Two years after its Valentine’s Day launch in 2017, love2move, the Preston based hybrid estate agency platform, is planning massive expansion with the launch of a crowdfunding campaign on leading UK platform Crowdcube.
The company, valued at just over £1.25 million, is looking to raise £120,000 in exchange for equity in the business. The fundraise will allow love2move to move swiftly to grow their network by onboarding a large amount of the UK’s independent estate agents and providing them with the proprietary tools necessary to compete on a level playing field with the online only agents.
The love2move concept was devised and launched by Little Hoole headquartered high street agents MovingWorks to fight back at online only agents taking market share. It works by sitting alongside the traditional agency offering as a separate online brand which does not erode the core business offering. Co-founders Georgina Cox and Mark Worrall believe it fills a gap in the market that has been created by the rise of online only estate agents. They also feel that love2move satisfies the requirements of a new generation of homeowners who want a convenient way to sell their home without paying high fees, but who may sacrifice the true market value of their property due to a lack of input from estate agents with local knowledge.
CEO Georgina Cox, who also sits on the naea Propertymark board (professional body for estate agency), explains why she believes the business model is unique: “We always believed there were flaws in the online only model and these flaws are now becoming apparent. Love2move is different from anything else available and we have USPs for house sellers, the estate agents we partner with and importantly our investors, as we have a lower cost per acquisition than other agents competing in the online space, which means we will quickly become profitable.”
With 18 traditional estate agencies now signed up from areas ranging from Torquay to Yorkshire, the love2move offering is proving to be a positive business decision. Traditional estate agents have reported an increase in conversion rates as a result of offering a range of services, for example, David Leake from Goole-based Houses etc credits love2move with helping increase his valuation conversion rate by more than 10% to 56%. The pitch video on Crowdcube also features 2 other agents from Oldham and Nottingham highlighting the benefits of the network.
Homeowners are also reaping the rewards of the service, described as the best of both worlds as they achieve an average of 99% of their asking price from expert valuations from local agents, but pay a fixed fee of £895.
Mark Worrall co-founder & COO feels vindicated in his original belief that the best person to accurately value a property is a local, high street estate agent: “Crucial to a house sale is an accurate valuation and high street agents have years of local knowledge so it has always seemed obvious to us that the best person to help house sellers get the best return is a local, traditional estate agent, he said.
“Excitement about the funding round is growing within the network and a number of our partner agents have jumped at the opportunity to invest, which will help us achieve our ambition to create a national brand.”