High street firms consortium launches ‘What, no commission?’ campaign – and criticises NAEA

A network of high street firms has launched a ‘What, no commission?’ campaign aimed at consumers thinking of using an online – or ‘call centre’ – agent.

The Experts in Property – formerly part of Team – has almost 80 offices in the south-west.

It said it had created the campaign “in response to a high number of its member agencies requesting material explaining the differences between traditional full service estate agents and the ‘cheap’ online-only alternatives, disappointed that there is no help or support in this area from their trade bodies, such as NAEA Propertymark”.

Steve Moir, chairman of the network, said: “Decisions about buying or selling a home are not taken lightly, and why should they be? Our homes are our biggest, most crucial and highly valued assets, so it makes absolute and non-disputable sense to take the path of greatest care when selling them.

“Granted, listing agencies are cheap, but is that really the case when all the basic extras are added on and they have no incentive to get the best price?

“As we all know, there is a whole lot more to selling a home than simply advertising it on the internet, and finding a buyer is only the start of what a good agent does for clients.”

He went on: “Back in 2010, the fall-through rate was widely reported at around 20-25%, while new data reveals that 34% of home sales fell through in the first quarter of 2017.

“Perhaps this increase is due, in part, to the rise in popularity of cheap listing agents and their lack of effort in preventing some of these fall-throughs?

“Indeed, the fall-through rate within our network currently sits at an average of around 10%, and some of our agents have begun offering to cover the up-front fees paid by vendors to online agents for their unsold homes, confident that they will achieve a sale for these new instructions, at the best price.

“We are on a mission to demonstrate that the traditional full-service estate agent is better, and at the end of the day more cost-effective, than online listing agents, with less stress and disappointment.”

The campaign includes brochures which will be made available in all its member offices.

The network said it is keen to get its message to vendors UK-wide, so is happy to talk to individual firms, affinity groups or multi-office firms about providing them with their own ‘white label’ versions for a nominal £98 + VAT charge.

 

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48 Comments

  1. smile please

    The fight back (and education) finally starts.

    Well done!

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    1. David B

      I agree Smile
      It is good to see an association doing something for their members.
      I suggested on Tuesday that pre or credit payment ‘pay day’ models must equally promote a fee risk warning and no reward agents ought to rally round and ask the two mains to insist on this for transparency reasons on 4th July.
      It shall be interesting to see which, if any,  of the large associations, decide to back the vast majority of their members by promoting independence day.
       
       

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    2. docklander52

      Does anyone have accurate (read provable) stats for the percentage of PB listings that do not sell through them?

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  2. AgencyInsider

    I absolutely applaud this initiative and jolly good luck to them; but have to say that the clip is pretty dire in its production quality. The messages are spot on but it needs something far punchier and professional looking to bang those messages home.

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  3. AgentV

    It’s a good start that I wholly applaud. We need anything that gets the truth out there to counter the adverts that mislead many people into believing they can sell their house for free!

    I think RedDoor homes need to have a look at a similar script and see what they can come up with as well!

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  4. IndAgent

    I’ve always stuck to the simple rule of selling your own benefits rather than the weaknesses of others and have always done very well.

    Whilst I get the idea, this type of approach in my opinion will only be of interest agent to agent, and will not interest the general public.

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    1. AgentV

      That’s a good point. The next stage is we need Collective Intelligent Marketing throughout the country promoting the reasons WHY people should use a Full Service Agent!

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    2. SJEA

      I fully agree – sell your own services, but I think the point here is to educate the general public on the real cost of using the onliners as many people think that PB are selling their house for free and do not undertand the real implications of using an onliner rather than a traditional High Street Agent.
      I think we should start to compile data showing where we have sold properties for £thousands more than the onliners quote so the public start to understand the true cost of not using an agent with real local knowledge !
      Secondly, how may sales progess to completion without the intervention of the High Street Agent keeping the chain together and sorting problems at valuation ? We need to express to the public our many years of experience of keeping these chains together with real examples – not the type of problems the call centres would know where to start to resolve !

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      1. AgentV

        SJEA

        I think we should start to compile data showing where we have sold properties for £thousands more than the onliners

        If everyone collects data when they see an online listers ‘for sale’ we can look at it centrally and start building a survey database to show patterns. What we need is date listed, full address, original listing price, price changes, date listed as sold, removed or relisted with an agent and final sale price confirmed on land registry.
        All we need is some volunteers just to keep an eye on their own patches and record this info. Can you help?

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  5. Andy at Woods Devon

    We are a small group of independent agents without a multi million or even multi thousand budget. We are not looking for an Oscar here, we are looking to get a message out to the public. None of the public will watch it more than once anyway but it is short, a bit of fun and hopefully it might make them question some of the outlandish claims out there and maybe get a share or two.

