You are here: Home - News -

Opinion divided over impact of

  • 01/04/2000
  • 0
A new website that aims to take the sting out of moving home has split the property industry in two,...

A new website that aims to take the sting out of moving home has split the property industry in two, with the potential to benefit mortgage intermediaries but hinder estate agents. is a free online service for anyone buying and selling a home which is designed to cut out the estate agent. Users of the service will pay no commission and registration is free.

Unlike many property websites, easier does not generate its revenue from advertising but by selling customer data to its ‘corporate partners’, which include Scottish Widows Bank, Friends Provident and Scottish Legal Life. The site is also willing to sell on the lead information to mortgage brokers. easier plc, owner of the service, floated successfully on the Alternative Investment Market in February, having raised £11.9m in a placing undertaken by stockbrokers Peel, Hunt & Co. The site launched in the South East in February but has plans to roll out a £13m national TV advertising campaign later in the year, well in excess of what was spent by Prudential when it launched egg.

Steve Rist, joint chief executive, said: “We are aiming for rapid consumer awareness and to turn the brand into a household name. The UK domestic property market has been seeking an alternative to estate agents for many years. offers consumers a fast, free and fair alternative to the status quo for the first time.”

But the site appears to have split the property industry in two and has presented some firms with a difficult conflict of interest.

Winterthur Life marketing manager, Garry Hurry, said that lead data supplied by easier could prove fruitful to its mortgage operation. But he added that the site also presented a somewhat limited danger to Winterthur’s network of more than 1,000 tied estate agencies.

He said: “The market needs to move on and we need to evolve by integrating our distribution channels. I logged on to easier and did not think much of it. People are still going to need face-to-face service when they buy and sell their home.”

Hugh Dunsmore-Hardy, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, urged sellers to be wary.

He said: “There is no such thing as a free lunch. Sellers using this service will probably find they are bombarded left right and centre by companies trying to sell them financial services. The one thing the internet cannot do is provide a personal service that can deal with the many problems associated with the homebuying process as they arise.”


There are 0 Comment(s)

You may also be interested in

Business Skills

In this section, we offer short ‘how to’ guides on harder to crack areas of business. From social media, to regulation or niche product areas, we cover it all.


Our journalists interview key industry entrepreneurs, strategists and commentators for day-to-day market insight and a strategic view of where the industry is heading. We offer lessons for success and explore the opportunities for your business

Success in Practice

Here, we share case studies fleshing out best practice to help you decide what could work for your business. Take a look at how others approached complex tasks like launching a new mortgage lender, advising on a new product area or deciding to specialise in another. Learn from others mistakes and triumphs.


Each week, we ask top mortgage and property commentators with a unique perspective to examine a key news headline, market move or regulatory or political issue.


Vote in our weekly poll here. It’s your chance to tell us what you think and be heard on the top news stories of the week. Review our archive to find out what your industry really thinks and all our coverage of the results.

Top Comments

Be part of the conversation on Mortgage Solutions. We want to hear from you. We have a tool called Disqus to tell us which stories get the most comments each week. Every Friday, the team picks the most thoughtful or opinionated contributions from our readers to enjoy again. Don’t forget to share your favourite stories from the site on social media to keep the conversation going.
  • Todays Mortgage Administrator iVent programme: author Chris Croft discusses communication skills, @AldermoreBank's…
  • My week on Twitter 🎉: 104 Mentions, 47.7K Mention Reach, 66 Likes, 50 Retweets, 41.6K Retweet Reach. See yours with…
  • Our first day of the Mortgage Administrator iVent has been a great success – don’t forget to join us again tomorrow…
  • RT @DanielleDennis9: Our first ever virtual event is looking great! Make sure you log in today, take a look around the stands and watch the…
Read previous post:
Skipton ‘reluctantly’ moves to introduce charitable assignment

Skipton Building Society has become one of the final top 20 mutual societies to introduce a charitab...