Adam Day speaks out: Online agents failing both themselves and their customers – and upfront charges can be a scam

Online agents that charge customers hundreds of pounds upfront but do not sell their homes are operating a scam – says a pioneer of the online industry.

Adam Day also said that online agents are “faceless” and failing both their customers with their lack of hand-holding, and themselves, because they are making no money.

In an outspoken interview, Day even queried whether online firms should be called estate agents, and described the business model as “crazy”.

Day, who founded Hatched, said: “I fundamentally disagree with charging the amounts upfront that online agents are now charging, regardless of sale.

“Most of the online agents offer a no sale, no fee option.

“But they don’t actually want anyone to take it up.”

Online agents have become less transparent than high street

Day, who recently quit Emoov where he was head of estate agency after only three months, says that online agents stop promoting no sale, no fee once they have hooked the seller.

The seller is then persuaded to go with the upfront payment option.

Day is even more scathing about deferred payments, saying that customers are not given enough information about it.

“The customer doesn’t understand they are entering into credit agreements and then will be forced to use the online agent’s conveyancers.

“How can that be transparent?”

Day said that right from the start, back in 2006, Hatched did offer no sale, no fee, but only 40% of properties listed on this basis actually went through to completed sales.

In comparison, the preferred option of split fees – the seller paid £300 upfront and £300 on completion – was far more successful.

“We agreed sales on around 80% of those instructions, and 65%-70% went through to completion, so we had an extremely low fall-through rate.

“Vendors who had paid a more nominal fee of £300 upfront were far more motivated, but not only that, because we still had a completion fee to earn, the customer knew we still had to deliver the buyer and we were motivated to both sell it and get the sale through as well.

“What I started back in 2006 hasn’t evolved into what I thought it would – it was about transparency for me back then and online agents have now become less transparent than, dare I say it, traditional estate agents!

“Because of the pay everything upfront model, these online agents now simply don’t care about selling houses – I’m not sure they should even be called estate agents,” Day said.

“Until Purplebricks came along, most online agents offered split fees. It served the public well, and there was skin in the game for both parties. Sellers knew that we had to deliver the full service to earn a full fee.

When Purplebricks launched, their model was to charge upfront only.

“And because Purplebricks made such a lot of noise and had so much publicity, the other online agents thought they must have got the model right, and started copying it, when in actual fact, it was just down to the fact they had a big pot of cash.

“My biggest mistake and my only regret at Hatched, was following the crowd and changing the fees to all up front.

“Looking back, I went against my core beliefs of what my version of online estate agency was.”

Hatched closed and Emoov in crisis

Hatched, which he sold to Connells, is now closed, and Emoov is said to be up for sale and in desperate need of funding.

easyProperty, which Day also worked for, does not– yet, anyway – appear to be a success story.

Day believes that no one has yet got the online model right.

When Connells closed Hatched, estate agency chief executive David Plumtree said the online model was fundamentally flawed.

Day said: “I agree with David. The online model is fundamentally flawed from a commercial point of view.”

Online agency a ‘crazy model’

However, neither does Day believe that the high street model has reacted sensibly to the perceived online threat.

“Where I do think the online agency model is right is in the technical capabilities of their platforms, as this is what the consumer wants.

Traditional agents in my view have misunderstood this and many have reacted by just dropping their fees, rather than to harness online capabilities – for example, allowing buyers and sellers to log into the platform and give them much more control.

“Traditional agents need to adopt this sort of thing in their own systems as the consumer wants visibility of information, control of their advert and automated communications.

“I’ve always stopped short of allowing vendors and buyers to negotiate offers on a platform, though – it doesn’t work and the consumer doesn’t want it. Negotiating the offer is the point at which, as agents, we can add value.

“I recently made an offer on a property for sale through a well known online agent, which went direct to the seller. I heard nothing for six weeks, and then had a message from the seller to say that the property was going to auction.

“Had an agent called me to try and negotiate in that six-week period, I would have increased my offer, and who knows, I might have paid more for it than what it got at auction.

“What online estate agency has evolved into now, doesn’t work for the customer and it doesn’t work for the agents either because they’re not making any money.

“It’s a crazy model.”

Estate agents should stay on high street

Day is currently setting up his own consultancy, DaytoDayConsulting.co.uk, which will help high street agents digitise their operations.

He does not, however, rule out setting up on his own again – “It’s very tempting and I’ve had approaches.

“At the moment, though, I feel I can add value to many businesses out there with the unique experiences that I’ve had over the last 15 years, which can create efficiencies and reduce costs, rather than just dropping fees – in fact, I think I can help businesses not only reduce their costs, but increase their fees.”

He has not burnt his bridges with Connells or easyProperty – as testimonials for his new consultancy show.

He does believe that estate agency is ready for its next incarnation – he calls it version 4 (version 1 was Countrywide; version 2 was the dawn of online estate agency; and version 3 was Purplebricks).

Of the various version 4 possibilities – including moving off the high street into serviced offices, the use of hubs, and affiliate-type models – Day said: “I’m not sure about any of these.

“I actually believe that agents should stay on the high street, where they can be seen. But they need to be a lot more digitally focused, as this is what the consumer wants.”

