No Agent sails way over investment target as it attracts surge of crowdfunders

No Agent has become the biggest mover on crowdfunding platform Seedrs.

No Agent was looking for £350,000 but by yesterday evening had raised £566,296 – way over target.

More than 200 investors have flocked to chip in their money, to secure a stake of almost 14% in the business.

No Agent, which launched in September, values itself at £3.5m and describes itself on Seedrs as: “A fully digital property management platform that automates the entire rental process, putting landlords in control at every step, making it faster, easier and cheaper for them to let and manage their properties.”

While the pitch on Seedrs makes clear that No Agent offers a cheaper alternative to traditional letting agents, it is able to list its properties on Rightmove and Zoopla. On both portals, it uses the name NA Technologies.

No Agent CEO Calum Branan told EYE that his firm’s business model is to “replace the current function of letting agents”.

He said: “We are removing the traditional face of the agent and replacing it with technology.”

He said that the money raised will be used to expand into the lettings markets in Wales and Scotland.

Asked how successful No Agent has been in England, Branan, 27, said that the firm was not releasing any figures, but emphasised: “We are building a business for longevity.”

https://www.seedrs.com/no-agent

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37 Comments

  1. Chri Wood

    Sounds like eMoovs’ ill fated attempt to convince the public they weren’t an estate agent whilst telling Rightmove and Zoopla they were all over again. And remember folks, 2016 would be the “turning point” for that business model. Ahem.

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    1. Simon Bradbury

      Agreed Chris!

      I’ve also put the phrase… “We are building a business for longevity.” into Google Translator and this is what came up…

      “Things have not gone as well as we had initially hoped but we need to justify our disappointing figures with a well hacked business cliche.”

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    2. Bless You

      The world couldnt even stop syria happening,,,what do they care about a few jobs in estate agents…. we are all on our own guys…

      Never been a better time to rebel against our leader…..RIGHTMOVE… but we are all so weak…so weak my friends.

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  2. Philosopher2467

    If a landlord wanted to do ‘diy’ management he could, would and probably is already. In my experience (vast) most landlords (me included) want to have as little to do with tenants as possible. Not for any other reason than paying a fair fee is by far preferable. If margins are that tight then the landlord probably won’t last and shouldn’t be inviolved in renting property. It is lilkey this scenario includes those that don’t repair when they should and are less than vigilant in compliance.

    Do I also get a feeling that the Countrywide PR man is moonlighting? I’m reminded of Saddam Husseins propaganda chap during the gulf war. Deny everything and pray things finally go your way. Alternatively; surrender!!

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  3. Quickbrit

    Some of you regular estate agents should get on a crowdfunding website and try your luck…

    How’s this?

    Dyed in the wool, stick in the mud, seeks investment. We are offering exorbitant fees, an expensive office, overpaid staff (who mostly look out the window all day), and not a lot of innovation.

    You wouldn’t raise £500 yet alone £500k.

    Merry Christmas – looking forward to 2017?

     

     

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    1. AgentV

      Hi Quickbrit…….what’s your favourite alternative business model?

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    2. MarkRowe

      Hi, @QuickBrit

      I agree with you we wouldn’t raise a penny. However, the majority of us work hard for our money (income and future investment plans). I’m purely guessing that you prefer the ‘rob strangers blind of their hard earned cash’ approach?

      A few questions:

      – where would you prefer employees to look? The window is a see through object, it’s a popular object for ‘looking out of’ difficult to change unless we paint over them.. in which case it would be similar to a wall.. then I would have to decorate it, then my staff would look at that too… oh sh*t, can’t win!

      – my office costs the same as the majority of serviced office (call centre based alternatives), what’s your point?

      – when you say stuck in the mud, elaborate for me? What do online only or hybrid agents do that’s innovative or futuristic in comparison to me?

      – when you say high fees, how much do I charge…? Oh sorry, you’re generalising and guessing. How intelligent.

      Come on mate, grow up.

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      1. AgentV

        Well put…….and most ‘online only agents’ are using investors money to support losses.

