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Jun 2, 2015 5:28 EST

Be Street Smart: Online estate agency, dramatically reducing the costs of selling or renting property

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 2, 2015

Be Street Smart

Online estate agency, dramatically reducing the costs of selling or renting property.

Location London, United Kingdom
 
Investment sought: £75,000
 

Product(s) and/or service(s)

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The Estate Agency model is at a tipping point. We believe sellers and landlords are no longer willing to pay extortionate fees to high street agents when all property searches are now done online.

We aim to build the UK’s most compelling Online Estate Agent service, stripping out the costs of high street offices, branded cars and staff viewings and develop a world-class mobile technology. We offer low flat-rate fees, a nationwide reach and all of the services of a traditional agent, plus useful new features via our proprietary technology.

We have an on-boarding strategy to acquire critical mass of properties in key London boroughs, before scaling out nationwide. We offer low flat-rate listing fees whilst offering a suite of optional services to upgrade to.

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Intended impact

Following our pilot phase, Be Street Smart has successfully been instructed on numerous properties in Clapham & Battersea and to fuel our growth will listing our properties on Rightmove. We want to offer property owners a more cost effective way to sell or rent their property in Clapham and Battersea. We are now ready to expand our business throughout South West London.

Be Street Smart list clients properties on the UKs largest property portal Rightmove to gain huge market exposure. Enabling the owner to do this would both improve the experience for the buyer and remove our need for high street offices, branded vehicles and staff on the ground locally to show people around.

The UK estate agency market is worth £6.7bn with the average estate agency fee in London on a sales transaction is around £7,000.

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Substantial accomplishments to date

To date the business has been funded by the 2 co-founders. We have built a team to exploit the inefficiencies within the estate agency sector, aiming to significantly reduce the costs homeowner’s are charged by high street estate agencies to sell or rent their properties.

The front and back end technology has been built, tested and is fully functioning.

Since launching the business in Oct 2014 in SW4 & SW11 we now have around 40 properties, 2,500+ registered buyers and tenants, 2,100+ facebook followers and 3,000 twitter followers.

We have developed a local brand and seek to be known as the genuine alternative to traditional estate agents.

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Monetisation strategy

Homeowners are offered a low cost exposure to potential buyers and sellers, whilst being offered bolt on services that they require. We generate our income in the following ways.

For Sellers:

Photos, Floorplan and EPC – £175
For Sale Board – £35
Completion Fee – £950

For Landlords:

Listing Fee – Free
Photos, Floorplan & EPC – £145
Referencing – Free
Rental contract – £50
Gas Safety Certificate – £80

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Use of proceeds

The feedback from our users has been overwhelmingly positive, we want to build on this positive momentum and will use the funds to accelerate our growth rate expanding the team and ensuring our technology platform remains best in class.

Our near term goal is to take our market share to 10% in the Clapham, Battersea, Clapham, Battersea, Stockwell, Brixton, Balham, Streatham and Wandsworth region. The market share we have achieved to date has been realised on the hard work of the co-founders and one employee and post investment we would look to bring on a marketing manager to improve the efficiency and reach of our marketing efforts.

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Target market

We have started small and targeted one specific area to build market share, generate a brand awareness and concentrate our marketing in a local area. Currently operating in SW4 & SW11 (Clapham / Battersea) postcodes of South West London the company is now encompassing properties through the whole of South West London.

The average rental value of the properties in this area is £1,525 per month and the average property value is excess of £600,000.

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Characteristics of target market

Our target clients understand value and want to save money. They are available to show potential buyers around their property but are not prepared to pay high street estate agency fees to find a buyer or tenant for their property. Thus, they appreciate value and look to make financial savings.

The UK estate agency market is worth £6.7bn in 2007.

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Marketing strategy

We found high fees being charged by local high street estate agencies. Our value proposition: A low cost guerilla marketing strategy would be implemented to develop awareness of the commission fees being charged by high street estate agencies.
Similar to ‘Transferwise’, we plan to challenge the traditional sector as being outdated and expensive in a humorous and light hearted campaign.

Traditional estate agencies are voted among the most disliked professions in the UK amongst traffic wardens and telesales reps. A recent study found that the average hourly fee to sell a property is £774 using a traditional estate agency, compared to a lawyer on £500. This creates a platform to position the savings Be Street Smart could offer.

In addition to the guerilla marketing campaigns we would continue to grow our digital presence targeting key demographics, increase our social media following and build strategic partnerships. We feel competitions, promotions and referrals are a cost effective way to grow our client base.

Worth looking at our social media pages:
https://www.facebook.com/bestreetsmart.co.uk
Twitter #BeStreetSmartUK
Instagram BeStreetSmart

Property details are uploaded onto Zoopla and Rightmove, the UK’s largest property listing portal and viewed by potential buyers and tenants.

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Competition strategy

We are primarily competing with high street agents who we anticipate to account for the majority of property sales in UK. We have been instructed on numerous properties in Clapham & Battersea (South West London), with a modest marketing budget.

As far as we know other online estate agencies don’t focus in any one geographical area so require large marketing budgets to cover the whole of the UK. They would require national marketing budgets whilst competing with each other on google adword campaigns.

By concentrating on one area, we aim to offer a more compelling proposition whilst keeping our marketing costs low. This represents an opportunity to develop a local brand before expanding geographically.

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Team

 

Contact Information:

Alex Griffin
Alex Sullivan
Adrian Sutherland

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