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Graham Awards


Fast-growing agency swipes at ‘under-delivering’ rival firms

Expanding North East agency Hive Estates has acquired a Newcastle lettings business as part of its plans for growth - and has taken a swipe at its rivals into the bargain.

Tyneside Lettings has been acquired by Hive Estates for an undisclosed six-figure sum. The team of four staff join Hive Estates and sister companies, and director Robbie Kalbraier joins the board of Hive Estates as its chairman.

His appointment strengthens the board, and he will help steer Hive Estates into further growth, advising from a property development and chartered construction background.


This deal adds more than 267 tenanted units to Hive’s larger property portfolio. 

Hive Estates managing director Michael Mortimer says: “Now in our sixth year, this acquisition is a new milestone in our growth plans. We are passionate about delivering a better estate agency experience for tenants, landlords, house buyers and sellers. I joined this industry many years ago and quickly saw a desperate need for change so that we can move away from old fashioned, outdated traditions that don’t serve anyone. 

“We are passionate about transforming the local landscape of estate agency and this portfolio of quality managed properties in Newcastle city centre, Jesmond and Heaton complements our already substantial portfolio. 

Robbie Kalbraier adds: “The company is young, fresh and ambitious about providing something different in the market. They take the traditional estate agency model but inject it their own ideas with a unique spin and approach.”

Mortimer says when he set up Hive Estates in 2016, he had a clear aim of offering an alternative to his ‘salesy’ counterparts who, he says, over-promise, inflate valuations and under-deliver.


He says: “It’s our accurate house price valuations and gaining our customers 105 per cent of the asking price on average, when the national average is 98 per cent, according to GetAgent. We do this in market-leading time. And, because we use state-of-the-art videography and new, modern ways of marketing homes, including TikTok and Instagram. 

“We don’t lock house sellers into long unfair contracts and don’t charge extortionate withdrawal feels either. My fabulous team work with them every step of their home moving journey. Above all, we care about making our customers happy. That’s it. That’s our special formula.”

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    How original.

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    If, on average, they achieve 105% of the asking price, that suggests they are undervaluing.

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    They are obviously pricing property sensibly so that it attracts interest and a few viewers who are then vying for the purchase. This compares very favourably with the old method of overpricing with the expectation to reduce! People looking will avoid a property that they think is over priced and then when the asking price is dropped still not look because they think that it has not attracted a buyer because there is something wrong with it and if it was any good they would have had an offer round the new asking price. Result they still do not view it!
    You have to have people through the door to sell a house and that is achieved with a sensible price and ask for offers over!
    Sellers are naive and think want as much as they can and believe the highest vauation who are often going for the greed factor then drop the price when it has little interest but the seller is locked into a fixed period contract!
    The other bug bear is when you are charged a % of the price what extra does someone selling a £500,000 house get compared to the £300,000 one? In reality nothing and the work is exactly the same it is just the agent profiting!


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