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The Guild and easyProperty deal has rightly been attracting a lot of interest. Having spent a fair bit of time meeting agents over the last nine months there’s some well informed thinking behind this deal, and perhaps only one thing that can stop it being a success.
I have been writing recently that unless agents have a cheap fixed fee model in their offering they will struggle to increase market appraisal invites. Tens of millions of pounds being spent by the online agents on TV advertising has ensured that the public now knows they have a choice. The public has a positive view of the Easy brand but they have certainly alienated high street agent opinion, not that there was a huge amount of goodwill anyway, with their early PR efforts involving coffins and dinosaurs.
eP, like all online agents, need to foster local property expert representation for appraisals, and the Guild need their low cost model – so ostensibly this deal could easily mean that both get what they need.
I mentioned one issue earlier, and that’s whether the Guild members, having witnessed early brickbats being hurled their way from eP and being mostly strong minded individual business owners, will be able to work with a brand they have tried hard to dislike. If they can I think this could be a really serious response, pitching a large group into what I think could well be the sweet spot of future of estate agency.