The boss of Guild of Property Professionals last night said he is standing up for high street agents.
Guild CEO Iain McKenzie issued a statement to EYE after our story about The Times columnist Andrew Ellson, who recommended that people should shun high street agents in favour of the online offering.
The statement, which does not mention the Guild’s offering of easyProperty licences to it member agents, also went out in the form of a challenge to Ellson.
McKenzie yesterday evening offered to help Ellson find a ‘best in class’ agent working on a ‘no sale, no fee’ basis.
McKenzie said: “Surely such a prejudiced view of the entire estate agents sector, based upon the interaction with a handful of companies, can’t be right. In what other part of society would that be accepted?
“The average commission being charged by the mainstream ‘no sale, no fee’ agents these days is significantly lower than 2.5% quoted in the article.
“At The Guild we have circa 800 members offering excellent value for money as they focus on the successful completion of the sale and NOT just agreeing prices – we don’t expect our customer to pay us for NOT selling their homes.
“In addition, our strict Code of Conduct and Trading Standards accredited training scheme sets our members apart from online (DIY) and others.
“I will gladly take the time to help Mr Ellson gain a factual view of the difference between the online and traditional approach, and help him and his family make an informed decision that is right for them.
“The Guild’s latest campaign to educate the public is purely aimed at giving them the knowledge they require to choose which method of sale suits them best.”
easyProperty was started as an online agent, licensing the easy brand. Its publicity stunts included the “funeral” ‘of high street agents.
After posting huge losses, easyProperty this autumn became an entity with GPEA – parent company of the Guild of Property Professionals, and Fine & Country.
easyProperty has been promoted to Guild members as their online option, with monthly licences available to purchase.
EYE has since already covered the Guild’s new campaign to promote traditional agents – and our story did raise queries as to the Guild’s relationship with the easyProperty brand.
A spokesperson last night told us: told us: “Iain’s view, as with easyProperty, is that there is a place for all depending on the needs of the customer. It’s about having the choice. Online may be right for some, but not all.”