Best of the webBusiness Meet Akshay Ruparelia A 19-Year-Old Millionaire Estate Agent by PH October 18, 2017, 12:15 pm A teen tycoon nicknamed ‘Alan Sugar’ reckons he is Britain’s youngest business millionaire – after selling houses during his school lunch breaks. While other youngsters were kicking a ball around the playground, Akshay Ruparelia, 19, was quietly negotiating huge property deals on his mobile. He hired a call centre service to answer his company switchboard while he was in class and rang clients back after the school bell rang. Within months investors were buying shares in Akshay’s firm www.doorsteps.co.uk . In little more than a year, the company has been valued at £12 million, and he has sold £100 million worth of homes. The 19-year-old’s company was a huge success and he has since sold £100million worth of homes Akshay’s school pals nicknamed him Alan Sugar, after Baron Sugar, the business tycoon and ‘Apprentice’ star. Akshay says he is now on a mission to put traditional High Street estate agents out of business because they charge thousands of pounds in commission to sell a house – and he does it for just £99. His idea is proving so popular that this week Akshay’s company www.doorsteps.co.uk became the 18th biggest estate agency in the UK – just 16 months after his web site went live. The firm, which he started after relatives loaned him £7,000, already employs 12 people and is set to double in size soon with investors having already handed him £500,000 to get their hands on shares. He is raising £5 million with a share issue and is recruiting an ever expanding network of mums across the UK who work self-employed showing clients around properties he has been asked to sell. They are already operating from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands. “I want to rip up the old-style way we sell homes in this country,” said Akshay, who set up the business between lessons at Queen Elizabeth High School in Barnet, London, and still managed to get five A Levels, three at A* and two A grades in maths, economics, politics, history and financial studies. “People have had enough of being ripped off by High Street agents in flash suits and cars charging them a fortune, but actually doing not a lot to sell their home,” he added. “Why give an estate agent a small fortune just for putting photos of your house on the internet? “Quite rightly people trust mums. Every mum who works for me will be honest and tell the truth. It is important. For the majority of people selling their home is the biggest financial transaction of their lives.” Akshay Ruparelia’s firm is now worth £12million (Image: carl fox) Akshay says his “light bulb” moment came while studying for his financial studies exams when he read a biography of Ryanair founder Michael O’Leary. “Mr O’ Leary began by selling flights for just £4.99 and his point was that if you deliver what you say you will, you hook people in and your business will work,” said Akshay, who still lives with his parents in Harrow Weald, London. “So I took that same logic and applied it to estate agency. Research showed online estate agencies were still charging homeowners between £800 and £1,000. I knew I could do it for a fraction of that. “I got the www.doorsteps.co.uk website up and running and after a couple of weeks a man in Sussex asked me to sell his home and a separate chunk of land he owned beside it. “I had to pay my big sister’s boyfriend £40 to drive me to take photographs of this man’s house. I had not passed my driving test, I did not have a car. It was a five bed place with a swimming pool! I put the house on at £485,000 and the land for £185,000 on top, I had sold it within three weeks. “I was standing in the school playground and got an e-mail on my mobile from the vendor to say he had accepted the combined £670,000 offer I had got for him and that I was a ‘legend, an absolute star’. “That was a sensational moment, I was just thrilled. I’d sold a house for £99, but I could not go out and celebrate, I had to go home and revise for my exams. I got a Domino’s pizza in as a treat.” Now he has 1,050 homes for sale on his web site, selling around 30 a week. The most expensive sold for £1.4 million in Notting Hill. He has a place at Oxford University to study economics, but has put that ‘on hold’. “At first I paid myself £500 a month, things are going quite well now so I’ve upped that to £1,000 a month,” he said. With two deaf parents who cannot speak the first language Akshay mastered as a youngster was sign language and he quickly had to learn how to handle the everyday running of his family finances. Dad Kaushik, 57, is a care worker and does shifts in a Royal Mail sorting office. Mum Renuka, 51, is a teaching assistant for deaf children and a support worker for deaf children with Camden Council. He has bought them a new car – and has just passed his driving test, so will be treating himself to an Audi…..once the insurance goes down. 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