The UK public will soon have another online estate agent to consider when buying or selling a home, as Strike looks to push Purplebricks off the top spot.
Online estate agency is nothing new. It’s a business model that many have attempted to perfect over the past decade or so. Most of these ventures have failed to find momentum and failed to find a large enough audience to sustain the business.
Purplebricks is the anomaly, managing to build and sustain good brand awareness. Walk down some streets and you’ll see more Purplebricks For Sale boards than any other agency.
Last week, however, a new competitor entered the market. Strike, a new hybrid agency that looks to blend online convenience with traditional customer service, is now available to customers in parts of West and Central England and has grand ambitions for the coming year.
Strike has its sights set on becoming the largest UK estate agency brand next year, beating both traditional high street agents and online counterparts, including Purplebricks.
The company has just received a huge amount of investment; even Channel 4 is in on the party, so with plenty of money to play with, we can expect a massive marketing effort over the coming months.
Sam Mitchell, chief executive officer at Strike, said:
“It has been a year like no other for the housing market, but we’ve managed to succeed against the odds. Having the likes of Channel 4…on board will allow us to continue turning the industry on its head.”
Vinay Solanki, head of Channel 4 Ventures, said:
“Strike’s disruptive ambition to redefine the way people move homes resonates with our own challenger brand values and sits well within Channel 4 Venture’s growing investment portfolio, which we’re focused on scaling as part of our Future4 strategy to diversify new revenue streams.
“We’re looking forward to seeing the growth of such a forward-thinking business with the help of Channel 4’s powerful marketing platform to elevate the awareness of this exciting new brand.”
Online, hybrid estate agents claim to be cheaper and more successful than their traditional high street counterparts. They often charge a small upfront fee to sell a home, instead of a commission based on the sale price.
While this sounds tempting, there are many who suggest that online agents lack the local knowledge required to effectively sell homes, and that the upfront fee model removes all incentives for individual agents to get a good price for your home because doing so will not earn them any more money.