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107 Comments

  1. ArthurHouse02

    Well this is basically a piece for him to attack Purplebricks which is up to him i guess, at least we know he isnt landing their any time in the future. Also i will pick Adam up on one bit, vendors dont want more control, i would argue they want less. The reason someone uses an estate agent is so they can hand over the selling of their home to someone else. Someone else to deal with everything. Paying less for more control is not what most vendors want. Perhaps a buyer does want this, but they are not the client.

    As for estate agents digitising or whatever, i dont see the issue there. Your companies have or are all going pop, our companies (the posters here) are all still going strong, so perhaps it is us that has the right formula and you that has it wrong.

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    1. Jonty73

      Yes many agents are going strong because they’ve invested in exceptional customer delivery, however my question for the mass of agents out there, is to answer honestly what level of innovation have you brought into your businesses over the last 4 years.   Yes many might have updated their websites, or bought a few new desks and a tub of paint and maybe at a push a new window display, but I really don’t see anyone delivering an exceptional piece of innovation to make their customers experience better.

      Whilst I absolutely detest the PB, eMoov principles, in the instance of PB they have at least given the customer the ability to do things when it suits them and with relatively basic tech.   Maybe ask your customers what would make their lifes easier and how much they are prepared to pay for a blended offering.

       

       

       

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      1. Adam Day

        Couldn’t agree more – as Jonty says, ask your customer.

        You might be surprised at what they want and how you need to innovate your offering.

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        1. ArthurHouse02

          Tell me then what is it (Specifically) that vendors want that high street agents cant offer them? I ask because reading the hundreds and hundreds of twitter comments re PB, the “doing things when they want” doesnt seem to really exist.

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        2. Property Poke In The Eye

          Adam Day you are also full of S*** you and Russel’s have misled investors and the public.

          No one is interested is the bull S*** you spew.

          Its not Tech Tech Tech — its all about service, estate agents sell their time.

          Sooner you and your misleading DIY mob are removed from the industry the better.

           

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      2. MarkRowe

        I’m guessing by your comment that you believe innovation to be tech related, is that correct?

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        1. Adam Day

          Yes tech related. 
          The vendor wants control of certain things.
          Moving photos around, amending their price, seeing viewing feedback and historical offers, seeing what’s happening from a sales progression point of view, automating certain aspects of sales progression.
          All things that tech can do, but generally speaking, traditional agents don’t 

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          1. smile please

            Do not most estate agents CRM systems have a login for clients to read viewing feedback and check on sales progression?
            I know our basic run of the mill one does. To be honest the vendors and buyers never use it they end up calling us.
            Same way we never use the conveyancer online tracking system. We prefer to talk to them.
             
            I feel even now when everything is burning around you that you are still in denial and banging on about Tech when it’s probably the least important aspect to a client moving. It has and always will be a people business based on service and relationships. 

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            1. Adam Day

              Nothing is ‘burning around me’
               
              My business was acquired and I’m no longer working in it
               
              The reason your clients don’t login is because the bog standard CRM systems that you use and that have been created are useless – that’s why people migrate to the online agents 
               
              I have looked at every single EA CRM system in the last 2 weeks and there is only 1 that has the necessary functionality to offer the client what I think they want
               

               

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              1. smile please

                Nothing is burning around you? 
                I am referring to the online industry.
                Even you cannot be oblivious to the mounds of cash being burnt and the investors starting to wake up and stopping pumping cash in.
                 
                It’s a little arrogant to suggest you know what the public want when you have had a number of chances within firms and not delivered.
                 
                As for CRM systems, there is a reason the client interface is basic … the clients do not want it. 
                 
                The only thing that would improve the experience for the public is real time appointment booking. But given Rightmove will not even display a matterport 3d tour I doubt they will allow real time booking.
                 
                That is down to the portal NOT the agents. 

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          2. MarkRowe

            Adam, I don’t know you and you seem like a nice chap, but saying that tech should or could take over those important aspects is wrong and you may have shot yourself in the foot there…
            Client’s want all of what you’ve said, but the delivery method needs to be correct; with empathy and experience and by a human… A piece of tech can’t provide that.

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            1. Adam Day

              I agree, but it needs to be a mixture of the both
               
              The customer expects to have a login area with all that information in it – it’s nearly 2019!!!

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              1. MarkRowe

                Adam, the year in which we are in or are going into doesn’t carry weight in this debate and is irrelevant.
                I get that tech can be an aid, but it’s not a solution.
                If you came to the table with a solution to the house buying process itself then yes, I would agree, that that needs an overhaul. However, you’re generalising about tradional agents using tech that has failed all the online companies that you’ve worked for and in. Why would we embrace that? 

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              2. fluter

                Sorry Adam but I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Never once in 15 years has a vendor asked if they can have a log-in to see whats happening with their sale, and we do have that facility. Maybe its because they have instructed a full-service agent at a full-service fee and expect full-service communication direct from an experienced person. Had they opted for a DIY service at a DIY cost then perhaps they would expect to have to do those things themselves.

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          3. ArthurHouse02

            Adam how would you know what a vendor wants, i bet you havent spoken to many of them in the last few years. I bet you a large amount of money if i ask my vendors what they want, all they would ask is that their property sells and they are kept in the loop along the way.
            When feedback is available it isnt just words that a vendor wants its to discuss the situation, the same with sales progression. This is where tech falls down. Vendors just arent interested, they want real people, local with knowledge and a personality.

