Settled is a fast growing online estate agent based in London, and serving the whole of the UK. Read the company profile to learn more, or go to the latest independent customer reviews of Settled.
Founded in 2014, Settled is one of the newest contenders on the online estate agency landscape – but they don’t just want to be known as an online estate agent.
Created by brother and sister team Gemma and Paul Young, Settled sees itself as a platform which enables private sales, eliminating the middleman and empowering users to take full control of the sales process themselves.
The service provides sellers with a suite of online tools to list their home, to value their home like an agent would, to write their own descriptions and to get it on the right property platforms within minutes. User experience and convenience is key to the brand’s offering.
Gemma and Paul bring to the table a wealth of experience from both the tech and property world, and what started as a small start-up worked on from their sofa has quickly blossomed into a company that’s helped their customers sell more than £50m worth of property.
The company has benefited from the backing of high-profile tech investor Thomas Teichman, who made his fortune investing in the likes of Lastminute.com and notonthehighstreet.com. His attention was piqued by Settled after he had a poor experience with another unnamed hybrid agent. A later round of seed funding in 2016 saw the company receive £1m from Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups.
Settled’s advisory board includes Google’s European marketing director and Facebook’s European head of partner marketing, so tech firmly takes centre stage here. But even though the company aims to advance the online estate agency endeavour further through innovation, it still offers traditional methods of around-the-clock support, advice and help.
The company’s forward-thinking service was put to the test in July 2016, when it appeared on BBC’s The One Show, pitted against an independent high street estate agent in Bath. Three sets of buyers were shown around a property firstly by the homeowner, who was selling through Settled, and then by the high street agent.
At the end of the experiment each buyer was asked to choose their preferred method. Four out of the five buyers championed the online agent.
It seems the company’s unique blend of tech and personal service works.
Claims and statistics
Settled makes the following claims:
- Customers save an average £5,000 selling through Settled, compared to a traditional agent
- 98% of properties on Settled achieve the asking price or higher
- It takes an average of 17 for sellers to receive their first offer
- Settled’s property network receives 130 million visits per month
Fees and services
Settled offers its services in the form of a single package for £499 (prices correct at the time of writing), payable upfront or deferred for a month. Included in the package is:
- Professional photos
- Listing on Rightmove, Zoopla and ‘hundreds of others’ for as long as it takes to sell
- For sale sign
- Valuation support
- Viewing management
- Negotiation support
- Viewer feedback
Settled’s unique selling point is the personal home-selling hub offered to its customers. Using this, you can manage your advert 24/7, view performance and feedback data, take care of viewings and receive and streamline offers directly.
Q&A with Settled
How many properties has your agency sold so far, approximately?
Since the launch of Settled in 2016, £250 million worth of homes have been sold through our platform, saving customers over £5 million collectively in estate agency fees.
How would you describe your online estate agency in a single sentence?
We are an online property platform that simplifies the home-selling process, removes the dependency on an estate agent, and empowers homeowners to sell and buy their home with autonomy.
How many employees in estate agency/customer service roles do you have?
Currently there are six full-time customer service roles dedicated to educating and guiding homeowners through each step of the home selling and buying process.
Why do you think sellers should choose an online agent as opposed to a traditional high street estate agent?
People’s lives are busier and more remote than ever, but estate agents have failed to adapt to this. Settled helps you sell or buy your home, in a way that is transparent, accessible and stress-free, and which works around the changing needs of your daily life.
Are there any aspects of your services that make you better and different from other online agents, including Purplebricks – in other words why should a seller choose you?
Our emphasis on connecting buyers and sellers is stronger than any other online property platform, and we educate homeowners on how to make the most of these relationships. Our personalised approach has contributed to our 93% sale success rate from when an offer is received, compared to the UK standard which is a mere 66%. We also provide the best value and the most comprehensive guidance on how to sell your home without an agent.
How personal is the service you offer sellers – i.e. how will contact be made usually and how frequently do you do so?
At Settled we emphasise the importance of tailored customer service which we base on the confidence, knowledge and interest of the homeowner and buyer. Our service is focused on providing transparency into the process rather than taking control away from the homeowner. We offer easily accessible email and telephone contact as per the customer’s preference, and our customer service agents provide telephone service six days a week. Settled customers have 24/7 online access to their Settled Hub, where they can find everything they need throughout their home sale process.
What would you say to a seller who was concerned that, as a nationwide online agent, you won’t have enough local market knowledge?
We don’t dispute that local knowledge is an important aspect of selling homes, but we believe that the absolute best knowledge about the local area and the home being sold lies with the homeowner. Settled enables you to use your own expertise – in addition to the unique story that only you can tell about your home and neighbourhood – whilst transforming the traditional process with cutting edge technology to make things simple.
Can you send someone to conduct the viewings if the seller isn’t available (or doesn’t want to), and how does this work?
We know, with proof, that when sellers and buyers are more connected, the negotiation process works better (allowing more sellers to achieve their asking price) and fall through rates decrease significantly. In this respect, our first priority is to educate and encourage homeowners to manage viewings themselves. In the instance when a homeowner isn’t able or sincerely wishes to relinquish their involvement, we inform customers of alternative services which enable them to outsource their viewings.
Do you offer any no sale no fee option or money back guarantees if a property doesn’t sell?
We believe that any home marketed for the right price, can be sold, and we have not found the need to offer a no sale no fee option to our customers. We provide unlimited listing time on our site, and fully committed service until the completion of the sale process.
Is there anything else you would like to add so readers can get a better understanding of your agency and the services you offer?
The main objections we hear from homeowners are that the low cost service offered by online estate agents yields poor service and that there is too much complexity in the house-selling process for it to be managed without an agent. Selling your home has become synonymous with stress and negative emotion, because people simply don’t understand what’s going on as they make this huge decision. We created Settled to empower customers and simplify real estate transactions to a point where selling or buying a home is a joyful process.