Martin & Co breaks into sales market with no commission offering


Wednesday 10th October 2012

Martin & Co has stepped firmly into the sales market, charging 0% commission.
Three months after its softly, softly launch, the lettings chain has unveiled a new-look website to support the proposition. It says it has over 1,000 properties listed and is ‘competing strongly’ in the sales markets.
There are currently 43 sales agreed, with about 80 of the near-200 offices in the network offering a sales service. The figure is expected to rise to over 100 by the end of this year.
The franchise business charges sellers a monthly subscription whereby they pay only for the services they require. For example, if a seller wants an advertising-only package, that is all they pay for, from £299.
Martin & Co says it can cut sellers’ costs by up to 90% compared to traditional commission-based charging. 
Ian Wilson, managing director of Martin & Co, said: “We decided that estate agency would benefit from a refreshingly different approach. With thousands of clients on our books, many of them looking to buy residential investment properties, it places us in a prime position to tackle the sales arena in a novel way, head on.
“For many, the idea of paying estate agents their full commission for a service they neither want nor need is very frustrating.”
All properties listed are advertised on Rightmove and the Martin & Co website site, which has over 260,000 visitors per month. Martin & Co’s offices also promote the properties.
Wilson said: “By giving the public access to the best internet sites and still providing them with a local office and friendly experienced staff, we are giving them the best of both worlds – online advertising and old-fashioned customer service.”
Wilson said the new offering rewarded motivated sellers.
He said: “Why should sellers pay so much in commission just because agents are ineffective and sell only a fraction of the properties they list?
“Sellers are regularly being told by agents to reduce their price, but it’s the estate agent who benefits most because they get their fee. With our approach, if priced realistically and a quick sale is achieved, you can cancel your monthly subscription and won’t owe us a penny.
“By 2013, the majority of our offices will be offering a sales service. We already have a very successful lettings business and we want to repeat that success with estate agency.”