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          4. Trevor Gillham

            I agree with this, we used to allow vendors to rearrange photos, price, all came to us for revision first before updating. Feedback was sent immediately via email, in their panel and text.

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          5. agency negotiation

            Hi-touch, or hi-tech,Adam. I think the innovation will come when agents learn to better brand themselves. Vendors aren’t buying a service. They’re buying character. Very little of what I’ve seen in modern estate agency gives a sense of trust and loyalty. It’s simply sales people in a sales culture. Tech,won’t provide that trust.

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          6. rsvstu97

            Your obsession with tech sounds more like wishful thinking than a view based on objective research. This is certainly not my experience.

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    2. downdoobydodowndowndubaduba

      Vendors can get client feedback / changing pictures / price changes sales progress etc through very good client service. a good agent will keep them posted at all times and build up a strong communication link between agent and client. It would be very sad if we pushed clients into a “logon and change what you want / see what you want situation.

      Speak to clients more and we can give them the service they want and all the control they want – through us

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  2. smile please

    All the stories coming out over the last few days is like the last days of Caligula.

    I would say I am taking no pleasure in reading about these onliners fall from grace …… however that would be a lie, I am loving it.

    It’s strange how the reps, Day, Quirk and no doubt others in coming weeks are now saying what we have been saying for years.

    I guess the question we now ask is, “Were they inept and mad to belive this could work or did they know and have been raising money knowing this was a punt and seen to have been misleading?”

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    1. Adam Day

      Not speaking for Russell, but I 100% believe in the fundamental ethics of what online was – transparency, tech enabled and being paid for the work we were doing (ie up front).
       
      I just don’t agree with paying everything up front – it’s not right for anyone

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      1. smile please

        Adam i have said before you are more of the palatable figures from the online world. But I think you need to give yourself a good shake.
         
        You have had influential positions in a number of so called online firms and all have failed or failing. 
         
        The tech just is not wanted by the public as much as you want it. If it was then the firm’s would have people beating a path to their doors and they could operate on a sensible figure, of no sale, no fee.
         
        However as you know the cost of acquiring a seller is just far too expensive.
         
        Which is why they need pay up front and all still operating at a loss.

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        1. ARC

          In defence of Adam he ran Hatched for 10 odd years sold it Connells who in less than 2 years changed its offering and closed it down.

          That’s what I think Adam is trying to say but is probably too polite. What he was doing with Hatched was working for him ie: split fee and greater tech engagement. PB, Emoov, easyproperty and the Connells board want their cash upfront and that doesn’t work for the customer.

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          1. smile please

            Fair point but was Hatched self sufficient before the sale? I doubt it.

            Also as above he was still part of Hatched, part of Easyproperty and albeit a short time part of Emoov …. None have been a success despite Adam’s vision.

             

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        2. WestMidsValuer97

          Totally agree that Adam should have changed things sooner but he was probably in a position where it was too late.

          I think the tech is wanted by the minority – it is helpful in some cases but more often than not it is deemed useless. Getting a vendor to book a viewing for example – I’ve personally experienced this with the three shoddy online “estate agents” and it is painful to say the least. An proper agent can do this in minutes (granted not all traditionals are skilled enough to gather the correct info)

          I think the industry is screaming out for proptech firms to come up with adaptive ways of using the current CRM’s but certainly not to the extent of allowing the vendors any control – that’s what they pay an experience agent to do. You wouldn’t allow this in any other industry!

          Good riddance to Hatched and I hope the others fail and close soon too – eMoov is not far behind and PB is only surviving because of the idiots who keep ploughing money into a business that isn’t making a profit and won’t ever make a profit!

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    2. Property Poke In The Eye

      They all misled and will keep misleading until they can make a bit more.

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  3. AgentV

    Service,service,service…..that’s what innovative technology should be aimed at….improving service whilst saving time and money…so giving more time for service!!!

    This is what we have tried to do for the last four years. It is far more effective than trying to save money by increasing the amount the vendor has to do for themselves.

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  4. Rollo

    You ether believe in what you are doing or not! Day who has worked for hatched , emoov, easyproperties …. has now had a revelation! What he has been preaching does not work .

    The problem with cheap discount upfront fee agents is that they simply are not sustainable in this market where volume is down also it is impossible for them to retain good people who can’t make a living hence the high % of staff turnover.

    I still believe that like banks , insurance companies, travel agents our industry is changing , do agents need a high street office NO. I get why independent agents like one , it gives them a local profile and I place to operate from , it has the same effect as being a giant billboard.

    We all know that the buying public no longer takes a day off work to walk down the high street registering with every estate agent, they simply start their search online. We all know that most client meetings actually happen in clients houses and there is no need for them to come to the high street office. Some people do find the presence of a high street reassuring since let’s face it our industry does not always have the best reputation .

    trust and customer service are key if you can deliver these you can operate from anywhere. Is a good agent a shop or an individual , I think the transformation of estate agency is at the beginning of its journey and no one knows yet where it will end up , one thing for sure is that we are adapting.

     

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    1. inthefield

      Rollo, I agree in a way but I dont agree with the office comment. If you need a place for your staff to work why wouldn’t you get a high street office? Depending on where you are in the country you can probably “save” about £6000 per annum by choosing an industrial estate office as opposed to a high street office. That £6k ish saving doesn’t come close to the benefits of having your office on the high street, every day advertising your brand..

