Traditional estate agents are to mount a rear-guard action against digital upstarts such as Rightmove and Zoopla by banning their ‘parasitic’ internet-only rivals from their own new platform, Agents’ Mutual.
Conceived as a means of breaking the duos online stranglehold, the new website will aim to offer High Street estate agents such as Savills, Knight Frank and Chesterton Humberts, their own online shop window when it opens for business in January, according to The Telegraph.
Moreover the competitor platform would save estate agents from having to cough up the rising fees being demanded of them by online agents.
Online estate agents have been making inroads into the property market in recent years thanks to low fixed costs of around £500, compared to the 1 or 2 per cent fee typically levied by a High Street agent.
Ian Springett, chief executive of Agents’ Mutual, said: “This is a bet on the future of High Street-based estate agents. The online option is a bit of a con, only doing 20 per cent of the job a full-service estate agent does but not getting the high prices and therefore what you’re paying might not amount to very much.
“[Online agents] are parasitic and can only exist alongside the portals – it shows the power of the portals have gone too far.”
Agents Mutual is currently under construction but has already signed up 2,350 offices.