Home Home Page Articles LJ Hooker axes DIY disruptor Settl

LJ Hooker axes DIY disruptor Settl

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Real estate giant LJ Hooker has axed plans to offer home owners a low-cost DIY selling option.

Presumably feeling heat from subscription services such as Purplebricks and For Sale By Owner (FSBO) sites such as buymyplace.com.au, LJ Hooker announced the launch of Settl in March this year.

At the time, Chairman Janusz Hooker, grandson of founder Sir Leslie Hooker, said launching Settl was comparable to Qantas launching Jetstar.

Well, four months later, that plane has crash landed and is now on fire beside the runway.

“LJ Hooker developed the technology for the LJ Hooker network. An offshoot was to use similar technology in an emerging market segment LJ Hooker was not serving, the DIY [market], ” A spokeswoman for LJ Hooker told the Australian Financial Review. “Settl was the brand to address this market but there are no current plans to take it further. This market segment is in its infancy,” she added.

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SA Real Estate spoke with a South Australian LJ Hooker agent who prefers to remain anonymous.

“Settl was pretty much dead on arrival,” the agent said. “We were shown a presentation about it and told ‘this is what is happening’, but there was no follow-up or roll out to speak of.”

The agent also remarked that Settl had been met with a lot of hostility from within the LJ Hooker organisation.

The news of Settl’s demise will probably appeal to many franchisees, who felt that the new platform would undercut the commissions of LJ Hooker’s vast network.

Settl isn’t the first disruptor to have the plug pulled on it this year.

In March, Revlu8, a Queensland startup once hailed as the “Uber of real estate” fell into administration, owing $600,000.