Online agent told to take down property pictures that belong to Savills

Online agent eMoov was yesterday told in no uncertain terms to take down pictures from its site that had been used without the permission of the agent selling the property, Savills.

A different item on the eMoov site yesterday featured a Foxtons property, complete with photographs which may belong to Foxtons – and the suggestion that the seller should have used eMoov.

The Savills property was Margaret Thatcher’s former home, which has had extensive media coverage, notably in the Telegraph.

The  eMoov feature, by Emma FitzGerald, carried a number of pictures of the £30m property in Chester Square, Belgravia.

Lady Thatcher owned it from 1991 until her death in 2013.

The article referred to the property’s major refurbishment but did not say which agent was handling its sale.

In fact, the property is on the market with Savills – a traditional agent, not an online business.

The pictures on the eMoov site accompanying the article were all from Savills – and used, says Savills, without their permission.

Emoov was yesterday told by Savills to remove them.

A spokesperson for Savills told EYE: “We take any breach of copyright very seriously and will not hesitate to act.”

By yesterday afternoon, the Savills pictures had been removed and replaced with what looked like pictures from a newspaper or press agency.

In the other article on the eMoov site, the property featured has also had national newspaper coverage, with the home being just ten feet wide.

Again, the piece features a number of photographs.

This time, the article does acknowledge that the property is on with another agent – Foxtons.

The article concludes: “Unfortunately this seller has listed [with] Foxtons so will have to pay around 2.4% on completion, that’s £19,200 in fees alone!

“If they had sold with us, we could have saved them £18,605!”

A spokesperson for Foxtons declined to comment.


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  1. stephenjury

    Forced? We were asked.

    This story has generated a lot of media attention, I wonder if Savills are contacting the Telegraph or Guardian about use of the pictures without crediting?

    1. Jrsteeve

      Ultimately they weren’t yours to use!



      The Foxtons part is poor too, sour grapes much? The vendor will no doubt get a much better price with them too!

    2. RealAgent

      It would have been so easy just to say you’d made a mistake Stephen, instead arrogance takes over and you post what you did.

    3. Robert May

      Nicking Prince Charles’ Aston Martin would get a lot of media attention it doesn’t make the thieving OK Stephen.

    4. Garret2

      Didn’t get the Foxtons Social media manager job then I see.

    5. inthefield

      Stephen, your job is the easiest within emoov. All you have to do is get the word out that your company lies about most (and maybe all) of its claims to get people talking. The old “no publicity is bad publicity”.

      …………like Gerald Ratner………

  2. agency negotiation limited

    EMoov are fast becoming the ‘Donald Trump’ of estate agency, saying provocative things in order to manipulate the media. The beauty of this strategy is, of course, that it’s mostly free.

    1. Robert May

      That is the worse analogy I’ve seen on here in a very long time.  Suggest Stuart Hosking or someone equally as notable yacking on that Katie Hopkins would make a great Foreign Secretary

      1. PeeBee

        Oh dear – looks like Katie Whassname’s reading the site today, Robert!

        1. Robert May

          Suddenly the room fills with flies and Carl Orff ‘O Fortuna’ starts playing menacingly in the background!

      2. smile please

        Katie Hopkins BRILLIANT comparison!!!

  3. Naysayer

    Surely this ‘Holier Than Thou’ Savills can’t be the same Savills that have used our photos in the past without permission! Could they?

  4. RussellQuirk

    I understand that Savills charge their clients extra for photos? Just for the record, ours are included in our £595 package 😉

    1. AgencyInsider

      If it really is you Mr Q you have a real brass neck to post that. Someone whose company in the last 24 hours has been exposed as being economical with the truth and now misappropriating someones else’s property should perhaps pipe down for while.

      1. PeeBee


        Your kindness and forgiving nature will no doubt earn you a place in Heaven, AgencyInsider

        1. Robert May

          I just took it he was referring to economical in the Venezuelan sense of the word.

        2. AgencyInsider

          Ah, thank you PeeBee. Of course, had I used the two short nouns that I really wanted to then I expect that I would have ‘removed’.

    2. RealAgent

      You forget to mention the requirement to bring the price down to meet your 99% of asking price statistic. So shall we round it up and say the seller could have had their photographs taken for what £500,000? Oh plus the £595 of course.

    3. Robert May

      With as much respect as I can muster,  Charging for professional photos is acceptable, charging  to have a  local rep (director, guru, expert) take photos with a smartphone and selfie stick is a joke but charging  for photos nicked off the internet and passing them off as your own? How do I explain this without getting into complicated stuff like morals, right and wrong etc?

    4. inthefield

      Russell, you really are the most deluded of all the pretend estate agents.

    5. PeeBee


      Mr Quirk – on the subject of your fees and the…ahem… ‘inventive’ claims that surround them.

      1.  On your website you state

      Savings Calculator. The commission fee examples included in the savings calculator are intended for illustrative purposes only and are exclusive of VAT.

      Sorry – I’m more than a bit surprised by this – EXCLUSIVE of VAT?  You’re SURE?

      Funny, that.  Your ‘example’ shows a property price of £300,000, and an Agent’s commission of 1.5%.  Now – it’s been a while… and admittedly I did fail my Maths ‘O’-Level (on purpose) – but when I was at school that would have come to a figure of £4500.

