A photograph posted on social media platform Linkedin has sparked a furious debate among property industry professionals about what is and is not acceptable competitive behaviour.
The photograph of a chalk board outside the Droitwich high street office of 120-branch chain Leaders points out that local competitors Your Move and Andrew Grant have recently closed their high street branches within the town.
It was photographed by proptech platform HyStreet CEO Awais Ahmed and posted on LinkedIn, who asked: “Going after another agents stock with a well written letter when they close a branch is one thing, but what do we think about this?”.
In response Kristian Stott, CEO of Andrew Grant pointed out that his company still had a presence in the town because, as The Negotiator reported this week, his company is turning wholesale to a hub model.
The Your Move branch in Droitwich was closed recently as part of parent company LSL’s huge restructure of its Your Move and Reeds Rains branch network, and Droitwich sales and lettings are now handled by its neighbouring Bromsgrove branch.
Most commentary about the LinkedIn story on the platform has been critical of Leaders, including one agent not connected to Droitwich who said: “We have had an estate agent in our town close a branch today. I don’t feel the need to put a sign in my window gloating”.
Another said: “Poor choice in my opinion, people have lost jobs in the very community that this branch will be serving. Not a great advert. Would have been better to offer help to those clients that were affected.”