      Obviously big town centres (London, Manchester, Birmingham etc) are very much more expensive and that has to be considered.

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      1. Rollo

        Totaly agree , where we operate in london office rents can be £60k+ in some cases over £100k and these cost are passed to clients with no tangible benifits. Also if you then Advertise your services 6 days a week from 09:00h to 19:00h you have to man that office and your most important asset ( the team ) are just stuck there , how many offices do we all drive or walk buy with agents sitting at their desks looking bored out of their minds and falling asleep.

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  5. Shaun77

    I would hardly call just over a 50% completion rate an “incredibly low fall through rate”.

    His 40% completion rate for the pay regardless model is interesting and is close to the rumoured 33% for PB. It means that if PB ever decide to offer a discount NSNF model, they would need to put their fees up to around £2700 outside of London, which is more expensive than most traditional firms.

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    1. Adam Day

      You have misunderstood that
       
      40% of our NSNF completed – quite a low amount. But this was back in 2012-2014
       
      For the customers who paid up front (split fee), we sale agreed 80% and completed on a total of 65%-70%, so a fall through rate of somewhere around 15%

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      1. Shaun77

        Whatever you call it, you were charging clients up front for an outcome that only around half ever actually received.

        Really not sure how you can see that as anything over than robbery.

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  6. Chris Wood

    A little while ago a couple of (strangely absent of late) posters on here, said all those naysayers of the call-centre model as operated by the likes of Purplebricks, hops and emoov etc. were jut spouting sour grapes with no evidence of wrong doing and that it would take a real insider to spill the beans to convince them.

    Thank you Adam, for having the moral courage to speak out and speak up.

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    1. Adam Day

      Here to serve

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    2. cyberduck46

      Chris,
       
      Are you referring to me?
       
      In regard to being absent of late, that’s somewhat misleading. I point you to the following recent threads:
       
      purplebricks-easily-biggest-agent-brand-in-uk-in-terms-of-listings-claim-new-league-tables
       
      short-sellers-get-back-into-buying-purplebricks-stock-again-after-price-drop
       
      another-big-appointment-announced-by-robert-may-firm-rummage-as-it-ramps-up-the-stakes
       
      market-share-of-online-agents-slips-back-claims-new-report
       
      Would you be kind enough to point me to where I said “all those naysayers of the call-centre model as operated by the likes of Purplebricks, hops and emoov etc. were jut spouting sour grapes with no evidence of wrong doing and that it would take a real insider to spill the beans to convince them.”. It doesn’t sound like something I’d say but perhaps it was.

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      1. Property Pundit

        Here’s Mr Me Me Me, It’s All About Me! What a clown.

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      2. Chris Wood

        Have you ever considered doing something creative with a pier and gravity you dull puppy?

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      3. Room101

        cyberduck46.

        The comments you made about “bitter Estate Agents” were made on the LSE site and referred to here.  A copy is below for your perusal.  Let me know if you need help finding anything else.  A hobby?  Friends?  Moral compass etc.

        Thanks.

         
        Nick Salmon, M.D. Property Industry Eye
        OCTOBER 6, 2017 AT 12:54#28
        AN OPEN MESSAGE TO CYBERDUCK46
        (This was originally sent last night to the email address you used in registering with EYE. We addressed you by name but have redacted it from this public posting. Since you have ignored the email or did not use a genuine email address we are taking the most unusual step of publishing the message. Certain other users should also take note)We have noted a number of comments that you have recently posted on EYE and other online media and we conclude from the statements they contain that you are deliberately and repeatedly attempting to discredit our publication and our journalism.
        The statements you have made in the examples below go far beyond reasonable comment and are defamatory. You are abusing the trust we put in our users and are making allegations that cannot be substantiated. The comments will be removed from our site.
        If you have an issue with our journalism then you may address the matter with me but we will not tolerate your continued public assertions that Property Industry Eye is, among other things, ‘unreliable’ and ‘misleading. The consequences of making defamatory statements can be very serious and we will not hesitate to protect our reputation. You should remove your comments as shown below from the LSE site.
        You may continue to post on EYE so long as you do not repeat these allegations or anything similar in respect of our publication.
        For the record, whatever you may think, our editorial position in respect of Purplebricks is neutral.
        Nick SalmonManaging Director, Property Industry Eye Ltd
        The source of your comment is propertindustryeye.com not PurpleBricks. In future before wasting my time check the actual source and point it out to me. PropertyIndustryEye is unreliable.This really does put a big questionmark over the general accuracy of reporting on propertyindustryeye.com.The information you find on here is just summarised and often misleading and occasionally even misrepresented as was the case with the original article above before I posted about the mistake and the article was updated.
        http://www.lse.co.uk/
        “Looking forward to the “news” about PB’s share price tomorrow from the Property Industry Eye website…  After all they wouldn’t want to be accused of being impartial and only commenting when the share drops.”It’s a real shame that Property Industry Eye see fit to encourage people to post non-legitimate reviews to PurpleBricks’ TrustPilot pages. Really helping a UK company to succeed overseas there. They’ve gone down in my estimation as it would appear that the “mystery” of the USA listings can actually be solved by a little bit of proper journalism but they appear to prefer to encourage bitter Estate Agents to ridicule the company. Still I suppose it increases the page views to propertyindustryeye.com and that’s what counts isn’t it?…  What we’re seeing on PIE is not proper journalism. If you and I can solve the “mystery” then I’m sure a renowned journalist can.”

