Emoov crisis: Uncertainty drags on for staff as Quirk tells of ‘fair chance’ new owner could pay them

A new week for staff at Emoov looks to be starting with continuing lack of uncertainty – although they could hear very shortly what their future holds.

They have been told that if they keep working for at least today and tomorrow there is “a fair possibility” that they could be paid for last month by a new owner.

In an email from CEO Russell Quirk at the weekend, staff have been told: “If we had a definite offer I’d be telling you all is good and things carry on. If we had no buyer at all rather than three potential buyers as we do, I’d be telling you that and putting the business into administration.

“The reality is that neither of those is accurate and we are between those two situations. You must understand that despite the very best endeavour, if a buyer has not yet signed on the line, it’s impossible to make them do that.

“I cannot and am not compelling you to do anything at all but simply state the situation as it is:

“If you continue until Monday/Tuesday there is a fair possibility that you will be paid for November and your employment will continue under the new owner. If you leave now you will not receive payment from the new owner and will have to claim from the Redundancy Service which is capped at £508 per week per claim for back pay, notice and redundancy.

“You are free to seek other employment however.

“I’m sorry but there’s nothing else that I can say until we have tied up an offer and … via the latest phone call with buyers just now, that remains ongoing.

“Be clear, the issue here is that I am holding out to try to cover your salaries. That’s what’s taking the time as it’s nearly half a million pounds.”

The email bears out what EYE was told by Quirk on Friday evening that there were three potential buyers for the business.

A source also told us that a pre-pack administration would likely be completed early this week.

Separately, at the weekend, both Emoov and Tepilo listings seemed to vanish off Zoopla.

While Emoov continued to list on Rightmove – a total of 3,331 listings as at yesterday – Tepilo was absent from the portal.

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27 Comments

  1. Property Poke In The Eye

    Come on there is no buyer.

    Emoov staff, start looking for a proper job.

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    1. surrey1

      Poundland, Poundsaver and Poundstretcher possibly.

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    2. ALOnline

      Gloating over people losing their jobs?

       

      what a creep

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    3. Probably Pork in the Pie

      Time for Mr Quirk to put his hand in his pocket and do the right thing by his people.

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  2. Hillofwad71

    £500k pcm salary bill alone Its not surprising why they are in trouble with the paucity of recent  monthly listings

    It was only back in August that Headphones stated

    “Quirk says the merged company now wins around 1,000 listings per month “but we see that very much as Ground Zero … we think that will double over the next 12 months or so.”

    That certainly doesn’t appear to be the case let alone increasing

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  3. Chris Wood

    Very sad for all the staff involved.

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  4. smile please

    Why does Russell not put his hand in his own pocket? I bet his mortgage is paid on time.

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  5. Light

    “If you continue until Monday/Tuesday there is a fair possibility that you will be paid for November and your employment will continue under the new owner.”

    If Russell _actually_ was looking out for his employees, like he’s suggesting, he’d just say: “Look, go home, i’ll fight for your wages regardless”.

    I feel for the staff who can’t pay their mortgages or will have to cut back at Christmas because the money they’d saved up is now spent elsewhere.

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  6. watchdog13

    Please put this company out of its misery.

    Basically telling staff that if they don’t turn up that they might not get paid.

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  7. J1

    Quirk Sold a dream to his staff that became a nightmare

    The marketing costs alone are impossible to cover with the online cheap model

    None of them can survive without lifting their fees

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    1. ALOnline

      An interesting statement.
       
      The beauty of online or Hybrid estate agencies is the enormous room that High Street branches give them to raise their prices.
       
      In some parts of the country (Obviously excluding London) an online agent could triple or even quadruple their instruction fee and still undercut a % based highstreet counterpart.
       
      In my experience, High Street estate agents are not trusted in general. Most people assume that they lie, inflate figures and are self-interested. This, however, has the unseen advantage of increasing buyer confidence because people believe that they are so self-interested that they will be very motivated marketers.
       
