Husband and wife join forces with easyJet billionaire
Local couple link up with airline supremo Stelios
A COUPLE with a property firm has joined forces with the billionaire owner of one of the country’s biggest brands.
Entrepreneur David Brierley and his wife MaryAnne have joined forces with easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ionnau and merged their Southwickbased business, Evolve, with easyProperty.
David, who is from Wickham, established Evolve in 2007, with the aim to take all of the hard work out of the estate agency business, taking on all the administrative parts of the operation for estate agents.
He started providing easyProperty with the firm’s services six years ago.
Sir Stelios noticed that easyProperty wasn’t performing as well as he had hoped, which is when David came in.
Sir Stelios invited him out to Monaco in March to present to him his visions and advice for the business, which was when plans started forming for David to aquire the easyProperty assets, after Sir Stelios suggested the two work together.
Evolve then acquired the assets of the easyProperty business and the couple bought the trading name and licence from Sir Stelios in July.
Now, Sir Stelios is a shareholder in the firm, working alongside David and MaryAnne.
The Tosca Venture Capital Fund has a ten per cent stake in Evolve, while David, MaryAnne and Sir Stelios hold the remainder of the shares.
David, who has been in the property business since studying estate management at Southampton University, said: ‘It’s a really interesting time in the estate agency world and we couldn’t be working with a better brand.’
He runs easyProperty licences – which work similarly to a franchise – including one in Portsmouth.
The licence holders are given a postcode area to cover and a ‘business in a box' to start trading with the easyProperty brand within that area. He said: ‘The idea is to concentrate on local areas and grow organically turning region by region by region in the residential sales arena the colour orange.
‘We aim to have 72 local partners in place within the first 12 months. They will have two or three territories each with individual territories comprising around 25,000 owner-occupiers.
‘For us, easyProperty should be for house sellers what easyJet is to travellers.’
Since the late 70s, David has been involved in a succession of real estate companies that he has helped build up and then sold on to bigger organisations.