      YOUR Fee, would be no doubt based upon your lowest offering, of £595 (or £495.83 EXCLUSIVE of VAT as you state in the claim…)

      I get that to be a claimed “saving” of £4004.17.  I’ve even checked it on one of them abacus things we used before digitality allegedly took over.

      SO… my question to you in respect of the above is as follows


      2. Now to the latest in a series of what I’m sure you refer to as “slight amendments” to your previous and present claims – this 99% of something malarkey.

      I note – and have had others point it out also – that you or someone who writes for you have amended your Twitter description to state

      “Founder & CEO of . A better estate agent. And local everywhere. 99% of asking price consistently achieved! (ASA validated)”

      My question – straightforward though it is – HAVE THEY? REALLY?

      I suppose that’s two questions – but luckily you only have to provide ONE answer – which of course I and no doubt several others will be seeking ASAs confirmation of…

      over TO YOU, Sir – you have the floor!

      1. PeeBee


        Mr Quirk knows this post is here.  Yesterday, when challenged, via Tw@tter, to respond, his only response was that he does not read comments on this site.

        Having (as stated on the Lewis Rossiter ‘article’) ‘followed’ me earlier this week – having previously waged several keyboard skirmishes with me… and losing the lot I hasten to add… he has now blocked me from his Tw@tter page.

        He is basically refusing to engage

        Some people may think this speaks volumes for the bloke; and may even think that the refusal to engage is a sign of fear of the outcome.

        Me – I would simply say ‘watch this space’ – AND their website, of course…

        I, for one, KNOW he’s reading – or paying someone to do it for him!



    I had a similar situation at work, my office was marketing a property in Deptford with consent from the landlord however a local Haart office decided to advertise it without the landlord consent and tried arranging a viewing for him when he contacted them!

  6. Property Paddy

    Dear Mr RussellQuirk

    What you charge is probably what you are worth !

    Yesterday we exchanged on a house valued by another agent at £485,000

    We sold in for just over £550,000

    Just think on the savings on fees had they gone with an online agent


    1. observer

      Why would the online agent have definitely valued it at £485k?

      I could just as easily say you should have got £570k for it.

      But nobody can prove anything as you can only sell a single home once at any one time.

      1. Property Paddy

        Im sooooooo pleased you questioned me on this.

        A: I valued it £440,000 so I was less than the highest price suggested by another agent.

        B: My point is this, the buyers came in looking desperately for a house in this particular location. they were cash, they had sold and needed to be in by end of Feb. The owner of this property wanted £550,000 or more which no local estate agent could or would agree to market at this price.

        But because these people came in and said they would pay big bucks to be here and because I had just seen the house the day before I thought, “give it a try”

        And it worked.

        Tell me how an on line agent could so that? They have remote call centres, not high street position, buyers cant stroll in, the call centre don’t go out and value houses so they don’t know what might be a possible deal with a little ingenuity.

        I think I earned my commission, so does the vendor and may I add I charge a fair bit more than £600.

        1. inthefield

          Well done PropertyPaddy, thats proper estate agency. Youre worth every penny.

          Im sure when this all goes through the spin cycle with the pretend agents, the public will realise that its not just about pressing a button to upload a few pictures.

          1. Property Paddy



            It’s nice to know old fashioned estate agency can and will always out perform our “disruptive” friends

        2. ARC

          Great stuff Paddy that’s what vendors are happy to pay for thinking outside the box with good agency experience behind it. Try doing that when you have a call centre of staff on minimum wage with no agency experience at all.

  7. Paul House

    I think Maggie would be turning in her grave. And I thought Russell was previously a Conservative party candidate!

  8. Chri Wood

    Compared to the many, more serious issues most agents have with eMoov, this story is a storm in a tea-cup.

    eMoov have some good, decent people working for them but, time and time again, events show that the moral and legal compass of the firm at the highest level is, at best, questionable.

    Almost without exception, eMoovs’ advertising statements and claims have been amended, withdrawn or officially ruled as misleading to consumers after the most basic of scrutiny. Hell, the CEO even claimed to Home Owners Alliance that he was a qualified estate agent when all he had taken was the old NAEA entry test (which for those who can remember it, amounted to a few questions about touting and the correct legal size of a ‘for sale’ board before being expected to get the first round in).

    eMoov, like all of the call-centre agent ‘disruptors’ have yet to create a statistically significant market share despite millions of investors money being thrown at a business model that the CEO himself has recently started to try to distance himself from.

    That they have managed to create press coverage out of all proportion to their size is a credit to Stephens’ skills and Russell’s abilities to fool some of the people some of the time.

    Like most agents on here, I have no problem with new business models, ideas or technology; I do however, have a problem when a business demonstrably and persistently attempts to mislead consumers.

    1. Harree

      A very good and well balanced overview which Mr Quirk would do well to read and fully absorb.

  9. Tuf Luv

    Dude you gotta love Russ. Seriously is there a ring or something because I’ll commit. Always raising h*ll. Always full a*shole mode. Always sublimating another goofy day at the office.

    Jeez “this story has generated a lot of media attention” is the definition of online agency. Like, literally the very definition so I can respect their hustle. I mean, you have to figure its rough working in a controlled wilderness b*lls deep in failed acolytes that apparently don’t own the smarts to understand that putting stuff out there means that people get to respond to it. Dude. You gotta love Russ.


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