      The same cannot be said for online estate agents. They boast much much lower fees with extra revenue being dedicated to R&D, customer service and advertising but the trust isn’t there yet, not for most of the British Public.
       
      If online or Hybrid agents were to increase consumer confidence while being convincingly motivated to sell, the only thing that could keep high-streets going would be previous generations’ appeals to tradition. After they are gone, what happens then?
       
      Time will tell and the next few years will be of key importance to the future of our industry. Whoever comes out of the brexit downturn best may be a good measure of who proves themselves.

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      1. smile please

        Not true at all, ‘Up North’ it can be more expensive getting an online agent.

        Take PB – 899 to list a property, 300 added on top if you do not use their solicitors, 300 to do viewings, add in photos floor plans epc stc … circa 1800 quid.

        1% (which sadly most agents are today) on a property 150,000 they will get a better service and cheaper.

        As for not trusted and lies, online / hybrid boast 80 odd percent sale – How ever that is not completion which has been verified at 50% – You pay to list with these types of agents not sell. Look at emoov ….. How many times have we heard “This time next year Rodney…..”

         

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        1. AgentV

          And in the Midlands, many agents have fees around £2,000 or less on a no sale no fee basis.

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  8. EAMD172

    What irks me about all this is that he says he is being straight with his staff about the current situation. But as far as I know he has never yet said ‘it’s all my fault. I’m sorry and I accept full responsibilty’ He has tried to lay the blame as the feet of an investor who let them down. When you run the show, it is your fault when this happens. No one else’s. If you are not honest about this one underlying fact then how can anyone else trust you going forwards. If I am wrong and he has accepted full responsibility then I apologise in adavance. But I just have not seen it written anywhere that I remember.

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    1. Hillofwad71

      What is even worse whilst still  beating the drum in September  he was already planning his personal default position  creating  2 new companies

      This is a captain with no intention  of going down with the ship.

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    2. smile please

      Bang on.

      When i take a member of staff on, i make sure there is enough in the budget to cover their wages for the next 12 months. Same if we invest in a new service.

      If i cannot afford it i do not get it.

      Shame more businesses do not operate in this manner, too many living on credit, beyond their means.

       

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  9. Ostrich17

    Quirk tells of ‘fair chance’ new owner could pay them
     
    Of course there is – he just needs to accept £500k less for himself !

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  10. Robert May

    You’d think Mr Quirk would be busying himself with saving his business rather than engaging with me on twitter!

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    1. AgentQ73

      “Guys I need you to come into work today even although you’ve not been paid and might not be, I however will be busy on twitter” not exactly leading from the front.

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  11. JVSOZ

    If a so called buyer actually emerges, they’ll find it very hard to be taken seriously, unless they’re Axel Springer or similar. Even then… really? I’d love to be proven wrong for the sake of the staff, but I very much doubt they’ll get out of this mess.
     
    Wow…I come back and my comment’s been moderated….

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  12. IWONDER36

    Surely if all the staff go home, there’s no operating business to sell to a buyer, and all those with properties listed are being misrepresented?

    Sad when any business is struggling, particular just before Christmas, good luck to everyone concerned I say!

     

     

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    1. MarkRowe

      Oh but they do have a business… nothing to do with the staff, it’s all about the prop-tech, innit’!

      😉

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      1. drasperger

        Yes…. the “might get paid” bit is the give away…. the buyer will take the tech and ditch the people.

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  13. CSD72

    He started by offering customers, “Pay and we might work”.

    Now he’s offering employees, “Work and we might pay”.

    Quite the disruptor!

     

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  14. WiltsAgent

    A total car crash. Sooner or later these ‘investors’ that keep all online agents in business are going to realise they are being mugged.Once Neil Woodford bails out of Purple they’ve had it as well.
    On a brighter note thats a load of fees lost to Rightmove.

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  15. AgentV

    A sad, sad day for many people just before Christmas. I feel for you and wish you all the best.

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