News in Brief: Strike, Ombudsman, Grenfell & More (02/07)

Daily bite-sized proptech and real estate news in partnership with Estate Agent Networking. Today, Andrew Stanton looks at Strike, The Property Ombudsman, Grenfell, and more.
Property News

Online estate agents Strike scales up with 80 new hires

In today’s news, the online estate agent Strike, which was previously House Simple before it re-trenched from its aspirations of being a national agent brand and concentrated on the north, is looking for fresh recruits. 

Based on an agency model of being free, unlike the typical “no sale, no fee” model, or even the online model of Purplebricks’ “pay upfront, sale or not”, it may be hard to understand how these new starts are going to earn a living.  

Maybe the top man Sam Mitchell knows. Worryingly, if you look on their website, you have to take a £699 option if you want accompanied viewings (not very free) and there does seem to be a heavy emphasis on “free mortgage advice”, which possibly means the service is a sales funnel for financial services revenue.

Maybe Strike can enlighten me as to how free the model is. After all, its slogan is “A transparent experience, from start to finish”. 

Property Ombudsman ejects agents due to failings 

Seven property companies have been found wanting after being struck off the Property Ombudsman’s list of competent agents. Given that there are over 24,000 estate agents in the UK, and over 69,000 front line agents, statistically this is a tiny amount to fall foul of the regulator. 

After Grenfell cladding failure, maybe training is key to future safety

Tens of thousands of people are living in accommodation that can not be sold or even have a new mortgage put in place, why? Due to the way in which external cladding has been installed. 

Taking a root and branch approach, The National Federation of Roofing Contractors is looking, with  CITB-funding, to put a framework of competency in place with regard to correct procedures to install cladding. It may be closing the stable door after the horse has bolted, but it is a start.

SDLT gains wiped out by huge house price increases

In some parts of the UK, despite up to £15,000 of savings on stamp duty at a purchase price of £500,000, the fact the actual property was formerly worth £25,000 less just a few months earlier has meant movers are worse off.

In a booming market, it seems a win for all, but as the last year saw house prices rise by 10 to 12% regionally, saving a few thousand thanks to the Chancellor’s give away wheeze may be backfiring, especially if the market cools and prices go negative.


In partnership with Estate Agent Networking

Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR and Proptech-X. He grows proptech companies using his influence from decades of industry experience and is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations.

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