    Join in. Get it tweeted. Get your own branded version if you prefer. Just get it out there.

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    1. AgentV

      Well done Andy. How about you and your other members consider joining IN (Ideas Network). Just contact us at  in@agentv.co.uk

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    2. smile please

      Well said Andy.
      You guys are doing something that benefits you and the industry.
      If every agent twitted this today with the hashtag #Conmisery it may even get trending.
      And of course Facebook.

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    3. Trevor Mealham

      Andy, not a bad video. But as a affinity you have a much more powerful pitch you could and SHOULD be banging out.

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      1. smile please

        Remember Trevor when you point a finger 3 point back at you.
        What has your “Affinity” group done to educate the public?
        All i see from INEA is asking agents to pay you a monthly fee, what are you doing for your members? What are you doing to educate the public?

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        1. Frown Please

          … something about a cartel?

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  6. EAMD172

    I wish we would stop calling them online or call centre agents. I have five branches which have been online for over 12 years but it’s only a small part of our service. They really need a different name. Ideas please?

    PNSL agents (pay now sell later)

    Upfront fee agents

    Pay before you try agents

    Limited service agents (LSA’s)I

    ‘m sure you can come up with some imaginative ideas

     

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    1. AgentV

      Pay It Today Services?

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    2. AgentV

      I think we should take agent out of the equation. If nothing else they are listers.
      I see Agent as meaning a person who takes an active role in representing the best interests of someone else.

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    3. jacksmith45

      How about ‘Roll the dice’ agents..? They should have to apply the Gamble Aware disclaimer on all their advertising.

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    4. Property Paddy

      Take the word “Agents” out of the description of what the on line only people do. Agents they are not !

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    5. aSalesAgent

      How about: P.U.s = Property Uploaders?

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  7. Eric Walker

    Conmisery Requires Advance Payments. 🙂

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  8. Woodentop

    no help or support in this area from their trade bodies, such as NAEA Propertymark.

     

    Time for some heads to roll!

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    1. El Burro

      Last time I looked the NAEA was a trade body for the whole industry not just full service agents? Some of the people at Purple*ricks are ex High Street agents and NAEA members, being online doesn’t disqualify them you know.
      Are we (yes I’m a High Street agent not an online only or hybrid agent) seriously saying the NAEA should be supporting one part of the industry against another just because some we don’t like the way the competition is, well, competing? 

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      1. AgentV

        Are we (yes I’m a High Street agent not an online only or hybrid agent) seriously saying the NAEA should be supporting one part of the industry against another just because some we don’t like the way the competition is, well, competing? 

        No we are not saying that. We are saying that larger more powerful members, of what wants to be regarded as a professional organisation, should not be allowed to publicly vilify and humiliate the other smaller members of the same organisation

        In the eyes of the public it makes a mockery of the whole organisation (or would if the public knew who the NAEA were anymore). You don’t see it happening with RICS or the BMA do you?

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      2. Woodentop

        Good points but are they still members of the NAEA? I thought subscribing members had to adhere to a rules of conduct partciulary when it coms to slagging off other memebrs? As a trade organisation you would think they would support the industry as a whole, but they don’t. Remember the Bee campagin some years back, they went out of their way to ridecule those in the industry that were not in their gang. The NAEA has so much to offer but has been mismanaged for decades wrapped up in own self importance. The test is ask how many agents are members v agents in the UK and then ask the public who are the NAEA. You may want to ask the public what does the NAEA do!

        Quote NAEA:The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency personnel, representing the interests of members ……… The National Association of Estate Agents is dedicated to the goal of professionalism within high street estate agency. Our aim is to reassure the general public that by appointing an NAEA member to represent them they will receive in return the highest level of integrity and service in both sales and lettings. Each NAEA member is bound by a vigorously enforced Code of Practice and adheres to professional Rules of Conduct. Failure to do so can result in heavy financial penalties and possible expulsion from the Association.

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      3. El Burro

        As I said earlier I’m just trying to put it into perspective.
        Purple*ricks are undertaking an aggressive marketing campaign but they’re not the first and won’t be the last to do that (they’ve even managed to keep Mr Quirk quiet) and neither the ASA or trading standards seem to have a problem with what they’re saying.
        Surely it’s down to us to fight the competition and get our message across? Maybe some form of co-operative producing a while label counter campaign is the way forward and looking at other posts maybe that could happen.
        If we’re not careful we’ll come across to the public as just a bunch of jobs for the boys whingers trying to protect the status quo against people offering to do the job a lot cheaper just like the Law Society when conveyancers came along.
        As for slagging off and vilifying smaller agents, we don’t need any help doing that do we judging by the vitriol poured on those who dared to go to OnTheMarket (part of the reason being that they didn’t give online agents the oxygen of exposure unlike Zoopla).

