Guild boss challenges Times writer to find ‘best in class’ agent as he stands up for high street

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.”

The Times tells its readers to boycott high street agents in favour of onliners


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  1. Chris Wood

    And where are the RICS and NAEA Propertymark in all of this?

  2. AgencyInsider

    I am beginning to like the cut of this chap’s jib.

  3. cyberduck46

    >”“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.””


    > Online may be right for some, but not all.


    So where can I find this guidance?


    Found this which states “At the Guild, we recommend the ‘no sale, no fee option because agents with a commission-based fee structure aren’t paid until they get results, meaning their priority is the same as the homeowners: to sell the property.”


    Also found a guide which helps you tell if your house is haunted.




  4. AgencyInsider

    And your point is what exactly?

    They lay out the options and they recommend one of them. Seems a perfectly reasonable thing to do and still leaves the consumer to make up their own mind.



    1. cyberduck46

      I presume you’re addressing me.
      Looks like I’ve confused the comment from easyProperty with the Guild. I thought they (The Guild) were contradicting themselves.


      So that’s the Guild’s guidance? I must admit I was hoping for something more. 

  5. DonShore93

    I was surprised that so few full-service agents bothered to defend themselves in the comments below the Times piece. Surely some of you must be Times subscribers? Here is the comment I posted (and I’m not even an agent):

    “You don’t seem to be very good at choosing agents. I have bought and sold many properties in my time and on no occasion could the transaction have been completed satisfactorily without the help of an experienced estate agent – and worth every penny of their fees.

    You car analogy is just plain wrong – from the second-hand car dealer with a 20% margin to We Buy Any Car paying their ‘negotiator’ a percentage of the discount he can wring out of the unlucky punter to an auction house charging the seller 8% and the buyer 15%.”

    My suggestion to agents? Stop running down online and start giving consumers reasons to use full-service.


  6. MJ1083

    Very well said Iain.

  7. JWVW

    Ellson’s article was utterly sloppy, but his front page Times article today,exposing Labour Councils as using offshore companies to avoid huge chunks of Stamp Duty is top notch.

  8. MrLister

    Top guy. Used to work for him in when he was an RMD in Dorset. A really inspirational manager. Don’t know why he ended up leaving Countrywide and why he didn’t stay in agency. Their loss.


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