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The advert that says so much about where our industry is going

There I was, minding my own business on London’s underground* when this Bairstow Eves advert assaulted my eyes:

In case you don’t know, this is the main London brand of estate agency giant Countrywide.

I’d like to analyse this advert, as it says much about where our industry is going:

  1. Bairstow Eves is no longer a high street brand. It’s clear that Countrywide’s management think this hybrid, fixed upfront fee offering is what consumers would prefer. It’s pretty high profile for this to just be an experiment any more.
  2. The mention of online reviews on ‘Feefo’ show that Countrywide offering is a genuine clone of what eMoov pioneered some years ago. Even eMoov has moved on to talk about actual service and technology, rather than just online reviews. And by the way, it hasn’t taken long for the service to drop from 5 stars to 4.2:
  3. Powerpoint – you all know what I’m saying. You aren’t going to remember this advert.

While the likes of HouseSimple, YOPA, Tepilo and Purplebricks have super polished adverts, the largest high street estate agency by branches managed to produce this.

And that is the interesting thing about seeing this advert. It seems like an afterthought.

Coupled with the reviews, could it really be that someone inside Countrywide is resisting the move to ‘go hybrid’ and trying to sabotage the offering?

Why is there no mention of Countrywide being the largest estate agent, or how many homes they sell in London or the UK each year?

It will be interesting to see what advert follows this. Considering the amount of money Countrywide raised in their recent rights issue, you’d expect something more punchy.

Personally, I’d like to see someone do a spoof of the Purplebricks advert. A little something like this:

Vendor’s parent: I see you sold your home with one of those new online agents

Vendor: Yes, we saved so much money by not having to pay any commission.

Vendor’s parent: So how much did you sell for?

Vendor: What do you mean?

Vendor’s parent: Well, next door used [insert reputable agency brand here] and had three buyers bidding. They achieved well over the asking price.

Vendor (going purple and stuttering): We accepted an offer 5% below asking price.

Vendor’s parent: Oh, sorry to hear that. I think next door only paid 1.5% to achieve a better sales price. Looks like paying commission saved them a lot more money.

Narrator’s voice: Home sale regret is what happens when you try to save a little on commissions and lose a lot from the value of your home. Get the best price when you sell your home with [name of reputable agency brand here].

In big letters ‘#noregrets‘ appears on the screen accompanied by a suitable little ditty.

* If you haven’t travelled on the ‘tube’ recently, this song sums up how many of us feel about it. Keeping the theme, once you hear this song, you’ll never be able to forget it. Sheer genius:


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