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AdamoMucci

Online agency Hatched closes

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41 minutes ago, Eddie_George said:

Must have huge internal VI to keep the high street stores. So be it. They're doomed, just like Blockbuster.

 

I think they just failed with it. They cannot face the spending and the risk that would be required to even attempt to catch the market leaders. They were late to the game and they lost and they have decided to not throw good money after bad. They are framing it as the online/hybrid model is flawed, but they are not going to admit they lost the race or made poor choices.

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There is not a single operational reason for a high street presence. If EAs did not yet exist, how would they be set up today? By opening hundreds of little high street shops? No. They only exist because they are part of the pre-(mobile)internet legacy system. The only reason they are still used is people fear change and it will take a while for customers to accept online/hybrid. But there is absolutely no functional need for high street branches. It is so incredibly obvious.

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7 hours ago, AdamoMucci said:

There is not a single operational reason for a high street presence. If EAs did not yet exist, how would they be set up today? By opening hundreds of little high street shops? No. They only exist because they are part of the pre-(mobile)internet legacy system. The only reason they are still used is people fear change and it will take a while for customers to accept online/hybrid. But there is absolutely no functional need for high street branches. It is so incredibly obvious.

Operational reason today - Nope.

Before Ea were on the Ea drag as thats where people came to look at houses  in the window. Ad thats only ~15 years ago. Today, anyone buying a house will have some form of computer.

They also used to give Gyles PurpleCord a tax efficient way to invest his pension i,.e hodl the EA office in it. Id not like to be having an EA office as ~60% of my pension fund today. Looks like Gyles will be collecting trolleys at tesco in his dotage.

The future of Ea is moving to smallish office on an industrial estate. Parking, lower rates, meeting room.

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Fewer choices both in products and services is bad for consumers.....in the case of agents or middle men they are an extra cost not always cost effective......social media is a very good alternative agent, offering value for money can be zero, word of mouth/text/picture....another case of technology killing jobs, the downside is people require jobs/income to buy houses.😉

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We used Hatch in 2013 to sell - I only knew of them at the time because i'd seen a couple of for sale boards with their logo on, maybe that was part of the problem, they didn't seem to have much advertising presence and in the last few years purple bricks has been very active.

They were pretty simple to use and about a 1/3 of the price of the traditional agents, think it was a fixed price of about £600-700. You did the viewings yourself. Any dealings with offers or purchase were done through their central office in London, not a perfect service but got the job done.

I didn't know they were owned by Connells though, thought they were an independent, but maybe that changed in the last few years. I remember an email from them saying that they were looking for Crowdfunding to step it up,  and also something about selling it on to start a new venture.

 

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4 hours ago, spyguy said:

The future of Ea is moving to smallish office on an industrial estate. Parking, lower rates, meeting room.

That will allow them to compete a little better and slow down the decline. But they will always be behind on technology, at least the small independents. They will depend on off the shelf software from third party companies, and those third parties may possibly be able to squeeze them in the same way that Rightmove does, because it will be them that are adding the incremental value rather than the agents, who are not innovating.

The big nationals are going to have the economies of scale, the job specialisation, the money to build custom software and systems.

I dont buy the idea that national online/hybrids will only take a max of say 25% market share. Either they will fail or eventually completely take over.

Other issues facing smaller high street agents are increasing government regulation of their industry, and the potential decline of the "amateur" landlord as they also face rising costs and potential competition from Build to Rent corporations.

It is going to be interesting to watch the trend play out and see what actually happens. Middle aged people who own small EA/LAs who work hard and stay on top of things may manage to drag it out to retirement, but its not going to be the easy comfortable life for them that todays retiring EAs had in the last 20-30 years.

It has been like the gold rush where now, the money is in selling shovels (prop-tech supplying independents) rather than mining (independent EA business).

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4 hours ago, winkie said:

another case of technology killing jobs, the downside is people require jobs/income to buy houses.😉

 

In a sane civillized world of course, we should be aiming and hoping for technology to eradicate jobs. But that requires a compassionate, uncorrupted, non-mentally ill elite.

Edited by AdamoMucci

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1 hour ago, Andy T said:

We used Hatch in 2013 to sell - I only knew of them at the time because i'd seen a couple of for sale boards with their logo on, maybe that was part of the problem, they didn't seem to have much advertising presence and in the last few years purple bricks has been very active.

They were pretty simple to use and about a 1/3 of the price of the traditional agents, think it was a fixed price of about £600-700. You did the viewings yourself. Any dealings with offers or purchase were done through their central office in London, not a perfect service but got the job done.

I didn't know they were owned by Connells though, thought they were an independent, but maybe that changed in the last few years. I remember an email from them saying that they were looking for Crowdfunding to step it up,  and also something about selling it on to start a new venture.

 

They were bought by Connells in 2015. The founder Adam Day stayed as MD until last year when he went to EasyProperty. I wonder why he departed last year.

Sounds like they were online only from what you say. I think there is a smallish market for online only, but the big business is probably going to be the hybrid version I should think. I would guess most people want accompanied viewings etc.. And even more so on the lettings side.

I suspect Hatched was just never ahead in the game. Some of these companies offer both online only and "full service" and have much bigger name recognition. Hatched probably just did not have any USP. I think this is just an example of the weaker companies falling by the wayside. We have already seen some consolidation this year. People in that industry had been predicting a maximum of say four of these companies surviving going forward. I would assume Connells tried to sell the business and could not find any buyers. But that is just guess work.

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15 hours ago, AdamoMucci said:

If EAs did not yet exist, how would they be set up today? By opening hundreds of little high street shops? No. They only exist because they are part of the pre-(mobile)internet legacy system. The only reason they are still used is people fear change and it will take a while for customers to accept online/hybrid.

but hatched have just gone pear shaped everyone here says that is the way forward?

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52 minutes ago, happyguy said:

but hatched have just gone pear shaped everyone here says that is the way forward?

Done properly it's the way forward. Done half baked while not making a profit and hurting the rest of the business it's not worth the hassle.

As others have stated the long term market will be 3-5 national companies with some software and a few freelance people locally to value the property and handle bookings. The people will either work from a cheap office or home, they definitely won't have a full staffed high street office that no one ever visits...

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3 hours ago, AdamoMucci said:

 

In a sane civillized world of course, we should be aiming and hoping for technology to eradicate jobs. But that requires a compassionate, uncorrupted, non-mentally ill elite.

That won't happen in big numbers, great if it could happen....far too much wasted productivity, human energy, human skills and experience to be used/exploited/gain from......if not careful the highest skilled and educated will opt out, chill out and decide they no longer want to play to the game.....;)

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3 minutes ago, winkie said:

That won't happen in big numbers, great if it could happen....far too much wasted productivity, human energy, human skills and experience to be used/exploited/gain from......if not careful the highest skilled and educated will opt out, chill out and decide they no longer want to play to the game.....;)

 

Its happening. Interesting article that illustrates how people are starting to value time greater than work work work money money money.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/style/fire-financial-independence-retire-early.html

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17 hours ago, AdamoMucci said:

 

Its happening. Interesting article that illustrates how people are starting to value time greater than work work work money money money.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/01/style/fire-financial-independence-retire-early.html

Yes, we are all different, thankfully.......for many their jobs and the paid work they do is their life, their hierarchy in society, their worth, their standing and power......the last thing they would want is not having a job to go to, wouldn't know what to do with themselves.😉

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