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first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Interview: Founder of new hybrid explains how he outfoxed his bigger competition previous nextAgencies & PeopleInterview: Founder of new hybrid explains how he outfoxed his bigger competitionFounder of HouseFox.co.uk Neil Urch says his mix of traditional and hybrid models has delivered profitability in just 18 months, unlike other hybrids.Nigel Lewis13th November 201901,044 Views The founder of a growing hybrid estate agency that The Negotiator highlighted last week has revealed more details about his business HouseFox.This includes how its success is based on pick-and-mixing parts of the Purplebricks model with traditional high street agency.Co-founder Neil Urch says two years ago he was working for a local agency and noticed how few people visited the branch.“Those who walked in were holiday makers but the serious buyers were getting in touch by email and phone after receiving Rightmove and Zoopla alerts,” he says.“So I looked at the Purplebricks model and saw how much money was being chucked at them and thought they must be doing something right.”Urch (pictured, left) says he didn’t like the way many hybrid agents charge for all their ‘extra’ services like viewings but did embrace using self-employed local agents who work from home.And he decided to keep customer communications via telephone and not just online, and also rejected the standard hybrid fees model.“I looked at charging half up front and half on completion and was surprised to find that no one else was doing this,” he says. “It’s a great model because it means that when I walk out of a house with an instruction, I’ve still got an incentive to get it to completion.”GambleUrch says he then took a gamble, left a good job and that so far it’s been an ‘amazing success’. The estate agency, which is based out of a ‘hub’ in Weston-super-Mare, has reached profitability years before he and his business partner though it would.After initially launching ‘on a shoestring’ 18 months ago in Weston-super-Mare, the business launched into Portishead and Clevedon six months ago and this new territory is starting to take off too.Urch says he wants to expand the business in another area and then eventually open up in the region’s main city, Bristol.  He’s also been approached by several large conveyancers and mortgage lenders to partner with HouseFox.“My business plan says that once I’ve got five areas all making money then we’ve proved the model,” he says.HouseFox Neil Urch hybrid estate agent Rightmove Zoopla November 13, 2019Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021last_img read more