         

         
         

         

         
         

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        1. AgentV

          Who slagged off or villified anyone for going to OTM?

          In perspective (courtesy of Woodentop);

          The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is the UK’s leading professional body for estate agency personnel, representing the interests of members ……… The National Association of Estate Agents is dedicated to the goal of professionalism within high street estate agency. Our aim is to reassure the general public that by appointing an NAEA member to represent them they will receive in return the highest level of integrity and service in both sales and lettings. Each NAEA member is bound by a vigorously enforced Code of Practice and adheres to professional Rules of Conduct. Failure to do so can result in heavy financial penalties and possible expulsion from the Association.

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          1. AgentV

            Has anyone got a link to the NAEA Code of Practice? I’ve looked but can’t find it on their website.

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        2. El Burro

          Purple*ricks are majoring on their one trick pony message AgentV, cheaper, depends on which side of the argument you are as to whether that’s vilification.

          The point I was making, which is getting a little lost, is that from an outsiders point of view, a professional body opposing organisations that are trying to change the marketplace with a (supposedly) cheaper offering is a difficult one especially in terms of public perception I suspect.

          Who slagged off or vilified anyone going to OTM? Blimey. It wasn’t that long ago that any OTM stories on PIE attracted 30, 40 or more comments, People that had the audacity to support OTM were rubbished and PIE was being slated as an OTM mouthpiece. From memory we’ve been called stupid, told that we have none of those dangly things blokes have between their legs, we were breaking anti competiton law to the detriment of the public, dopey and kn*bheads amongst others.

          I made the point more than once on here that I couldn’t understand why others were so bothered about what OTM agents were doing. If I thought other agents around me were throwing their money down the drain the last thing I’d want is for them to stop!
           

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          1. AgentV

            Its very interesting about OTM. I have probably only been mostly active on here for the last year, but over that time my perception has been a great deal of support for OTM members….and if anything..criticism of those who were not, myself included for various reasons. 

            As with regards to PB advertising is not the following derisory to other agents?;

            ‘Ah commisery the misery you feel when you have spent thousands more on commission but you’ve got nothing more for your money’

            It’s the phrase that’s on the end of all their adverts. To me it makes us out to be wrip off merchants, when we all know who those really are!!!

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            1. El Burro

              Has died down a bit in the last year AgentV (maybe you scared them off!) but if you do an OTM search on PIE there was a concerted anti OTM campaign out there.
              Don’t disagree with your last sentence, all sharp objects are swiftly moved out of site in the EB household when that ad comes on but if the ASA and trading standards aren’t interested, and they won’t be unless a member of the public complains, we have to fight our own corner.
               

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  9. awicking05

    I’m a massive fan of this campaign to fight back and also have the “white label” video for people to use and would happily film the same version using real people if there is a demand. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8Dkt-C6kD9E

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    1. smile please

      Where can we find the white label version?

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      1. Andy at Woods Devon

        The network is keen to get its message to vendors UK-wide, so is happy to talk to individual firms, affinity groups  or multi office firms about providing them with their own ‘white label’ versions for a nominal £98 + vat charge.
         
        For further information about the Experts in Property and its campaign, visit www.theexpertsinproperty.co.uk or contact via e-mail jo@theexpertsinproperty.co.ukor call 01392 463800.

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        1. smile please

          Sorry Andy i was asking Andy Wicking where i can get the Red Door white labled version
          Have already tweeted your version Andy 😉

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  10. AndrewWhyman69

    I entirely agree that it is wrong to continue calling these businesses Online Agents. Surely it would be better to refer to them as simply ‘DIY agents offering a zero service plus hidden fees’

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  11. AgencyInsider

    I see the poster who doesn’t like anything negative said about a certain online entity is marking its territory again this morning with all the panache of an incontinent spaniel.

    Shall we open a book on who this serial disliker works for? Oh hang on. We ALL know. Don’t we.

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    1. AgentV

      AgencyInsider 
                            Have alook at the 

      NEWSFLASH: Purplebricks to launch its American dream in California

      story from yesterday!

      After we had all left the forum for the day, somebody or a group of people went in and disliked all the posts, leaving an everlasting wrong impression of the judgement of what most people put. This seems to have happened on several historic stories in the last few weeks. I think PIE has aquired its own ‘low profile Trolls’!!!

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  12. LocalLens

    Do so agree with this.  We are also majoring on the Full Service Agents aspect and hope that slowly the penny is dropping.  As in most things in life, you get what you pay for.  As others have said the lack of action by NAEA on this is going to lose them many members.  I won’t be rejoining in January.  Nearly didn’t this year, and wish I had gone on my first instinct.  I think a problem for many agents is that like us they have always promoted themselves on what they do, and I was always taught not to diss other agents or even refer to them, just put forward our case.  In the ‘brave new world’ that stance no longer works, as we have to collectively put out the message about this massive con trick that is being played on the house buying and selling (and now renting) publicl.

