New Franchisee Are Flocking To EweMove

Estate agency and lettings business EweMove, based in Halifax, tempts franchisees by saying they can build a £1m business and achieve more than £100,000 net profit a year.

The firm says it now has over 40 franchisees – almost none of whom have any previous sales or lettings experience.

Darren Harley, Franchise Success Coach, said: “We had some people from the original business (National Property Group's lettings business) who stayed with us and did have some experience. But of our franchisees since, only one has a background in estate agency.”

He said this was unlikely to change, as the emphasis was on recruiting franchisees who can build successful businesses, rather than people with a track record in home sales and lettings. A large majority of the EweMove franchisees work from their own homes and are based all over the UK, including Belfast, Wales and Scotland.

“Most of the spread is from York down to the south coast, and most of the franchisees are in the midlands,” said Harley, a former associate director with Savills.

The franchisees pay per size of territory, equating to £12,950 for a patch with 20,000 households. The price includes training, IT systems, centralised accounting and reception services, membership of Rightmove and Zoopla, and a starter pack including boards – which depict bright green sheep.

Franchisees are recruited via ‘discovery events’, currently being held about every two weeks, which attract up to 40 people. There are follow-up meetings on a one to one basis at the ‘Halifax pen’, which is how EweMove describes its head office.

Harley said franchise enquiries are strong, and included a recent one from Kensington, where any would-be EweMove franchise would be up against the likes of Foxtons and Knight Frank. He said that would not matter, given that EweMove’s chief offering is high levels of personal service, which he said goes down well in any market.

Franchisees offer both sales and lettings, and a ‘Rent Now, Buy Later’ service.

This allows tenants five to 10 years to buy their rental home, with them paying into what Harley says is effectively a trust fund alongside their rent which will become their deposit.

Harley said the scheme is proving very popular, but said it did require commitment from the tenant as if they decided not to commit to a purchase, they would forfeit their deposit – which goes, he said, to the landlord. EweMove, which currently has a total of 145 properties listed on Rightmove, describes itself as an ARLA licensed agent and also a SAFEagent member. Membership of both has been taken out by National Property Group’s NPG Lettings Ltd, which rebranded to EweMove since last June.

Sellers are currently tied in to 77-day contracts with EweMove, but Harley says the firm is considering introducing a ‘free sale’ offer if the property remains unsold after this time.