The ‘head shepherd’ of estate agent EweMove says his business is not an ‘online agency’ and that nearly 10% of his franchisees have now opened high street stores.
The latest to open is in Bexleyheath in South London (pictured), which like many of the company’s 110 franchisees is a high street agent who has re-branded – in its case from Apex Residential.
Nick Neill, who became Managing Director of EweMove in June and also used to hold a franchise in York, says he believes its model is one-off in the industry.
“I don’t like it when we’re lumped in with the online agents – we’re just chalk and cheese. There is no comparison,” he says.
“Online agents in my book charge up-front for their service and leave a lot of the rest to the vendor including viewings,” he says.
“Although a lot of marketing is online to generate leads, we do all the viewings and also do face-to-face appraisals, valuations and photos and also pre-qualify viewers.
“Also, we don’t tie any seller into a contract term and they are free to walk away at any time, not having spent a single penny on bringing their property to market – not something many other players can boast.”
Nick says he doesn’t see the sense of a model where the vendor does the viewing because its then that the deal is most likely to be closed and an offer made.
“We believe our model works because we’re a one-off in the market; we can get sales quicker and for a better price than our online and traditional high street competitors,” he says.
EweMove also claims that data from comparison site GetAgent shows that it achieves between 1% and 4% more than “any other agent”.
Surprisingly, only three of the EweMove franchisees are agents from Martin & Co – which bought EweMove in a £15m deal last year.
The rest are existing businesses which then re-brand and take on a EweMove franchise, or agents with experience of working in branches or novices who work from home.