Founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet and the property entrepreneur and industry veteran Robert Ellice, the company closed its pitch on equity crowdfunding platform Crowdcube at midnight after raising more than £1.4m – well over its original £1m target. The pitch attracted 358 investors with the biggest single investment of £200,000.
easyProperty aims to turn the industry on its head, offering unbundled property services at huge discounts. Customers will be able to choose the property services they need when selling or letting a property and then pay transparently priced fee for that services, without further obligation, administration charges or commission. The company expects to offer savings of around £7,000 on an average London property, a huge reduction over traditional estate agency fees.
“The ‘easy’ philosophy is simple – disrupting the status quo and offering people significant savings on what they would normally pay. Now it’s time to shake up an out-dated property industry,” explains Rob Ellice, CEO for easyProperty. “Crowdcube was the ideal partner, with over 90,000 registered members providing a ready-made investment audience. By offering a stake in the company, easyProperty is giving landlords, property vendors and private investors a unique opportunity to be part of a market revolution.”
Luke Lang, co-founder of Crowdcube added: “Just as Crowdcube disrupted the finance industry with a new and fresh approach to raising money, easyProperty is planning to do the same for landlords and people buying and selling property. Ordinary investors can now claim a stake in the ‘easy’ brand and help shape the future of the online estate agency market.”
In a market worth £5.7bn in the UK alone, the estate agency market still delivers 98% of its services via the high street and just 2% online. The simple to use online platform will offer individual services for every stage of the letting or sale process, including advertising on leading property portals, professional photography, tenancy agreements and accompanied viewings, as well as value-added services, such as mortgages, insurance and conveyancing. A menu system gives consumers the power to choose exactly what services they need, rather than being forced into the often-costly bundled commission system they face with high street estate agents.
easyProperty launched on 17 September and will initially focus on lettings before moving into sales next year, with plans to expand across Europe in the future. Once established in sales and lettings, the company will also move into commercial property and other areas to become a one-stop-shop for all property types.