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        1. Property Pundit

          Looking forward to Mr Lawson’s comments on the trading update tomorrow.

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  7. Mr Impartial

    All really good points and great discussion on here. The online agent side and the high street agent are obviously going to stick to what they know and find fault in the other. I have seen it from both sides and what the high street agent offers, compassion, knowledge, a helping hand etc.. it fundamentally important for selling or buying a property but on the other hand an online agent offers things that the high street agent does not want to embrace, efficiency, speed, data etc….. there is a happy medium here somewhere. With the end goals for everyone in increasing sales for the vendors and full transparent information to the buyer.

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    1. Adam Day

      Agree with all that and agree there should be a mix
       
      I don’t understand (and never have) the unwillingness of the industry (on this site anyway) to acknowledge that proper tech has a big part to play in delivering great customer service 

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      1. MarkRowe

        Adam, what is the specific tech? 

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        1. ArthurHouse02

          He doesnt know. None of them know because it doesnt exist. Adam, Quirky and the other lot all bang on about tech, blah blah…but is this purely giving a vendor log in details so they can move the photos around and look at feedback, progress etc?? If this is all they have to offer its not surprising that they have collapsed.

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          1. AgentV

            I don’t understand (and never have) the unwillingness of the industry (on this site anyway) to acknowledge that proper tech has a big part to play in delivering great customer service 
             
            Actually, I and many others I hope do, but it isn’t a CRM log in so people can change their photo order. It’s personal contact where they can talk to the person in charge of their property sale and discuss a change in the order of the photographs along with advice. However, if the proper order is used in the first place, based on professional experience, why would anyone want to change it?
             
            The last thing that vendors want is a representative they can never get hold of, and to have to deal with a call centre all the time or rely on a website/email. This is where the ‘Call Centre Lister’ system does not give the service the vendor wants.
             
            What vendors really want is a person who always knows what is going on with their sale from start to finish…..the height of personal service.
             
            Yes there are systems that can help make this far more efficient. We use many of them, and are in the process of developing new ones at the moment.
             
            BSOS23PC 

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            1. ArthurHouse02

              But “proptech” doesnt help any of these things. Ways for a vendor to contact the person they are dealing with already exist, they are called the telephone and email. Anything else is just an expensive way of repackaging this. Sure if you are a big company like PB and you dont work in the traditional sense, perhaps direct comms through the website is needed….but as is being confirmed now, this doesnt work.

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              1. AgentV

                ArthurHouse02

                We use other methods, rather than just the phone and email, but wait and see if you think it would be useful.

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    2. rsvstu97

      Surely the reason the traditional agents are fighting their corner is in response to PB’s whole marketing campaign which is built around undermining everything a traditional estate agent stands for. And it does that in a misleading way. As traditional estate agency is a fragmented industry it is not able to fight back on a level playing field.  

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  8. Rich@redhomes

    You have all got you heads buried in the sand….still!!

    No one has got it right you say…….How about the best of both worlds…..Service levels of a good high street agent, but with no no high street office, Local experienced estate agent charging thousand less in fees….and all on a no sale no fee basis.

    For 13 years I have been working from home covering my local area, I have been the number one agent for the last 12 years, I charge 0.75%+vat and sell on average 100 properties a year. The clients deal with the owner of the company so will get a brilliant service and also save thousands in fees compared to the high street agent.

    Everyone is a winner and its surprises me that Adam Day hasnt mentioned Red Homes as that’s where he got his online idea from..!!

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    1. Mr Impartial

      Maybe a discussion on a different feed. However this is why I think that Online agents will come to the forefront and local agents need to be careful. You mention you sell 100 prorperties a year, and that is really good news. A viable business, but how many could you list? online agents shoudl be able to work a lot quicker than local agents and thus increasing sales and turnover of property.

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    2. smile please

      People in glass houses Rich …. Notice no company number or VAT number on your website … Still able to find your details online though  …. 
      I guess embracing tech does not go hand in hand with being compliant. 
       
      Missing those basics what else are you missing …. Rather have head in the sand than up my a**e!

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      1. Rich@redhomes

        Try looking at the ” About Us” page.
        Also in life the most basic and simple things are best…..
        Same buyer, same if not better service, lower fee…..it really is that simple now take your head out of your a**e.

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        1. smile please

          Well added so quickly, still missing your VAT number though.

          Also pretty sure trading standards have said unless you have an office or base in an area you cannot advertise a telephone number to imply you have an office there.

          More so this was featured recently on Watchdog.

          So how do you do an accompanied viewing from your base in Honiton in Axminster and then 30 mins later a viewing in Bracknell?

           

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          1. Rich@redhomes

            If you knew what you were talking about that is only a legal requirement for ecommerce business…
            Trading standards are absoulutley fine with how we trade appreciate your concern thou.
            Re the bracknell viewing comment ….. its a new thing thats just come out called a “franchise”, what it means is you trade under the Red Homes umbrella being your own boss, let me know if you want to join or is your head still in the sand or up your….