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    3. Mark Walker

      The real Crowdfunders, the general public, shun online agents (sub 5% of listings) and use the traditional agent.

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    4. Eamonn

      dropping  your pants and getting less margin per customer  is innovation.

      pmsl

      “and the award for the heads gone comment of 2016”

      ……….quickbrit

       

       

       

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    5. dave_d

      Ironic that part of your name is an anagram of Quirk

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      1. AgentV

        Could it be?

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        1. PeeBee

          Nope – The Quirkster’s Ego:100 rating wouldn’t allow him to go under any other name than his – however close to home it would be.

          He’d crave the attention that the new poster was getting!

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          1. AgentV

            I’m still gutted I wasn’t in his ‘Top Trumps’ pack. By the way did anyone win one of the ten sets promised for best suggestions?

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            1. PeeBee

              On the basis that I don’t think I saw ten ‘entries’, I guess I’ll have a pack waiting.

              Wonder if it’s like one of those off-the-shelf “awards” I apparently win every year… but I’ve got to go collect it and pay £150…

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              1. AgentV

                I think I put three suggestions forward, but have heard nothing!

                I too win many awards each year for which I am subsequently asked to pay for…… however, possibly better than paying to enter for just a chance of winning an award!

                I also get asked on a frequent basis by email to rescue a family in distress in Africa that need a British bank to deposit legitimately inherited millions of pounds in. I am allowed to keep a large part of this money as a payment for my help… as long as I just forward them a few thousand to sort everything out in the first place!

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      2. dave_d

        Wonder who gave me the thumb down? Ha ha

         

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    6. agent orange

      Quickbrit.

      people like you infuriate me. Do you honestly believe that us agents spend our days rubbing our hands together with glee as we deposit the poor paying public’s hard earned money into a big chest of gold behind us like some sort of medieval tax collector from a robin hood story???

      Get real.

      you clearly have never worked as a lettings agent as demonstrated by your naive and deliberately incendiary comments which you have just borrowed off somebody else’s bandwagon. your childlike critique of our industry is neither constructive or thought provoking. its just a dumb stab in the dark.

      so, FYI, the reason that none of us on here believe this will work is not because we are all a bunch of Luddites who fear progress and technology, its because we all know (and you dont) that managing a property portfolio requires human interaction. It is necessary.

      Landlords don’t want to deal with their tenants, they want someone else to.

      Do me, and everyone else a favour, go work as a lettings agent for a while and then come back on here and post something useful. in the meantime, go back and crawl under whatever judgemental rock you came from.

       

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    7. Property Paddy

      Dear Quickbrit,

       

      I hope your investment in purplebricks pays off for you. Because you’ll be the only one.

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    8. Bless You

      Not sure why the public is being conned into thinking having no service or local staff is a good thing.

      Populism might be popular….but its normally damaging.

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  4. AgentV

    Once again a platform system designed to eliminate people’s businesses and livelihoods for no other reason than to make the owners shed loads of money.

    Anybody worried that in the future our children will only ever have the choice of low paid low skill jobs as a tooth in a cog of a major conglomerate….if their lucky! Sorry I am on the dystopian future scifi route again.

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    1. Bless You

      Totally right,,and it s the poor and misguided who will suffer the most as the media have conned them into thinking estate agents are the baddies…

      we are mostly just local people who would be selling sofas, windows, cars etc if propaganda wasnt so rife.

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  5. Maria Kemp

    Wow! What a clever system removing the traditional face of the agent and replacing it with technology – can’t wait to see what it does for all my overseas landlords and those who don’t live locally (being the majority of my clients which is why they use an agent) when their tenants lock themselves out late at night and need the spare set of keys, or even covering the basics like viewings, check ins, inspections & check outs.

    Well done technology if you’ve got this covered and all the other eventualities to replace agents. If only it was so simple as to just match people to properties and the job was done. I’ve had two late night call outs this week already, neither landlord was local.

