EweMove - the hybrid agency now part of Martin & Co’s Property Franchise Group - is slashing its up-front franchise fee in a bid to lure existing agents from traditional firms.
Back in the autumn the Property Franchise Group, which paid £15m to acquire EweMove in September, suggested the number of EweMove franchisees could expand from its then-level of 90 to around 800.
As part of achieving that goal, the firm is cutting its up-front fee for existing agents to £1,995 plus VAT. It describes this as “an unprecedented opportunity for individuals to run their own business for a fraction of the cost – greatly enhancing accessibility, opportunity, and ultimate earning power.”
Glenn Ackroyd, co-founder and so-called Head Shepherd of EweMove, says consumers want 24/7 service and real time updates.
“Booking viewings online needs to be as simple as ordering from Amazon. Today’s customer doesn’t want to be tied down to phoning up during office hours” he says.
Ackroyd argues that most traditional agents cannot handle such a service - and as a result he says transactions are down, fee levels are dropping “and hardly anyone turns up at their swanky branches for a frothy cappuccino.”
He adds that “unless [traditional agents] change, quickly, they risk joining the ranks of Woolies, BHS and Blockbuster.”
To promote the franchise offer, which runs until the end of January, EweMove has set up a specialist website www.MyAgency2017.com with one of Ackroyd’s distinctive videos.
The agency was launched by Ackroyd and David Laycock in 2014. Both were retained when Martin & Co’s Property Franchise Group acquired the agency.