Sir Charles Dunstone has come out against traditional real estate brokers just days after backing a new on line real estate venture himself. The businessman invested 5 million GBP ($7.5 million) in HouseSimple.
HouseSimple, winner of The Negotiator Award for Online Estate Agency of the Year, boasts that it aims to offer an effective and inexpensive alternative to”traditional high street” estate agents, “whilst maintaining the highest standards of customer service.” The company was established 8 years ago by the husband and wife team Alex and Sophie Gosling.
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Dunstone, who established cellular phone company Carphone Warehouse, said about the venture, “we believe estate agency is going to change considerably, with the future increasingly belonging to online estate agents. We like HouseSimple, we like its management, and we like the idea of saving Britain’s home sellers billions of Pounds, with a better experience.”
Now Sir Charles has gone on the offensive against standard realtors telling England’s The Telegraph, “At the moment people are paying for someone in a Mini to sell their home with no more local knowledge than the seller. Online agencies bypass a very expensive intermediary who is not motivated to be on your [the seller’s] side.”
Alex Gosling, CEO of HouseSimple, said of Dunstone’s investment, “Online estate agency is a market whose time has come. People are fed-up with the expense and poor customer service of the High Street agents. We sell more of our properties than High Street agents, we achieve a higher asking price, less of our sales fall through, and we have much higher customer satisfaction ratings. To top it all, we only charge one tenth of the price they do. With Charles and Roger’s backing, we can now turn on the growth tap and save our customers an enormous amount of money and hassle.”
The company states that today online estate agents represent around 2% of the total UK market, but this is projected to grow to over 20% over the next 5 years. It also boasts that in the past two years, HouseSimple’s own revenues have quadrupled.
Sir Charles Dunstone said, “High Street Estate agencies are not well-loved. They’re behind the curve in seeing the impact of the Internet. Rightmove and Zoopla started it. Now you’re seeing the rapid growth of online agencies, and HouseSimple is in the van.”