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Countrywide: Analyst queries success of online sales option

International property analyst Mike DelPrete has queried the suggestion that Countrywide's online sales option is drawing in additional business to those brands offering it to vendors.

US-based DelPrete - who in the past year has undertaken detailed analyses of easyProperty, Purplebricks, Rightmove and other UK property players - was head of strategy at the property portal Trade Me in New Zealand.

Now he has undertaken a brief analysis of three of the Countrywide brands which piloted the online option, namely Austin & Wyatt in Dorset, Frank Innes in the East Midlands, and Spencers in Leicestershire and Rutland.

His graph is below, and on LinkedIn DelPrete wrote: "Cognitive dissonance: the mental discomfort experienced by two contradictory beliefs, or, when Countrywide says its 'hybrid rollout is delivering results' ... and the chart below showing listing numbers flat as a pancake."

Countrywide: Analyst queries success of online sales option

His analysis of the brands follows the speech to The Negotiator conference made last week by Countrywide chief executive Alison Platt. 

She said the hybrid/online roll out - called Every Customer Counts and which has now reached 25 per cent of Countrywide branches - was a major success.

“For the business, the brands where we’ve rolled out Every Customer Counts have seen better performance at every step of the journey, increased traffic, more valuations, better conversion, improved sales progression and increased revenue” Platt is quoted at telling the conference.

Austin & Wyatt, Frank Innes and Spencers were the early Countrywide adopters of the strategy, offering it to customers since June 2016.

Countrywide has been asked to comment on DelPrete's analysis.

  • Simon shinerock

    My business is called Choices not because we offer a menu of fees options and services from which the client chooses, I called it Choices because life is about Choices and it’s our job to help our clients make the right ones. In a Selling business it’s dangerous to offer two different services because of the confusion and cognitive dissonance it creates

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    It is no surprise to anyone (other than Mrs Platt it seems) that the rather pathetic ilconceived and poorly executed ‘hybrid’ model isn’t doing anything but costing money in marketing and lowering fees. You have to ask yourself if Mrs P actually believes what comes out of her mouth or she is intentionally misleading?

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    After recently leaving Countrywide I can personally vouch for the fact that any figures reported by Alison Platt or another will at best be “manipulated” to suite requirements or perhaps somewhat more likely will be a blatant lie, the few offices that have had a improvement will have done so by the very virtue of the additionally marketing they enjoyed albeit for a limited period of time and absolutely nothing to do with the “product” on offer, indeed we were trained to talk people out of the “product” if at all possible whilst giving the client all “options”, the online offering is seen by Countrywide as nothing other than a headline rate to entice the client to the “full/same” offering with office assistance which in reality they usually received anyway due to the system being horrific for people to use.

    During the end of my period of employment I was personally instructed to remove appraisals from the system by my regional director, the reason for falsify the real number of valuations actually carried out was that the director was under pressure to make the conversion not appear as horrific as it actually was for the territory.

    The branch I was located at had been a successful office until this and numerous other equally as ridiculous decisions were made by persons deemed wholly unqualified by the majority of the workforce, there were numerous other offices in the same territory in a similar situation therefore it would stand to reason other people were directed to carry out the same falsifications to keep the territory’s conversation rate somewhere near an acceptable level to the powers that be.

    What remains of the senior management team at Countrywide do not have what it takes to speak to the truth as they would be seen as disruptive or anti corporate message and have in the main become nothing more then nodding donkeys whilst WhatsApping each other with what they dare not actually say for fear of loosing their jobs with other equally minded managers and ridiculing their now more successful colleagues i.e. those who can nod their heads the most.

    The result of all this is the state of the share price, the number of staff leaving and what is left of the senior management team being a bunch of gutless, nodding donkeys, happily smiling away and doing absolutely nothing whilst the company disintegrates around them because they are too scared or even worse they actually believe the way the company is heading is the best interests of all, those that would dare to speak the truth have long since been pushed or jumped accordingly.

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    Middle, I'd be quite interested to have a chat with you about this. Off the record is fine. Please drop me a line at mdelprete at gmail dot com

    Mike

     
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    Totally agree with Middle. I am aware from a friend in Dorset at Countrywide all figures are manipulated and Senior Management have zero faith. Staff are sat around waiting for visit from Director to be told there branch is closing. How much longer can Mrs P remain. I worked there 3 years ago and forget opinions but Bob Scarff and Mr Corley made money and everyone felt job security and actually earned commission. The likes of Sam Retail Tyrer have destroyed Countrywide and now probably moved over to introduce Iceland selling houses and swimwear!

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