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            1. Property Pundit

              its a new thing thats just come out called a “franchise”, what it means is you trade under the Red Homes umbrella being your own boss, let me know if you want to join‘ 
              Unsolicited advertising. Why not leave your email address like you have on the other industry forum?

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            2. smile please

              I do know what i am talking about and its not only ecommerce that have to display it. 
               
              So how many franchisees do you have? – From what it looks like to me is you have a voip phone system with a load of local numbers and you sit in your bedroom answering the phone when it rings and you give off the impression you have an office in the said location. – Which is excatly what TS have a problem with. 
               
              So how many Rightmove and Zoopla accounts do you have service the 9 so called locations you have?
               
              If you have these so called franchises, who are they? are they members of redress schemes?
               
              This is the problem when you break cover and start throwing stones, people take a closer look at you. 
               
              All i can see you do is offer sellers a way to list on the portals. Hardly innovative. 

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              1. Rich@redhomes

                We have hit a nerve havent we…..it is ecommerce keep trying Stop guessing…lol My buiness is my business…. You are right thou, like you we offer sellers a way to list whilst also providing a great service…BUT at a lower fee than you……you just cant hanlde it can you, I do what you do, but have found the perfect combination of service, value and great fee….. So Adam Day we are the answer. Maybe you should change your name to unsmile please…;-)

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                1. smile please

                  Tell me, why do you hide the VAT number?
                  I assume you are paying the VAT?
                  We had an agent round our way couple of years back adding VAT on every sale but was not registered. Ended up with a big bill when HMRC found out.
                   

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                  1. Mark Walker

                    They are paying VAT, it is in the accounts of the none-dormant company.

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                2. Property Pundit

                  Half term holiday’s over now Rich, off you pop.

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            3. Mark Walker

              The Bracknell office isn’t showing up on the Supervised Businesses Register.
              You might want to let your franchisees know as that is, you know, illegal.

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              1. Mark Walker

                Same Seaton/Axminster.

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        2. Mark Walker

          In the ‘about us’ section the company listed is a dormant company.

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    3. Woodentop

      Just imagine how many more properties you could sell and the better service to customers if you had a high street office.

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      1. Rich@redhomes

        I sell on average 100 properties a year giving me a profit of £100k pa, the reason I do well is because 1) my fee is alot cheaper because I dont have the unnecessary high street 2) Service is great otherwise I wouldnt be in business after 13 years. You are missing the whole point my friend, if I had a high street office my fees would go up because of the cost of running and staffing it so the client would end up paying more.  I often ask high street agents the following question lets see if you can answer it because most cant.. Do you need a high street office to sell a property?..Yes or No?

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        1. smile please

          Lots of I’s in your comments, where is the ‘We’ with your franchise? Or as suspected you have none and you just have numbers in locations on a voip system?
           
          And yes to offer a full service for estate agency you do indeed need an office. An office is not expensise. Its the staff that cost money, that is where you are saving which has a negative impact on service. 
           

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          1. Rich@redhomes

            How do you know it has a negative impact on service?….Every call is dealt with by the director of the company who know whats he/she is on about…not Oh sorry you have come thru to lettings and I dont know about sales or sorry the peron dealing with that property is out…
            Do you own your own buiness unsmile please?…
             

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            1. smile please

              Looking at your company profile online through companies house your are in fact the ONLY director. So given you are servicing 40 odd listings, i’m pretty confident they are not getting the service others can deliver with a team of staff behind them. 
              Yes own my own agency, i certainly do not operate on a 0.75% fee and all telephone numbers we have are to those locations. We do not mislead anybody. 
              As for VAT number you have to display dont just take my word for it  https://www.practiceweb.co.uk/knowledge/displaying-company-registration-information/ (first result on google, sure there are others). 
              Some pretty wild an inaccurate claims you have made today. Lets hope you can back them all up and you are right with you understanding of the law as i would not feel so comfortable if i was running your firm. 
               
               

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              1. agent orange

                Who is this Red homes Guy? I live in this area and I’ve never heard of him. Top agent in town? my A*rse.

                 

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                1. smile please

                  Richard Spiller, looks like he works out of his spare bedroom covering 8 or 9 locations from Honiton.
                   

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                2. Rich@redhomes

                  Back from an afternoon of appts unlike you guys on here..lol

                  Orange Agent I cover East Devon where do you cover?

                  Unsmile please, I have told you the other areas are franchisees

                  I work from my study in my lovely thatched cottage….I normally have approx 45-60 properties on my book….best month working from home was 19 sales (achieved this twice) remember its just me…

                  Please don’t worry about me or my business, appreciate all of your reactions it shows that you are stuck in your ways, the only thing I will say is don’t say I didn’t let you know the future today…:-)

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                  1. Mark Walker

                    And no mention of your franchisee compliance lapses.  Mmmm hmmmm.

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        2. MarkRowe

          Alright, Richy Rich – making all that dosh… I’ll answer it for you, as this seems to be the nagging question you’ve had or quite a while now.

          The answer is that I use a variety of mediums to help sell clients homes, this includes, but not limited too; print, online (including social media, although that’s more to attract people back to our website), existing applicant database, For Sale/To Let boards AND my High Street Office window! One more thing you don’t have… Wahoo.

          But one of the most powerful things I have in my armory are my staff… they know what local buyers want, they know how much they will pay (within reason of course!), they know the level of demand even right down to specific roads!

