13 Jan 2017
An agent has complained strongly after a ‘touting’ letter was sent to seven members of his staff at work seeking to recruit them to EweMove.
The letter from EweMove’s Glenn Ackroyd headed ‘private and confidential’ was sent personally to seven named people at Buckinghams in Virginia Water, Surrey.
However, none of the names is known to Buckinghams’ director Alex Juddery, with not one of them being on his staff, and all the letters simply went to him as a result.
Juddery said: “I do not for a moment think this company is targeting myself as a business owner to move across to Ewemove, but what they are trying to do is directly tout my staff.
“Fortunately in this case it was a horrendous failure on Ewemove’s behalf, since the names on all seven letters are names I have never heard of which makes one wonder about the quality of their own marketing staff.
“Since this is the same company that in the last week or so has been sending email marketing to estate agents with phrases along the lines of ‘only stupid estate agents should ignore this’ – surely one of the most arrogant marketing approaches I have seen for some time – one should not be surprised.
“I don’t know whether other agents would feel the same, but frankly I think this level of bottom feeding should be made public within the industry.”
The letter tells recipients that they could “dramatically transform your earning power as an estate agent”.
It asks five questions, which cast significant doubt on the high street agency model and feeds on any fears that employees might have about their own futures.
- As an estate agent do you believe that our industry is heading in the wrong direction?
- Are you worried whether traditional agents will survive the threat from low cost online rivals?
- Do you fear that your career will go the same way as the 60,000 Blockbuster employees who lost their jobs after the arrival of Netflix?
- Are you battling harder and harder for every instruction?
- Are you struggling to meet targets and maintain commission fee levels?
The letter continues: “If you’ve answered ‘Yes’ to three or more of the above questions then your fears are pretty much the same as most agents.”
It adds that there is “a very real chance that traditional, office-based estate agents will suffer the same fate” as Woolworth.
The letter is part of a campaign to recruit experienced estate agents into the EweMove network, and Glenn Ackroyd yesterday defended it, saying that “competitive marketing in the real world plays a large role in any business committed to investing in it”.
However, a spokesperson said Ackroyd understood that the “approach can be unpalatable to some”.
The spokesperson went on: “Whilst the EweMove team knew that writing to agents at work would be unpopular, it has had a positive unintended consequence, with lots of estate agency owners – including ones with multi-branches – approach them requesting to re-brand under the EweMove model, attend upcoming webinars and ask for franchise packs.
“In marketing terms, the letter has been very successful.
“The team recognises that it might not be welcome to some, but they see it as being no different to an estate agent writing to a vendor who has a house on the market with another agent. While the agent may not like it, if the customer is happy and the current agent is doing a good job, there should be nothing to worry about.”
EweMove was acquired last year by The Property Franchise Group, which also owns the traditional high street Martin & Co and Xperience brands.
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