Yopa is the affordable, simple & smart way to sell your home. Below is our recent interview with Ben Poynter, CEO at Yopa:
Q: What is Yopa?
A: Yopa is a fixed-fee estate agency that gives home movers the full and personal service they’d expect from a ‘traditional’ agency. We’ve disrupted the traditional model by doing away with the unnecessary cost of high street shop fronts and by leveraging technology and scale to deliver a great experience for customers – all for a fair fixed fee which can either be paid upfront or on completion of a sale with our new No Sale, No Fee option.
Yopa was launched by customers, for customers less than three years ago, and we have already become one of the largest UK estate agency brands. We’re continuing to rapidly climb the rankings, and we had more properties listed for sale in the first half of 2018 than over the whole of last year, as more customers are attracted to our transparent and flexible way of selling homes. In fact, based on the number of properties listed on Rightmove and Zoopla, we’re the eighth biggest estate agency in the UK – and we fully intend to accelerate that growth further!
In addition to helping homeowners save a significant amount of money, we’ve developed YopaHub, our proprietary technology, to help them save time too. It gives customers complete visibility of their property sale and allows vendors and buyers to arrange viewings, give and receive feedback, and make and accept offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Q: Why did you choose this idea and concept to build your start-up based on?
A: Yopa is a business that was founded by customers for customers, and customer focus remains at the heart of our growth strategy. The concept was born after our founders had poor first-hand experiences selling their own properties. Like many people, they couldn’t understand why estate agents were paid such high fees yet often delivered service below expectations. They also couldn’t understand why they were unable to get updates instantly about their property sale directly and had to patiently call their agent or wait for the agent to return their calls more likely. Yopa was founded to correct this – to provide a better home selling experience for customers for a fairer fee and to enable customers with technology to give them greater control and insight over the sale of their home.
Q: You have recently raised £20M, could you tell us more about your recent funding round?
A: In August 2018 we closed a £20 million funding round from existing investors led by dmg ventures, the investment arm of Savills, and the Company’s founders. This brings our total equity funding to over £75 million since launching the hybrid model in January 2016. Our recent funding follows three earlier investment rounds which also included our latest backers, as well as LSL Property Services plc, which continues to be a significant investor. Dmg ventures have a great history backing winners in this market, having recently exited Zoopla with a sale to Silver Lake.
The new funding will be used to accelerate the company’s growth through additional investment in our best-in-class customer service, which will include:
– Expanding our network of 150 local agents operating nationwide;
– Further enhancing our proprietary technology;
– Continuing to evolve our product offering; and
– Supporting the development of our new customer service centre in Watford.
Q: How do your clients usually find out about Yopa?
A: Yopa’s customers are based all over the UK. They’re normally sick of the traditional way of selling homes and are looking for a fairer, simpler and less stressful way of handling their biggest investment, their home.
Word of mouth and recommendations are incredibly important factors when it comes to selling your home. Thankfully, we have a huge local agent network across the UK, ‘for sale’ boards popping up across the country and outstanding Trustpilot and allAgent reviews – all of which works hard to compound customers’ confidence in using Yopa and creates a virtuous circle.
Apart from our local presence and online recommendations from happy customers, people normally get in touch with Yopa because they’ve seen our national TV, print or radio campaigns starring Olympian Sir Mo Farah. Homeowners book a free valuation online or get in touch with our dedicated national call centre to connect with a local agent.
On top of that, we’re proud to have a unique understanding of property data and different people’s motivations for moving. Yopa’s property know-how has really resonated with homeowners and helped them connect with us. For example, our hugely popular interactive guide for parents allows them to choose the perfect new hometown to bring up kids by analysing data from Ofsted, crime statistics and even pollution levels.
Q: What are your plans for the next 5 years?
A: In the near term we’re focused on becoming one of the biggest and best estate agencies in the country. We intend to get there by continuing to deliver great customer service and achieving great results for homeowners and buyers, all for a fair fixed fee.
Despite only launching 2 ½ years ago, we’re already the eighth largest UK estate agent brand and we’re continuing to steadily grow. Our success is down to an unwavering commitment to our customers. The recent investment will help us to continue this commitment and support an ever-growing number of movers who value a quality estate agency service for a fair fee.