EweMove founders pick up final part of £9m after shares sale

The founders of online estate agency EweMove appear to have picked up the final part of a huge £9m in a payday expected to be confirmed today.

The pair who founded EweMove, complete with its jokes, will be having the last laugh.

David Laycock and Glenn Ackroyd founded EweMove and then sold it to The Property Franchise Group in September 2016.

The business subsequently proved to be loss making for TPFG, while the two founders left the following June, before their final earn-out, which could have been worth another £7m.

The pair have now sold shares that they received as part-payment for the business.

They have received the final £9m in total, with £6m in cash and £3m in shares.

They received 2,321,550 shares at the time of the sale, some of which they subsequently sold.

EYE is told that their reason for selling is not that they don’t believe in EweMove or TPFG but because as private individuals they would have too much of their wealth tied up in only one stock.

Meanwhile this morning it was announced that German company Bavaria Industries Group, based in Munich, has acquired 10.3% stake in the company whose brands include Martin & Co.

www.propertyindustryeye.com/ewemove-founders-sacrifice-7m-earn-out-fees-as-they-walk-away-from-the-business/

 

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34 Comments

  1. Moveaside01

    Good luck to them and maybe investors in these schemes may now finally get the message that they are only lining other people’s pockets rather than their’s?

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  2. smile please

    We might all take the pi22 out of the firm, laughable marketing and individuals but who is having the last laugh?

     

    Well done guys not many of us sell out for that figure. You fleeced them, pulled the wool over their eye. They are probably feeling sheepish over the deal right now but Ewe are fine…… sorry for bleating on.

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    1. Bless You

      They have fleeced the industry. Killing fees and taking money off franchisees.
      Save your respect for people who deserve it.  

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      1. FlyingSheep54

        Killing fees? I have the highest fees of any of my competitors. I’m worth it too x

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      2. Property Ear

        Would you have been on board with Ewe Move at the outset if you could have been Bless You? Or, for that matter, a director/shareholder of Rightmove a few years ago? – I would!

        Of course we disapprove of some financial aspects of both firms, but it’s an odds on bet, any right minded estate agent would have jumped at the chance if he or she been invited to own a chunk of flesh of a goose that keeps laying golden eggs if they’d known how fabulously they’d perform.

        Or would you, Bless You, have said, ‘No thanks, I’d rather continue to be a hard pushed estate agent continuing to compete against all the others, most of whom would steal the dinner off my plate if they could?

        I must add, as a hard pushed High Street Independent, I deplore the Rightmove price hikes but who can deny RM is a perfectly legal and incredibly successful business model?

         

         

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      3. smile please

        Bless you. I am far from a fan of the model (quite the opposite) however a chap that knows bu**er all about agency and has a poor franchise set up has just made millions. I wish i was as ruthless and lacked as much conscience along with the vision to pull it off.

        Being honest and honorable seems to be outdated these days sadly.

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        1. Bless You

          Bless you all. I have no problem with making money tbf and Iam sure they will help alot of charity with the cash.

          I just wish someone made money one day by actually selling houses.

          Bless this old school.

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  3. Bless You

    All from quantative easing. The money taken from banks,  wasted by hedgefunds, killing genuine businesses but making the fat cats rich.

    Maybe brexit be a good thing if makes the tide go out but I doubt it.

     

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  4. Property Poke In The Eye

    Are these the lot who mislead the public by saying they have branches? When in fact it’s someone working out of their bedroom.
    The model doesn’t work otherwise they would have taken part of the shares and waited for the extra £7m?

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    1. Head_Shepherd#2

      If you do a simple Google search ‘ewemove branches’ and select images, you will see some branches.  It doesn’t take long to check this….

      We don’t advocate branches, but if franchisees want one they can.  The model works either way.

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  5. AgencyInsider

    Is that the sound of Mr Quirk weeping into his cornflakes?

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  6. Robert May

    Ian Wilson is a smart  chap, and unlike  some celebrity fund managers, Dragons, successful entrepreneurs or group-think executives not a chap that is hoodwinked easily. David and Glenn sold something that stood up to scrutiny and they’re getting their final tranche of cash.

