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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Four new franchisees for EweMove

Online franchise agency EweMove has 'expanded its flock' after opening four new branches.

The latest franchises to open their doors are located in Bradford, Goole, Shrewsbury and Hamilton. 

The Hamilton branch is EweMove's first franchise in Scotland.

The latest additions take EweMove's tally of locations to 57 after rebranding as a franchise agency in 2013.

The agency has also confirmed that it has a number of new franchises already signed up to launch between now and the end of 2015.

Glen Ackroyd, known as EweMove's 'head shepherd', says he is particularly delighted with the opening of the Hamilton branch.

"The franchisee support network is firmly in place and we are able to advise our now lambs every step of the way. Whilst we launched our franchise model in 2013, the team behind EweMove have been in the industry since 2005 so we know what it takes to build a successful business," he says.

One of EweMove's existing franchisees, Nick Neill, based in York, adds: "I have built a thriving business from scratch, which I could not have done as quickly or effectively without the support of EweMove."

Neill claims that in one week alone in his first year as a franchisee he banked more money than the cost of his initial purchase.

EweMove was recently in the news when Ackroyd expressed his dismay at a complaint made to the Advertising Standards Authority by a rival agency in Haverhill, CXG.

It complained that EweMove's claim that it is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week is false.

Co-owner of traditional agency CXG, Daniel Pilley, claimed to have called and requested a valuation from EweMove at 3am and was told this was not possible.

He also claimed that EweMove's Haverhill telephone number was answered by someone in Saffron Walden.

Ackroyd disputed the claims and said he takes the complaint as 'high praise for EweMove's innovation'.

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    Well Nick Neill would say that, wouldn't he?

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    Also, I'm a bit confused are EweMove still onliners or not?

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Yes, branches would suggest otherwise. As would 'opening their doors'.

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    @James, I have done a bit of research now and yes that seems to be the case. So it is still an online agency but it sells franchises. I have never seen a ewemove office so by 'branches' I think they are referring to agents/'local property experts' working without an office presence. I'm sure Glenn Ackroyd will be able to clarify for us if he reads this...

  • Tim Gorgulu

    Isn't a bit disingenuous to say they have branches if that's not the case?

  • Katie  Hopkin

    The fact that EweMove have taken the initiative in opening new branches is great! I personally can't see it as a bad thing if they are wishing to expand with a change of strategy!

  • Trevor Mealham

    Have a laugh agents and use their live chat - the telesales don't have the first idea about estate agency tech questions or what local reps they do/don't have.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Hi John, re "Also, I'm a bit confused are EweMove still onliners or not?"

    When I last checked, all agents were online. We mostly operate with local franchisees operating from home, or a serviced office, with an increasing number now taking up high street branches as their business grow. All our franchisees are local based, providing accompanied viewings as standard

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Hi James, re

    "I think the public's perception of a Branch would be a premises that one could walk into off the street and which has the business name above the door, but then again for the upfront fees they seek then I suppose one can not expect everything."

    We have lots of high street offices opening up. You'll find them in Beverley, Gainsborough, Nottingham, Sheffield, Corby and Poole. But the majority of our franchisees work from home office. The office admin is administered by our central Sheep Pen. That keeps the costs down in the first year when starting the business is tough.

    The local franchisee operates on the ground in their local patch. We don't charge up front fees. It's no sale, no fee for us.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Hi Trevor - Re "Have a laugh agents and use their live chat - the telesales don't have the first idea about estate agency tech questions or what local reps they do/don't have." - Live chat is an additional service. Lots of people hate phoning estate agents for some strange reason. It's never the same as speaking to a person I admit. But it's less threatening and many people like it as the first step. The live chat service gets excellent reviews from customers.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Katie Hopkin
    The fact that EweMove have taken the initiative in opening new branches is great! I personally can't see it as a bad thing if they are wishing to expand with a change of strategy!

    Hi Katie - No change. Just opening more branches as franchisees come on board. Some open high street offices, some don't.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Can I just say generally, that whilst there are lots of probing questions on here, which is great - the contributors on this site are far more objective and constructive than another website where this story has been release. That's probably the kiss of death for me :-)

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    John Bamonte
    Well Nick Neill would say that, wouldn't he?

