Foxton’s, East Coast Real Estate Discounter, Laying Off Almost Everyone

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentIn my aforementioned sales meeting, one of the agents said he’s struggling to compete against brokers and agents offering very, very small commission rates to prospective sellers. It was his feeling, and that of several others in the room, that in a slow real estate market such as ours such models provide even more competition than normal.

Of course, this seemed completely counter-intuitive to me. In slow market conditions, it costs far more to properly market and sell a home than in a fast-moving market. And if brokerages and agents are struggling to stay afloat based on a higher commission rate, how can a company operating on razor-thin margins expect to survive?

Proof came yesterday in the form of news on Foxton’s, a London-based discount real estate brokerage operating primarily in New Jersey, which will be laying off 350 of its remaining 380 employees and likely filing for bankruptcy.

Said John D. Blomquist, Foxton’s senior vice president and general counsel, …

“Foxtons is well run, very efficient, has a great team and has pioneered a new model in the real estate business – a model which has proven itself and, we believe, will have lasting influence on our sector.”

I hate to break it to you John but no, the model hasn’t proven itself and no, it will not have a lasting influence on your sector. If the answers had been affirmative, you would still be in business.

Blomquist said Foxtons has “been battling against a real estate market that recently has turned into a sharp decline, and the company no longer has the liquidity to operate as a going concern.”

We’re all battling a real estate market that turned into a sharp decline. But many of us are still here, still working, still selling real estate. Blomquist’s comments sound like all of the excuses that came out of Tuesday’s meeting. Or even the USFL once it was shut down by the NFL two decades ago ago. (Remember the New Jersey Generals, John?)

Apparently the big mistake Foxton’s made was not securing enough venture capital to stay afloat. Of course, even that money eventually runs out. Think some folks up in the Seattle area are taking note?


[tags]real estate marketing, real estate technology, Foxton’s, Redfin[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at


  • Jennifer 10 years ago

    Yes, so funny I live in Connecticut used foxtons. Hated them. Also then i used this connecticut flat fee mls relator.

    Site sold the house. So much better than foxtons.

    Not a rip off for once.

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    If you’ve got some experience behind you there’s nothing wrong with going the flat fee route. Ends up being less expensive and you know up front what you’re paying for.

    Once you start paying for added value, you expect to get it. And it’s hard to deliver the value when there’s no profit margin.

  • Thomas Johnson 10 years ago

    “a model which has proven itself and, we believe, will have lasting influence on our sector.”

    The lasting influence is that until the consumer assumes some of the risk of the transaction, contingency based real estate fees will be stuck where they are.
    There have been “discount models” before. For the most part, they have made small fortunes for their owners…out of large fortunes.

    The four most dangerous words in business: “This time it’s different.”

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