An industry veteran who helped train Purplebricks agents has partnered with easyProperty to foster its franchisee talent.
The online hybrid agent is targeting 30 franchisees by the year-end and 350 to 500 franchisees within five years.
Jo Bourne, who worked as a consultant and head of academy for Purplebricks between February 2019 and November 2021, has joined rival online hybrid agent easyProperty as talent champion.
Bourne is working on a freelance contract basis through her training company Impact CTMD.
She was also previously an area director in Leeds for sequence brand WIlliam H Brown for 22 years.
Her role with easyProperty involves helping attract new franchisees and to run training and inductions about running an agency business, as well as explaining the support that the online agent can provide.
Bourne told Estate Agent Today: “easyProperty is synonymous with the easy brand, which is well recognised and trusted.
“The offering provides choice in how customers pay which is of benefit to consumers and also to agents looking to grow a business.”
She has identified one area where potential new agents are sometimes unprepared.
Bourne said: “I don’t think people understand there is a large chunk of legislation around being an estate agent.
“We are also getting to the point in time where qualifications will be needed and there are new listings rules.
“People aren’t always aware of that, there is a lot more to putting a property on the market than just taking nice photos and a floorplan.
“Solid and robust training is absolutely vital.”
She said she has had conversations with around 30 potential franchisees since the start of the year and the easyProperty management team are also in talks with others.
Bourne added: “There are people who are entrepreneurs and have looked at it from a pure franchising perspective.
“They want a business and property seems of interest.
“We have people from a sales environment and others have perhaps worked for high street agents and are looking at taking control of their own business.”
Bourne worked with Purplebricks when it ran a self-employed model for its local property experts before moving to an employed structure at the end of 2021.
She suggests that the employed model doesn’t suit everybody.
Bourne added: “People like the opportunity to grow their own business.
“A franchise model gives them that with the security and safety of good support around them.
“In terms of similarities with Purplebricks, there is a heavy focus on technology, agents can work from home and customers can book valuations and viewings at home.”
easyProperty moved from a primarily online-only service under its previous ownerships to a hybrid model in 2019 under new owner David Brierley.
It has local licence holders or franchisees ‘on the ground’ acting like local property experts with centralised support.
easyProperty franchisees can offer customers a choice of three fees.
There is an upfront charge of £995; a split fee of £495 then £995 on completion, and a no sale, no fee of 1% including VAT with a minimum of £1,500.