    Hi John - Yes, he gave me that testimonial last night. He's going from strength to strength, having just acquired another territory. You can confirm direct by emailing him at nick.neill@ewemove.com, his number is own his branch page, www.ewemove.com/york if you'd prefer to call.

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    Hi Glenn - I would like to think I'm not that sad so will probably give it a miss and take Nick's word for it. I have to say it is refreshing to see someone take the time and answer the queries/comments on a story like this. Fair play to you sir!

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    Hi John - I was replying tongue in cheek :-) I understand your point that lots of testimonials should not be taken at face value, but Nick's is genuine. And thanks for your comments. I know we are not everyones cup of tea, and agents will quite understandably fight their corner to protect their interests against the online newcomers. I think in a few years, when the dust has settled, both will operate side by side. The price driven customers (which no agent wants anyway, because they tend to be your worst customers), will choose the DIY offerings (the modern day private sale), and the savvy service led customers will go for the local expert. Between now and then, there will be turf wars and no doubt lots of online agents will fail and some winners will emerge. BTW - I do share lots of the concerns about online agents, particularly long term viability. Many are looking to float, spending fortunes on marketing and promising to be the 'Amazon for Estate Agents' - but how many I wonder are making a profit. The next 2-3 years will be very interesting.

  • Trevor Mealham

    So Ewemove are/have been opening Hg St offices. When I was playing sith the chat rep, he said fees were lower due to not having expensive offices. Interesting that Glen is saying several are now opening offices.

    Was also with Russell from eMoov who said they had begun offering a higher fde model and had gained extra business. Umm upward fees and traditional offices. Are the budgets trying to tell us something we already knew?

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    So Ewemove are/have been opening Hg St offices. When I was playing sith the chat rep, he said fees were lower due to not having expensive offices. Interesting that Glen is saying several are now opening offices.

    "Was also with Russell from eMoov who said they had begun offering a higher fde model and had gained extra business. Umm upward fees and traditional offices. Are the budgets trying to tell us something we already knew?"

    Hi Trevor - we've never priced on budget that the other model's you refer to. We price comparable to traditional agents and compete on service. For example 24/7, accompanied viewings as standard. The high street offices are for our franchisees who are expanding and need more Valuation reps. It is still a significant saving on the cost burden of a traditional agent, given that we cover portal fees, phone calls from tenant/buyers, we deal with landlord gas checks, repair calls, landlord accounting, tenancy management etc etc. I welcome other 'online' agencies looking to charge more. I've long had serious doubts about many 'online only' agents who don't have local reps not being sustainable based upon their pricing. Lots have raised £millions of cash, only to need to raise £millions more months later due to a phenomenal marketing burn rate. Investors will only 'buy' the story for so long before they start asking serious questions. So I totally agree with the concerns voiced on forums like this about many of these new businesses being akin to the dot com bubble of the late 90's. I think in 12-18 months we'll be seeing stories of a number of online agencies going pop once the seed investment runs out.

  • Trevor Mealham

    Glen one of the best estate agency practices is main/sub agency which can achieve better buyer results for clients. You can't tell me you can offer this (better than sole selling practice) at 0.9%

    When you can provide main/sub agency beyond just doing rightmove and zoopla, then I'll be impressed.

  • Glenn Ackroyd

    "Glen one of the best estate agency practices is main/sub agency which can achieve better buyer results for clients. You can't tell me you can offer this (better than sole selling practice) at 0.9%

    When you can provide main/sub agency beyond just doing rightmove and zoopla, then I'll be impressed."

    Hi Trevor - Our prices are not 0.9% as standard - Each branch director sets their own pricing, and that rate (0.75% + Vat in old money), will be a new branch with an introductory offer. Our franchisees after 'launch' phase will charge higher and their fees will be comparable to the average in the local area. They are free to sign up on sole, or joint agency basis and this is built into our standard contracts. In some parts of the country (London/Surrounding), we have quite a few multi-agency listings.

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