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    1. AgentV

      And the problem is above all else that the NAEA sit and watch their ‘Conmisery Requires Advance Payments’ (courtesy Eric Walker) friends very publicly vilify the majority of their smaller members and they then say and do nothing!!!

      And then they gag and exclude Chris Wood who would have stood up for the vast majority of smaller members.

      If anyone reading this is going to the meeting tomorrow, I would be very interested in their opinions on this whole matter.

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  13. jacksmith45

    The main problems I believe we (high street agents) face are two-fold and are sadly held captive by facts, not assumptions. Namely:

    1. The ‘Commisery’ campaign is clear and simple. Save money by not paying commission. This has instant appeal and requires no further explanation. So, the nominal fee of £X is a FACT. Worth noting.

    2. Our (the traditional agents) response is less succinct, more convoluted, and requires a slightly more detailed explanation. An explanation which most people will not hang around long enough to listen to. What’s more, it’s an explanation to which the online agents can quickly and simply respond to by saying, ‘Yes, but there’s no guarantee that a traditional high street agent WILL achieve a higher price for you, or achieve completion by holding a deal together.’

    So as traditional high street agents we are struggling to get our message across with the same impact as the Commisery campaign because their campaign is based on facts, whereas ours is based on suppositions and probability. When we made ‘our’ (I am the videographer for RedDoor Homes btw, I make the spoofs with Seany) version of the CAKE advert initially the script was full of ‘yes, but…’s and ‘we are more likely to….’s, etc. which weakened our message, so we had to strip it back and try to find the killer message. Since then we have opted for the direct angle which is that you pay a fee to these online listing portals whether your house sells or not. Still not quite a killer message like Commisery, but we’re getting closer.

    Even though this is essentially our strongest card at present, it still doesn’t have the same impact as the online message, because we’re talking about the potential loss of several hundred pounds, rather than the obligation of paying out several thousands in commission. This is the toughest part of the fight. Even though we believe our argument to be the stronger of the two, all the online listers need to say is what this purple cartoon character comes back with which is, “Yes, but we’re cheap!”

    Game over.

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    1. AgentV

      Hi Jack,
      Great work you are doing by the way, many thanks.
      There are a few points I would like to add into the conversation;

      1). The online lister fees are not true fees as they are subsidised (probably by 50% or more) by investors. I understand the public don’t care about this aspect, as they don’t have to pay it. But there will come a time when they have to go up.

      2). The more we can start getting a positive message accross about why people should use a Full Service Agent the more diluted the online agents stance will become.

      We need to change the “Yes, but we’re cheap!” into “Yes, they’re cheap…..but” 

      3). SJEA pointed out above that we all need to show that we do actually achieve higher sale prices for people. We are developing a system to do just that. However we need data and lots of it, and we need other agents to help.

      If everyone collects data when they see an online listers ‘for sale’ we can look at it centrally and start building a survey database to show patterns. What we need is date listed, full address, original listing price, price changes, date listed as sold, removed or relisted with an agent and final sale price confirmed on land registry.
      We can then use this as part of Collective Intelligent Marketing. 

      If anyone wants to join IN (Ideas Network) …in any shape or form please contact us at in@agentV.co.uk 
       
       

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      1. Frany87

        They’re not even that cheap, once you take into account that the seller must either pay a higher fee or use their nominated, call-centre based conveyancers. I had a transaction that was held up because an on-line agent’s conveyancer (further down the chain) wanted to get £3 from their client before they would pay that to the Council to obtain information on a TPO.

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  14. NickTurner

    Picking up on the comment made earlier of High Street traditional agents slagging off the opposition a high street agent has a wonderful opportunity once they are with the potential vendor to get the instruction by selling on the mantra of your firms Features, Advantages and Benefits as opposed to an On Line . We all know the advantages. The problem as always is getting the vendor to call the local high street agent before they sign up with an on line group and that is surely where the advertising/publicity will help to just question a vendors decision before they make it? Fight on! The biggest advantage a local high street agent has is local knowledge and service. I’m still waiting for a call back about a viewing I wanted to/tried to make a week ago ob behlaf of a client- I’ve since found elsewhere so that vendor has , in Mr Trumps language, become a loser ,I repeat a loser!

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  15. Sunbeam175

    This may be a dumb question but how can Purple Bricks sign anyone up to a credit agreement without any financial assessment? You can’t get credit anywhere without due diligence so how does this work? Is it legal?

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