We really are the ‘UK’s #1 ‘hybrid agency’, says EweMove boss

An increasing number of EweMove franchisees are opening physical branches, says managing director Nick Neill.

He said that EweMove encapsulates the meaning of the term ‘hybrid agency’, and claimed that it was the first hybrid brand to enter the market five years ago.

Neill, also known as the Head Shepherd, said that the term ‘hybrid’ is now used commonly across the industry, with a number of brands claiming to be the ‘UK’s #1 ‘hybrid agency’.

Neill told EYE: “Back in 2013, the estate agency sector lacked innovation in so many areas – from the way agents listed and sold properties, marketed themselves and their portfolios, to the physical operations within the office in terms of sales and lead generation.

“Technology’s potential wasn’t being harnessed, and it meant not only did many clients miss out on the services they did, and didn’t know they wanted, but the high street model struggled to keep up as a result.

“This acknowledgement was the catalyst for the EweMove brand being set up five years ago to positively disrupt the market and provide a fresh approach.

“It recognised that there was a huge gap between online and high street agents.

“Online had the opportunity to revolutionise the agent’s operations by streamlining processes and generating leads, as well as enabling clients to receive of-the-minute updates on their property’s progress and to be communicated with at times, and via channels, which best suited their needs.

“Conversely, the traditional model offered the best way for people to buy from people, to build genuine relationships, to have a local shop front to gaze into and a face to talk to.”

Neill says that a hybrid approach is a win/win for both agents and customers. In the case of EweMove, it also puts the focus on recruiting the right franchisees.

“While we know that EweMove isn’t right for everyone, we also know that not everyone is right for EweMove.

“We encourage them to run their franchises exactly how they want and that means they have the freedom to choose whether they run their business from their home or  the high street.

“The decision is truly theirs, and they receive all of the support and pioneering technology from our Sheep Pen to help them grow their businesses.

“And this is an attractive proposition for many. Last year alone, we listed 4,465 properties with a completion rate of over 70% – well above the UK average of around 50%.

“Whilst the majority of franchisees do operate without a high street branch, we’re seeing an increasing number continuing to choose to open branches.”

Neill said traditional agents still very much have their place.

He said: “People do buy from people and customers like having a face to see when they are making a decision about selling up, renting or buying a property.

“But if it’s not backed up and supported by innovation and technology, they’ll often fall behind, meaning that their potential customers are ripe for the pickings.”


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  1. smile please

    Hilarious. Most of there people have less than 10 properties.

    Also I keep asking but what % of original franchise owners are still trading on the third anniversary of being open?

  2. Curious george

    i thought ASA accepted that It was Emoov who were the UK’s No1 hybrid agent after the Purplebricks complaint regarding their allagents awards?

    i am sure Russell will have someone to say about this!


  3. Bless You

    It’s amazing how traditional agents simply told the truth. Online market has proved you can lie your way to the top and gov’t. And trading standards are powerless to stop you  .

    Agents have been thinking of ways to expand on a budget for years but they couldn’t do it  . They kept allowing the truth to get in the way.

  4. AgentV

    Does anyone know what this article is trying to say. What exactly are they trying to claim are the advantages of Hybrid?

    I would much rather aspire to be the very best ‘High Tech Full Service’ Agent than any form of Hybrid.

  5. marcH

    Pray tell, what’s the difference between an excellent traditional agent with topline technology working out of high street premises and an excellent agent with topline tech operating from his/her bedroom and moving into high street premises? Answer: none.

    Head Shepherd: “People buy from people”. Clunking cliché or what?

    So why this obsession about the word ‘hybrid’ ?

    1. P-Daddy

      Its the word of the moment…hybrid cars, the other being proptech! More mysterious than ‘bedroom agency’ or ‘internet agent’ or ‘crowdfunded here today gone tomorrow’ 🙂

      1. Robert May

        I introduced a description and definition of a hybrid agency on EAT about 5 years ago during a discussion with Hound. A hybrid agency is the antidote to the passive internet listing firms that were being  promoted at the time as the future of agency.

