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Airbnb-Like Online Property Site Disrupting Real Estate

Yopa calls itself an “Online Property Agent” and is changing the way homeowners sell their houses in the U.K, reports Forbes. It works around the clock, seven days a week, through a call center which organizes home visits and handles technical issues. Yopa aims to provide the same level of service as traditional estate agents while drastically cutting the cost to consumers, Daniel Attia, managing director of Yopa, recently explained to The Drum. To The Telegraph, Attia said that he wants Yopa to be “as disruptive as Airbnb has been.”

Like on any other online property listing, customers can edit information on their property at anytime. But unlike real estate agents, instead of charging a percentage of the property price — which can be anywhere from 1 percent to 2.5 percent — Yopa’s online agents charge a fixed fee for their services. Talking about Yopa’s services, Attia told The Telegraph, “This could be hugely beneficial to the people and save them a lot of money. The average price of a house is around £272,000, so two percent is £5,000.”

The online estate agency lets the seller choose from three levels of service, with set fees from £425 (around $653) to £725 (around $1,114) for its premium service. The packages include listing the property online, booking and handling visits and offering trained and experienced negotiators getting the best sale price. Buyers also get a free valuation based on similar local property sales, but, Yopa explains, sellers have complete control and are free to set and change their own asking price.

Yopa also offers sellers the opportunity to choose additional services, such as floor plans, professional photos, organization of the energy performance certificate and a personal property manager.

More than nine out of 10 people go straight onto the Internet when searching for a home, explains Yopa on its blog. Betting on the power of Internet, the U.K.-based startup recently appointed digital performance agency Roast to improve its content and search engine optimization activity, according to The Drum.

“This is the last real archaic industry that really hasn’t been touched for many years. It was just waiting for someone to come and really change and disrupt it,” Attia said to Forbes. “We don’t think anyone’s more equipped to sell their home than owners themselves. They know the local schools and the attributes of a neighborhood.”

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