The boss of The Property Franchise Group – whose brands include Martin & Co and EweMove – says that the claim by Purplebricks to be the most positively reviewed estate agent is misleading.
Ian Wilson told EYE: “EweMove has over 2,000 TrustPilot reviews and a score of 9.9 against Purplebricks’ 9.5.
“We are the only UK sized agent with this score and we claim (accurately) to be most trusted estate agent on TrustPilot.”
Wilson went on: “It’s an important point because unlike online listing models, EweMove franchisees see the transaction through from valuation to viewing offer and completion. We use a lot of clever technology along the way, but essentially customers have one person they deal with from start to finish, and if we mess up, our rating would be punished.”
Wilson said: “With the departure of the EweMove founders our focus is now on recruiting experienced estate agents as EweMove franchisees. We think that experienced agents who work within a listing model are using only 25% of their skill set and will get bored and frustrated.
“EweMove has been guilty in the past of demonising agents as disinterested in service, but in my experience the best agents naturally give great customer service because they want to get sales over the line.
“We are putting our money where our mouth is as we have cut the franchise fee for experienced agents and will back them with a cash advance for every property they list. But when they complete on sales the franchisee keeps all the commission to themselves, less a £250 completion fee and return of the cash advance.
Wilson said of Purplebricks’ claim to be the most positively reviewed agent that it was ” cleverly worded to be technically correct but would be interpreted incorrectly by the man on the street”.
Wilson said: “I think it’s a risky strategy for a business that wants to be perceived as transparent with customers.”
Wilson confirmed to EYE that the two original founders of EweMove, Glenn Ackroyd and David Laycock, left at the end of June.
The new managing director is Nick Neil, formerly one of ‘the flock’.
Three other MDs, including those of Martin & Co and Xperience, are due to take up their positions within the Property Franchise Group on September 1, with their names not yet announced.