        5 years on and with internet listing agencies clearly failing to meet their promises and only surviving on huge wads of investor cash they are the ones who will be first onto hybrid as a modern territory. With Quirky no crowing he offers a better service than Purplebricks ‘service’ is the latest watchword. The problem for  agents coming from their  loss leader fee structures is there is no cash to pay for the level of service required to be an effective agent.

        Service needs people, people have a minimum wage and working time regulation requirement, all of that costs money.  As soon as it’s recognised disruption has failed to disrupt and service needs to be paid for the cash  supporting loss leader fees evaporates.

        The industry is still heading for a rationalisation and there will be hybrid agencies and because of the way it is run and operated I think Ewemove has the best chance of all it’s near rivals of being the one that  achieves it’s ambitions

  6. mrtickle

    I didn’t see any figures in that proved they’re the #1 hybrid.

    Anyone else?

    And… is there actually an advantage to being the number 1 hybrid?

  7. htsnom79

    In the angling world a ‘ hybrid ‘ is generally a disappointment, you think you’ve caught a prime specimen of one particular species which on closer inspection ( mouth shape, fin shape, shading ) turns out to the bastardized outcome of inter breeding between seperate species, funny that

  8. ChumpExecutive

    So let us survey the scene;

    1. Traditional agents offer a “full service” offering but in reality only achieve a 50%”listing to sale” conversion

    2. “On-line” agents charge a listing fee which is a lower than the average agents “No Sale No Fee” offering (but remember to uplift the on-line fee by 100% to get parity)

    3. EweMove trades on a “no sale no fee” basis, charges fees around the provincial average of 1%, but sells 70% of what it lists and offers a “happy customer” guarantee to exit the agency agreement on 14-day’s notice (not 13-weeks)

    The battle is going to shift onto which agent is better at converting listings to sales completed. It might be Purple Bricks, it Might be Ewe Move, it won’t  be traditional high street agents (on average)./

  9. Dragonram35

    Ewemove originally offered a Bronze/Silver/Gold option I believe…………..the Bronze being the fee-upfront listing only option which,I would describe as one-half of the so-called hybrid model, the other half of course being the traditional % fee on completion……………..very few of the originals left,I hear…..

  10. Head_Shepherd#2

    To summarise…..we learn a great deal from existing High Street agents who come and talk to us, some of whom join our flock and some we don’t invite to do so, or they choose not to (that’s fine!).

    But to confirm the benefits of ‘Hybrid’ it makes sense to first understand what Hybrid means as far as we’re concerned.  And that’s taking the best bits of on-line tech and the best bits of Traditional Agency.

    Not having a shop means a franchisee needs to sell fewer houses than an high street player would, as they don’t carry the crippling overheads.  (Unless of course, some choose to keep a shop they’ve had from a previous business and if so, that’s fine by me and works with our Hybrid model.)

    So if a franchisee has 10 houses for sale and cycles that pipeline 5 times each year, on their own they’ve sold 50 houses, at 1%+VAT (typically), they’ve made a much smarter business decision that a high street player who needs to employ a team of staff to run his/her shop, is then shackled to a desk and can’t get out to effectively do the job of agency.  So at the end of the day, it’s not about volume per se, it’s about 2 key things:

    1 – Providing awesome levels of customer service to drive referral business (EweMove is brilliant at this)

    2 – Doing so in a fashion that is financially sustainable for the franchisee and at the same time provides great value to consumers too.

    Many on-line players and High Street players are trying to win business by racing to the bottom of the fee scale by providing ‘cheap options’ for vendors and that does drive stock volumes in the short term, but is not sustainable.  I’d rather grow steadily with the right team of franchisees to ensure long-term success.  The Nay Sayers will continue to mis-understand Ewemove and fail to grasp the business model we follow, but I’m fine with that.  Those that choose to find out the facts of what we do and how we do it, tend to end up being franchisees!




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