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Young entrepreneurs: Akshay Ruparelia, Doorsteps.co.uk

The 19-year-old who also happens to be a millionaire estate agent, having started the now 14th largest estate agency in the UK

Name: Akshay Ruparelia
Company: Doorsteps.co.uk
Age: 19
Website: Doorsteps.co.uk

Students will go through a lot studying for their A-levels, but one thing they don’t often do is set up a multi-million-pound business – but that’s exactly what Akshay Ruparelia did.

A millionaire property tycoon at just 19 years of age, the young entrepreneur’s online estate agent Doorsteps.co.uk aims to revolutionise the “archaic and backwards” UK housing market by offering a 97% discount on home-selling.

The child of two deaf parents who he acts as a carer for, Ruparelia experienced moving house as a youngster and was shocked at the levels of commission estate agents were charging for what he saw as a simple task.

Officially launching Doorsteps.co.uk in December 2016 having developed the concept during the second year of his A-levels, the online and offline agency operates with a hybrid model, embracing the use of modern technology.

Previously described in the press as the “Uber of the property world”, Doorsteps.co.uk hires self-employed ‘local property consultants’ proportionate to the number of properties it has to sell at any given time.

A process that cuts overheads massively, it also allows buyers to take more control of the process and involvement, including hosting viewings, which tend to be a massive cost burden on traditional agents.

Charging only £99 upfront, there is no commission on the sale of any properties made via the site; with Ruparelia selling his first home – a five-bedroom detached house with a swimming pool – during the middle of his exams.

Without a driving license at the time, he had to get a spin from his sister’s boyfriend to visit the property.

Having planned to attend either Oxford or UCL, Ruparelia deferred entry to pursue his business, a decision that appears to be paying off.

Now valued at £12m after just one and a half years in business, Doorsteps is already the 14th largest estate agency in the UK.

While it’s undeniably an extremely competitive marketplace, Ruparelia’s start-up – rated in the top five for customer service – has already grabbed 0.5% of the UK market (£0.5bn).

And don’t be surprised if his reach keeps widening.