Poundland founder's hybrid estate agency makes hundreds of thousands in crowdfunding
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing
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The UK’s first ‘hybrid’ model estate agency has received £660,000 of crowdfunding investment, reaching its funding target in just 10 days.
Chaired by Poundland founder Steve Smith, EstatesDirect.com listed on CrowdCube in March with an initial target of £250,000.
EstatesDirect.com, which was founded by Match.com pioneer Darren Richards and entrepreneur Ben Grove in 2012, combines an online estate agency with regional property experts who can meet customers face-to-face.
The model helps to save customers £1,000s in traditional estate agent commissions.
Poundland's Steve Smith said: “We decided to open EstatesDirect.com to crowdfunding as we’d received a lot of interest from investors and wanted the general public to share in the success of the company. The response in the last two weeks has been unprecedented and, while we were delighted to reach our crowdfunding target in just ten days, it made sense to overfund to allow more people to get involved.
“I believe the reason so many people have invested is because EstatesDirect.com is not just another online estate agency. We have a number of franchised businesses, licensees and local agents, who provide the expertise and personalised service of a high-street estate agent, which we know is still very important to customers when buying, selling or letting their property.
“Many experts in the property industry agree that this model is where the housing market is heading and our investment success marks the start of a period of rapid growth for EstatesDirect.com. We’re looking forward to seeing what the future holds.”