          So, let’s summarise….

          I will answer yes to your above question, as the high street office forms part of a larger marketing mix that builds trust and tangibility with buyers. It instills confidence in buyers that they are dealing with a team of experts who ACTUALLY know the area they serve it’s also a place where the older age demographic or clients who do not search online for their home can contact us about our properties.

          Cheers and have a great week!

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          1. Rich@redhomes

            Thanks for the response Mark…but for you to answer yes you need a high street office to sell a property when I have being doing it and sold over 1200 in 13 years without one is great keep your deluded head in the sand.
            For your info I do have a high street display window so guess you can take back your Wahoo….
            Whats more powerful than a self employed experienced estate agent, your staff are looking at their watches at 5.30pm
            Lived where i trade for over 38 years so would say I kinda know the area…I am out now but appreciate your effort in trying to answer the question.

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            1. MarkRowe

              Have a great day, Rich 🙂 

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            2. Woodentop

              Sorry to blow you out of the water and no doubt you do well for what you want. However we do 4 times your model out of our office per annum. We didn’t get that high from sitting waiting for the emails. We are proactive, not reactive. I’m not having ago at you, if that style is your wish but my comment was, you are missing a lot of additional work if you were on the high street. If you had worked in one, you would know ….. many customers do not use the internet, they want the personal touch, the ability to call in, not wait a week for the postman to deliver documents etc that can’t be emailed. Ever tried emailing a set of keys!! Customers like to see the operation they are dealing with, it gives confidence or not. You are restricted to only customers using the internet and being a sole man you have only so many hours in the day to do valuations, make phone calls, emails, text, internet upload, case sales, etc and your admin like filling in insurance and statutory renewals TPO and the like, tax return, pay your bills. And you have time to find a buyer …. come on, who’s kidding who. You are limited to what you can physically do. The high street knocks the socks off, but then it does cost more, as it has more overheads and that is what you and your kin are about, less overhead but have less facilities to do the job more effectively.

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              1. Rich@redhomes

                I can only go by what I do in my area….I would hate to work in a high street office(did it for 4 years)…tied to 4 walls having the same boring converstaions with the same people…I love working from home and I earn more than most high street agents do…plus vendors save thousands in fees to…its a win win for everyone…
                The high street def doesnt knock socks off  in my area but then I suppose I am not in your area…..

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                1. Property Pundit

                  Anybody ever told you you’re unbearable?

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                  1. Rich@redhomes

                    Can’t say they have.

                    Anybody told you you don’t need an high street office to sell a property?….

                    That’s all now folks you have entertained me throughout the day and I appreciate you don’t like what I do because its against your ethics and you don’t like the way its going, BUT I do sell more than the high street agents locally, I do provide a fantastic service and do earn great money, I am my own boss and I love working from home.

                    The only thing I will add to the faceless keyboard warriors on this site if you are good enough be your own boss if you’re not sit your Barry big balls down and work hard so one day you can be something.

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    4. Mark Walker

      Red Homes Evesham has a high street office.

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      1. Woodentop

        Does it now!

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        1. Rich@redhomes

          They do lettings aswell so it works better for them, although their fees are still 0.75%=vat..:-)

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          1. SLF

            Unbelievable.

            A fellow estate agent passes on a success story and tries to explain his work model and ethic and all you can do is criticize and demean him. Rich@redhomes strikes me as someone who’s passionate about what he does and who strives to offer the best service he can. He’s clearly worked hard and must be very self motivated and focused or he wouldn’t have succeeded and lasted thirteen years. What’s everyone’s problem with that?? Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t it worth applauding rather than slagging off? It’s a bit sad reading some of the comments on here and I don’t really get the attitude. It’s just unpleasant. He may not work as you do in the high street, but he’s obviously built a decent reputation and there’s a clearly a demand for his services. Just a guy who’s built a nice reputable business to provide for him and his family. Good eh?……..Nope, obviously not

            The majority of posters on this site couldn’t achieve what he has and would probably love to get out of their stuffy 9-6 offices and work for themselves. But we know what that takes don’t we?

             

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            1. Rich@redhomes

              Appreciate your comment….Thank you.

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            2. Mark Walker

              Fellow estate agent sneers at his fellow estate agents and gets brought up on the slighest glance at his business ommissions.
              There’s a difference.

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            3. PeeBee

              Boy, SLF… your eyes don’t ‘arf deceive you at silly’o’clock in the morning!
               
              You’re ‘seeing’ something that not one single other reader has.
               
              An abject lesson if there ever was one in why not to post whilst under the influence of sleep deprivation… or something else.
               
              I wonder what you would have made of his ex business partner, another ‘Mr Charm Personified’ candidate by the name of Clemo.
               
              You’d probably have nominated him for Sainthood or suchlike…

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              1. Rich@redhomes

                PeeBee….You are alive…lol…

                Ex probably being the important word…..

                Slf has his/her eyes open and the best paragraph…

                ” The majority of posters on this site couldn’t achieve what he has and would probably love to get out of their stuffy 9-6 offices and work for themselves. But we know what that takes don’t we?”

                Wins comment of the year in my book..:-)

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                1. PeeBee

                  “Wins comment of the year in my book..:-)”

                  Your book in this case clearly not being a copy of ‘How to Win Friends And Influence People’, Mr Spiller.

