Let's play a game of Q&A (answers at the bottom):
1. What do the 'Millenial' crop of journalists and politicians have in common?
2. Airbnb, according to many, has disrupted the hotel business. Which hotels have suffered as a result?
3. Uber is: a. A mobile taxi booking app; b. a mini-cab operator; c. A new form of transport
4. Online agents do the same job as 'high street' estate and lettings agents. True or false?
5. Which is true: a. Rightmove sells property; b. People sell property; c. London is in a property bubble
6. Female tennis players at Wimbledon have been forced to play bra-less. True or false?
7. You can complain to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) about estate agents, but not lettings agents. True or false?
8. The internet has disrupted recruitment agents. True or false.
9. DIY Landlords care more about (rank in order of importance): a. Getting the best rental amount; b. paying the lowest agency fees; c. finding the 'right' tenant; d. Letting a property quickly so as to prevent void periods.
10. What do Turkish prostitutes have in common with UK estate agents?
1. Never had a real job, or had to look for one.
2. None. Hotel stock prices are at all time highs. The traditional hotel business is booming. Airbnb is merely providing people with a new choice. It's just another hotel, made up of non-professional stock.
3. a. Uber is just an app - Uber drivers take on all the risk. the funny thing about taxi drivers striking and suing, is they give Uber news coverage and publicity they otherwise would never have received.
4. False. Online agents, currently, don't offer full service agency. The few that purport to, are 'living room' agents rather than online agents. Online agents certainly provide a different choice for property owners. But it's not the same service.
5. b. People sell property. Rightmove is an online classifieds board that essentially acts as a directory of agents. Sites like Rightmove are full of phantom listings that force people to call agents. This is why people think there is a bubble: it seems more is happening than actually does. When there is mass homelessness or mass mortgage defaults/ repossessions, then you know a bubble is bursting. No one is forecasting that we are anywhere near such a scenario. Prices are high, but there's room for them to go higher. It is, after all, people making higher offers.
6. True. If your husband suggests he wants to spend your life savings on Wimbledon debentures, this may be why.
7. False. The OFT was disbanded earlier this year and no longer exists.
8. False. Online jobs board just serve as directories of recruitment agents. Where have we heard that before...
9. c, a, d, b - Landlords are not efficient people. It's free money. They're more concerned about people trashing their property.
10. Obviously, both seemed to have f**ked over Harry Mount. The Telegraph journalist's knowledge of the Turkish prostitute market is surprisingly comprehensive. Too bad he didn't research the UK property market. There's not a chance that online agents will have significant market share in the next 5 years. They just don't offer what people want: for property owners, higher price = better service.
Thanks to Property Industry Eye:
Original Spectator article here: