A lot has changed in the world of property over the past two decades. Alongside the rise of prices and demand for housing, there has been a rise of digital technology, with many websites like Daft.ie and MyHome.ie redefining the property landscape.
“Before those sites really got going, an estate agent's role required much more work than what is involved today,” says Jack Brady, who has worked in the industry since 2011. “Agents had to spend large amounts of money to promote their business and find buyers for properties. They were relying on newspaper listings, and maintaining an expensive shop front in prime locations, to bring buyers in. The job is a lot easier today, but the fee structure - which typically costs 1.5 per cent of the total sales price as commission (plus marketing and vat) - never changed. A lot of people don't add up the estate agent fees until they get that final bill, and the standard fee on a property that sells for €500,000 can amount to nearly €10,000.”
Brady co-founded Moovingo, along with business partner Tony Deane - both of their families have a deep history in property. "In 2013 I sold my apartment in London and was hit with a bill of £8,000 to do so. On reflection, I thought this fee was quite high for listing a property online, managing a couple of viewings, and taking offers from interested parties."
Now in its third year of trading, Moovingo set out to offer property sellers a new option, by offering a fixed fee to sellers rather than a percentage commission of the sale price.
“Selling a home is expensive,” says Deane, “but we offer a way to cut down the costs. Our fee is set, and payable on completion, and there is no commission. In our first year we listed 86 homes, and last year we more than doubled that figure to 191 homes, with each seller saving an average of €6,078.”
Moovingo currently offers two packages for its customers. "90 per cent of sellers go for our Performance Package, which costs €2,500 including VAT," says Deane.
“This offers everything you would expect from a traditional estate agent, but without any commission. We perform a free property valuation and, once instructed, help prepare the property for market. This includes professional photographs, accurate floor plans, a creative listing, a for-sale sign and ads on all major portals including Daft.ie and MyHome.ie. We manage all the viewings and negotiations to achieve the best price for our vendors.”
It all came in at around 50 per cent cheaper than going through other estate agents
The second option costs less, €1,500 including VAT, and allows the homeowner to host the viewings themselves. “We have some customers who have a preference to show their own home, but we still manage everything else - their role is to simply let buyers in and answer any questions about the property. Any offers or follow up queries come through us,” says Brady.
“We are also introducing a new option this month, at €4,250 including VAT, which will include a more bespoke level of marketing, including featured and top-spot adverts on Daft.ie and MyHome.ie, a custom for-sale sign highlighting the USP of the property, creative social media adverts targeting buyers, a press release, newspaper advertising, and custom brochures for the property. No other agent offers such a high level package at this price point,” says Deane.
While the benefits of introducing a fixed fee pricing structure are obvious, this is not the only aspect of the market that Moovingo intend to address. "If you have ever been involved in buying or selling a property you know that it can involve a lot of chasing for updates," says Brady. "Over the years I have seen plenty of things that I thought could be more efficient. The whole process seemed like it needed a bit of a shake-up."
By taking advantage of technology, Moovingo aims to make the entire sales process as accessible and transparent as possible. "We are really trying to bring customer service back into the process," says Deane. "We invested a lot of time and money in building our website, but also in building our internal systems, so we can run a more efficient business with a high level of customer service," says Brady.
I think it is such a modern system; I felt like I was kept in the loop the whole time
“From our analytics we can see 70 per cent of property activity happens outside office hours,” says Deane. This is when buyers usually book viewings, ask questions and make offers.
"While we are available over the phone, and in person, our website allows for all of the previously mentioned to happen, 24/7. We have an online bidding system, and sellers have access to a personal dashboard, so they can get real-time notifications of offers and other updates. All offers are managed by the Moovingo licensed agent to ensure the best outcome is achieved for the seller. This makes the process much more efficient and transparent as buyers and sellers are not left waiting for the agent to return a call or email. It also reduces the workload for our team, so it's a win-win. We have also implemented a live chat feature on our website to allow for buyers and sellers to contact us with ease."
Marcus sold his family home in Sandyford with Moovingo in 2019
"The Moovingo offices were based near to where I was living, so I decided to give them a go. Immediately I was happier that everything was clear and upfront. One of the best things about the experience was that they always kept me up-to-date with what was going on with the sale. The communication from the guys was just brilliant. Also, the photography and the attention to detail in the marketing was brilliant, and since then another friend has used them and found it just as good. For me, a big part of it was having the price set in stone. I think it is such a modern system; I felt like I was kept in the loop the whole time."
Ciaran from Molior Construction used Moovingo to sell houses on two new builds in 2019
“I got them to sell two new home developments in Sandyford. One was for six houses and another for eight. I found them to be very strong on the marketing - there was plenty of interest. The whole process was seamless, and it all came in at around 50 per cent cheaper than going through other estate agents. I knew the entire cost up front, and that transparency was very important for me.
I got regular reports on the two developments to track interest, and it was obvious that both Tony and Jack knew what they were doing. If I ever needed to follow up I could always get them on the phone. I'm looking at further sites this year and I will 100 per cent be working with them again.”