GPEA Ltd, the parent company of the Guild of Property Professionals and Fine & Country has announced a merger with online estate agency easyProperty, with the goal to capture the market share from both online and more traditional agencies.
The merger is expected to be completed by the end of June, a consequent restructuring of easyProperty is scheduled for July and August, and a relaunch of the easyProperty brand should take place in September.
GPEA intends to license the easyProperty brand to its network of more than 5K professionals, who will be enabled to offer additional fixed-price online sales and lettings packages alongside their traditional commission model.
Jon Cooke, Executive Director of both The Guild and Fine & Country, has been appointed as e-Prop Services Plc’s new CEO. easyProperty founder and former CEO, Robert Ellice, will remain with the company.
Cooke described the merger as a game changer for the property sector, stating: “This deal allows our member agents to offer more consumer choice with sales and lettings products catering to both the “do-it-yourself” and the “do-it-for-me” vendor and landlord preferences.
“We recognise the market requires and demands both online products and traditional methods. This newly merged business is the convergence of traditional estate agency and online.
“Effectively we are providing independent agents the ability to compete with products targeting each consumer demographic. At the same time, licensees will have full autonomy and flexibility to not only benefit from upfront revenue streams but take advantage of potential lead-generation into their core brand. In the coming months we will be launching the new easyProperty website as well as a new, national brand marketing campaign.”
Shareholders of the expanded group, belonging to the e-Prop Services Plc holding company, include funds managed by Toscafund Asset Management LLP (“Toscafund”), GPEA shareholders and easyProperty’s original investors and founders.
easyProperty is part of the easy family of brands and operates under licence from Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou’s easyGroup including: easyHotel, easyBus, easyCar, easyVan, easyProperty, easyOffice, easyFoodstore, easyCoffee, easyGym, among others.
The Guild was established 24 years ago and comprises independent property professionals across the UK. All members belong to a redress scheme and property professionals have access to the Guild’s compliance and accreditation programmes, ensuring high-quality standards.