The apparently successful online estate agent, Housesimple, has surprised everyone this week by rebranding to Strike with immediate effect.
The company that created the brand, commonly regarded as one of the most robust online names behind Purplebricks, invested in substantial marketing one year ago when it became the first estate agent in the UK to sell homes for free.
Housesimple regained the ESTAS Best Online Estate Agent of the Year only a few weeks ago and has expanded into new areas in the North of England.
According to Monday morning’s announcement by the firm, Strike will launch across the North of England using a radio and digital marketing campaign on ITV and Channel 4 with the USP “appealing to buyers and sellers looking to strike a better deal”.
Strike could save sellers £3,600 in fees
Sam Mitchell, CEO at Strike, is confident that the company will redefine the way in which people move house. He argues that it is time for a change as the public has been overcharged and poorly served by an estate agency industry that hasn’t progressed in 200 years.
The firm, he added, was determined to revolutionise the sector last year, and in doing so, became the first estate agent to sell homes for free. As a result, Housesimple has become a market leader across the North, in cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield.
The company has sold £1bn worth of property and and saved their customers more than £15m in total fees since the free service was launched.
Mr Mitchell says sellers using his portal could save in excess of £3,600 in commission fees based on the national average house price, according to Land Registry data. Additionally, fees are often quoted excusive of VAT which is currently 20pc. Therefore, a 1pc agency fee is actually 1.2pc inclusive of VAT, or £3,600 on a £300,000 home.
Strike earns a fee from partner companies advertised on the platform every time a customer uses them, instead of making money through property listings. The services include free mortgage advice and removal services.
As a result of bypassing the middle-man, sellers are able to accept, reject and rearrange new viewing requests themselves by messaging the buyers directly. Buyers and sellers can even continue to speak to each other after they’ve agreed an offer.
Strike set to become northern powerhouse
However, now is the time, Mr Mitchell believes, to go even further. Strike will feature everything customers loved about Housesimple but will have a more intuitive presence and a sharper, new mobile edge. The firm has just launched a new app that will enable a vendor to use a phone sell a home.
Furthermore, expansion of the network across Tyne Tees into Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough will double the company’s geographic footprint and make Strike a northern force to be reckoned with.
Mr Mitchell’s mission is to make moving easy, which means continually adapting and refining the sevice his company offers in accordance with what the public wants. This means saving customers money, whether it’s providing stress-free mortgage advice or selling for free.
Essentially, it’s an intuitive, digital experience that’s safe, reliable and puts the customer firmly in the driving seat. With genuine, friendly experts who offer support at every step. And naturally, a straight-talking and jargon-free culture where staff and customers work together to sell homes quickly, easily and for the best possible price.
The rebranding statement states that demand for online services has never been higher and includes a quote from Strike’s majority investor, Sir Charles Dunstone, who said he was “excited that Strike is challenging the establishment”.
Sir Charles believes strongly that Strike’s unique combination of people and technology in selling homes for free is a ground-breaking concept that will result in a great deal for customers.
For more details, please see our Strike estate agent review.