and expert advice.  It certainly isn’t complying with TPO guidelines which to quote directly state ‘When you give advice to someone selling their property, any figure you advise, either as a recommended asking price or as a possible selling price must be given in good faith and must reflect available information about the property and current market conditions and must be supported by comparable evidence. You must never deliberately misrepresent the market value of a property.’  Of course we all market properties at a price ultimately decided by the seller but at least we’ve bothered to advise them.  And yes, RM will find you buyers but you simply cannot provide the support and backup needed to negotiate the best price and then get sales successfully to completion in the way that us old-fashioned high street agents do.  Call me a dinosaur but I will NEVER be persuaded that online, digital, or whatever other description you choose will ever do the WHOLE job properly and in a way that clients deserve.  So much more to say but don’t have the time.

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  21. IWONDER36

    I too think there is room for this business model, in the same way that Autotrader changed the used car market, but how does Rigtmove cost this?

    Are they accepting a single fee from a Warrington based office equal to what other single branch offices are paying?

    If so, what’s to stop Purplebricks, or any “agent” adopting the same low cost way of selling as a second option? Surely Rightmove can’t afford to allow say a 5 branch agent to become a single fee super-hub?

    If they do, then why would their loyal customer base not demand reductions? Equally if IMOVEHOME is paying both Rightmove and Zoopla per territory they’re going to need very deep pockets before revenue starts to stream in at the levels needed to cover those costs.

    Is this where crowd-funding and investor recruitment starts all over again?

    Good Luck though Amy, anyone with the bottle to stick their neck out deserves it.

    Report
  22. PeeBee

    Ms Dixon

    In a response to El Burro above you state

    “Of course we are fully registered, compliant and experienced in all compliant matters.”

    Care to advise where you stand on compliance in respect of #copyright infringement?

    Report
    1. PeeBee

      Apparently Ms Dixon is too busy “getting ready for many, many customers” to respond.
       
      Not sure what it is she actually has to get ready, mind you. Seems that vendors write their own billshuttery… some vendors seem to have taken their own photos – in other clearly evident instances other Agents have taken the photos – all this lot have had to do is click on a live/archived listing and ‘Save picture as’…
       
      So what’s to do, Ms Dixon?

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  23. KByfield04

    Forget portal listings guys- they offer hands on sales progression for just £55. Sign me up for that!!

    Report
    1. smile please

      They can have my entire pipleine, i want to sign after you!

      Report
  24. cyberduck46

    Just use the free valuation service and the low valuation is about 3% below what I paid in July 2017. The medium valuation is 8% higher and the high valuation about 18% higher.

     

    Government data for the whole local authority area says prices have risen 3.3% since I bought. I can’t imagine much variation from this where I actually live.

     

    My sale must be recorded in the Land Registry because I can see it on Rightmove “House Price History” but ImoveHome saying the last recorded sale is £24,050 which is total nonsense.

     

    Confidence level is stated as “medium” but it looks like a few problems to iron out.

     

     

     

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  25. HIT MAN

    It sounds like Autotrader but selling homes, upload your photos make your own description (let’s hope they meet advertising standards mis descriptions regs) however it will never work, but hey ho have a go,it’s only a matter of time before RM are the online only agents portal, “errr didn’t I just say that”? Sorry Autorader!

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  26. Quags

    Bad pricing by bad agents trying to dupe vendors on to the market are half the reason so many homes are currently reducing.

    Having the vendor set the price is a terrible terrible idea, it takes out any professionalism or value and yet again, gives the industry a bad name.

    The market would be in chaos if all vendors set their own prices.

     

     

    Report
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