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  6. inthefield

    Interesting that at the bottom of their website it gives the “optional extras” including Viewings add £90, photos add £90, floor plans add £65, Gas safety cert add £90 and EPC add £65.

    So its about the same price as a full service agent in my area. Saves you absolutely nothing and gives the landlord the one thing that all of them DONT want, having to deal with their tenants directly.

    Nothing new here. Just the same old same old spin by here today gone tomorrow tech “disrupters” dressing up what we do and disguising the fees somewhere in the small print.

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    1. Philosopher2467

      Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!

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  7. Philosopher2467

    It may come to pass that technology can replace agents. Managing a property however will still involve a significant human element though or at least until Cynerdyne Systems come up with a T5 property manager variant. That also assumes that Sarah Connor and John Connor fail to take them down in the meantime!!!!!!

    I wonder if tenants will be human in the future? Who knows; back to wool dying and cleaning my wellies!

     

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    1. AgentV

      I was going to leave a comment and then got distracted but don’t worry ‘I’ll be back!’

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      1. AgentV

        As part T myself (titanium) I feel I am qualified more than most to add to this post. I have done my best to become a bionic agent, as I feel most of my customers and clients will also be so in the future….it will help me empathise with them. However I have yet to meet any clients who either think like a computer or identify with remote call centres. I am therefore not going to go the whole conversion route to ‘T5’. I think the concept would be too alien for most people to want to stomach!!!

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    2. g4lvo17

      Cyberdyne

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  8. Woodentop

    Sounds to me like a lot of mini-investors dabbling the odd £k’s who haven’t done their homework and invested on the growing impression (proven to be wrong) that the internet is a quick bet on earning money. Never ceases to amaze me how easy people are drawn into high tech, when everyday so many IT business fail or struggle to keep going. It seems like “impression” is the way forward to loose money, just like Purple Bricks.  Everyone’s forgotten about the dot.com boom and BUST. This business model is targeting a hands on operation which it cannot fully support and put landlords at risk. Just nuts.

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  9. Property Peep

    Asked how successful No Agent has been in England, Branan, 27, said that the firm was not releasing any figures, but emphasised: “We are building a business for longevity.”

    Not sure how this would go down with the Dragons ……… I’m out !

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  10. paul-ch

    I do wonder if in a past life many on here were smashing up cotton mills for taking ‘our’ jobs away.

    …or was it the farming machinery

    …or the dock workers with the use of fork trucks

     

    Everything moves forward and to prevent it is like stopping time.

    Do I see this new ‘disrupter’ doing what others can’t? No. But it will be death by a thousand cuts, unless we can communicate what we do and even then we need to plan for a different future than the past we have already had (I’m sure there is someone still sticking photos to the front of property particulars).

     

    PS I am a traditional agent

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    1. inthefield

      paul-ch.

      Im not having a go at these people for the sake of it. I despise the fact that they all claim to save thousands for doing the same job as us full service agents do and thats nonsense. None of these are on a like for like comparison. Unfortunately I haven’t got loads of cash to burn on telling the public this so all I can do at this stage is try to spread the word via social media etc that all is not as it seems.

      None of the online agents have managed to a) turn a profit yet or b) improve, or even match, the current service given by trad agents.

      Im all for innovation and technology, I love new ideas. I just dont like this lot pretending they are doing the same thing for less. Theyre not doing the same thing, theyre getting paid up front to list on RM or Zoopla and then a few frills on the side. As far as theyre concerned thats it job done.

      Before anyone says it, I know they dont all charge up front but as propertypaddy says, if they dont choose that option then they get clobbered for using the legal services (PB). Its all smoke and mirrors.

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      1. AgentV

        Paul-ch and inthefield,

        Agreed we need to educate the public, stay at the forefront of technology, and adapt to stay ahead of new challenges and survive. We have far more chance of achieving this by standing together….so do you want to join the few of us (so far) already planning to do this?

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        1. inthefield

          Tell me more AgentV

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          1. AgentV

            inthefield,

            Are you on twitter, or have an email address, where I can contact you?

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            1. inthefield

              0978ds@gmail.com

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