                  And yes – I’m very, very alive.

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                  1. Rich@redhomes

                    In life you have 3/4 true friends…thats all I need, thanks.

                    Still hiding behind a silly name I see?

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  9. J1

    Where do these boys get off on slagging off the companies that they founded and ran; just because they sold out to people who exposed them; and decided they weren’t getting anywhere with a product that provides little or no service and no profit?

    Grow up fellas.

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  10. cyberduck46

    “What online estate agency has evolved into now, doesn’t work for the customer and it doesn’t work for the agents either because they’re not making any money.”

     

    I’d be interested in Mr. Day’s thoughts as to why he doesn’t think PB are making a profit in the UK.

     

     

     

     

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    1. Woodentop

      Lol.

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    2. AgentQ73

      Hi Cyberduck

      Genuine question, I am a simple soul and dont understand EBITDA and all that, once PB have paid Tax etc how much did they make last year ?

       

      Thanks

       

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      1. cyberduck46

        AgentQ73,

         

        Speaking for the UK only and looking at the FY 2018 the profit from operating activities reported in the audited accounts is £4.2M.

         

        I suppose you and I can await a reply from Mr. Day to see why he doesn’t think this qualifies as a profit.

         

         

         

         

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        1. Woodentop

          Is that the real Net profit and what percentage is that on operating income? To be classified as a success should be not less than 40%.

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  11. Bless You

    Ironic that that trad agents couldnt get anything organised for 5 years,  to fight the onslaught of fake online adverts.. Now the online agents are turning on themselves we might actually see some action.

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  12. Thomas Flowers

    The real problem with PB is that they are misleading and less transparent than No sale, No fee, full-service estate agents and this is why:

    Their fee savings calculator (national not regional) implies a like for like service when it is clearly not.

    Why?

    No mention of the cost of deferring the fee for which PB charge £360 immediately if a user decides they do not wish to use their appalling conveyancers (based on many customer reviews).

    Also, no consideration as to the huge value of No sale, No fee.

    For the sake of argument, let us say that this holds the same value as deferring a fee ie £360.

    So for a truly comparable service (forget the post-sales service argument for now) £360 x 2 =£720.

    For a proper like for like comparison, their fees must incorporate/differentiate the value for these two prime benefits?

    They also say that they are able to charge so much less as they do not have to pay for very expensive High Street branches, maybe not, but they do have to pay £21 million for TV advertising:

    £21 million divided by say 650 LPE’s = 32,307 each, far more than the majority of small estate agents pay in rent.

    If a proper estate agent secured few or no viewings how much would they charge?

    This is why PB must also say that their viewing charges are payable regardless of arranging, cancelling or conducting any viewings?

    Fairs, fair?

    Small independent agents do not have access to huge sums of money, to cover vast accumulated losses so as to buy market share.

    How anti-competitive is this?

    Nor do they use EBITDA reporting.

    Pay regardless is a gamble and like any legal gamble, they must be made to promote their audited odds.

    Now all this would be so much more transparent?

    https://www.allagents.co.uk/purplebricks/

     

     

     

     

     

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  13. Blue

    Adams’ theory that vendors want more tech to facilitate more involvement, is like hiring a cleaner and cleaning up before they arrive.  Sure a couple of oddballs will do it, but, for the majority that is why they hired you in the first place.

    As for allowing vendors to log in and play around with the pictures and change the price etc.  what a recipe for disaster.

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  14. smile please

    Rich from Red Homes you still about or on the school run?
     
    Another poster has pointed out the company reg number you have placed on your website is a dormant company, How are you able to be VAT registered?   Have you made a mistake (a costly one). ?

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    1. Rich@redhomes

      Yeah back from school…..
      No mistakes..:-)
      So whats your real name(I pray its not Rodney) and which estate agency?…my bet is you wont say as probably embarressed…

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      1. smile please

        Your right I won’t say as I am not here for self publicity.

        Best of luck with everything that comes your way after opening yourself up today 😉

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        1. Rich@redhomes

          Didn’t think you would….lol

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  15. Thomas Flowers

    Bonfire night!

    PB share currently 171p  nearly at 13.5% drop so far today but usually rallies towards the end of the day.

    We should thank Adam for his honesty and transparency.

    Perhaps, he may wish to discuss his inside observations with many others?

    Thank You Adam.

     

     

     

     

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    1. Woodentop

      Adam is hot property for the media. Now an insider tells all … I can see the headlines … hopefully.

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  16. rsvstu97

    Surely the reason the traditional agents are fighting their corner is in response to PB’s whole marketing campaign which is built around undermining everything a traditional estate agent stands for. And it does that in a misleading way. As traditional estate agency is a fragmented industry it is not able to fight back on a level playing field.

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  17. AgentV

    Just had to make the 100th comment on this story.
     
    I believe call centre listing can only save money against good traditional independent agency by using investors money as subsidies, paying people very low amounts to carry out the work, or by having a significantly lower level of service!
     
    BSOS23PC
     
    BRCMOAP

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  18. Chris Watkin

    I interviewed Adam Day on Monday, 29th October 2018 and it was captured on video.
    I am unable to post hyperlinks in P.I.E .. so find me on Linkedin and you will find the six interviews 

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