    Ewemove is not a passive intermediary listing firm like some of those who claim to be proper estate agents they are a variation of agency.

     

    To my mind the snipe at the end about franchisees going into difficulties is unnecessary, a lot of firms large and small are still paying out more money than they should and without assistance will be in similar circumstance

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    1. Property Poke In The Eye

      @Robert May.  Is misleading the public by saying they have branches acceptable ?
      Is working from a bedroom a proper estate agent in your books?
      I appreciate they may have some branches.  When you search on their website it still comes up with branches when in fact they are people working from home and no address comes up for the exact location.   Hardly a proper estate agency service?
       

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      1. Head_Shepherd#2

        There are branches, there are serviced offices and there are home workers.  If you assign the definition of Estate Agency ‘service’ to having a high street shop, then we are at odds about the definition of ‘service’.
        I would define ‘service’ as delivering satisfactory outcomes to vendors and landlords as well as buyers and tenants, I would not ascribe ‘service’ to be uniquely linked to ‘a high street shop’, as simply sitting in a high street shop does not inherently deliver ‘service’.

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        1. Property Poke In The Eye

          @Head Sheperd#2

          When delivering a full estate agency service, I believe the customer should have the option to walk into an office without an appointment and not feel they need an appointment.

          No disrespect to people working from bedrooms or serviced offices. I am assuming clients would be by appointment only.

          The main issue I was referring to was the misleading statements on the website pointing them out as branches opposed to home office and or serviced offices.

           

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      2. Robert May

        I spoke to an agent this morning on his mobile, he was stood in a field a bit like a scarecrow, I found the property I wanted to discuss on the internet, I didn’t go through any portals. His  physical branch wasn’t open. It doesn’t matter to me as an applicant where he operates from.

        There are quite a few solid 100% estate agents I know who don’t have physical branches these days, if they did have them I wouldn’t  visit them, there is no need

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    2. Head_Shepherd#2

      Agree @Robert May. The founders Glenn & David set out to deliver something extraordinary.  The foundations they laid are now delivering, hence why we’re No1 on Trustpilot and deliver outcomes way ahead of the traditional cohort of agents.  TPFG identified this and since they bought the business, we have seen it move forward considerably under their guidance, but on the same fundamental principles of service delivery, as was established in EweMove’s DNA at the outset.
      It is clear from recent industry news over the last few months, that franchising is the way to go to ensure success and longevity in this industry.
       

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      1. AgentV

        Being on Trustpilot does you very few favours, as we all know.

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  7. GeorgeHammond78

    The more interesting piece of this ‘News’ is the acquisition of 10.3% of the shares by BiG. The sheepsh*t  is old news but the disposal by laycock/ackroyd has given the Bavarians the opportunity to acquire a sizeable stake in an otherwise very thinly traded stock. They’re certainly not passive investors and will want to see a decent ROI. Don’t be surprised to see them garner more as the opportunity arises and to see them shape the future of TPFG…..and others via acquisition, perhaps? The Franchise Model in the sector could become a formidable force with some German Engineering. Vorsprung Durch Technik

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  8. s71

    Well done  David Laycok and Glenn Ackroyd

    run before the money runs out!!!!!

    must be having the last laugh!!

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  9. Hillofwad71

    I fear for many of  the current franchisees who haven’t sufficent instructions without any previous  estate agency experience unable to service the debts they have accumulated and run themslves down into personal ruin
    The Ewemove pitch should come with a property industry health warning
      Why have so many Ewemove franchises ended up at the abattoir? Altrincham Croydon Streatham Salford Waterlooville Oxford East Hackney Redhill & Reigate Caldicot Macclesfield Appleton Northampton Whitley Bay Franchisees suffering life changing losses?  
    Search one of the many failed branches like this recent failure Ewemove Altrincham and they hide the failure by pretending it’s a computer glitch
    https://www.ewemove.com/estate-agents/altrincham/buyers/  

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    1. Head_Shepherd#2

      I fear you’re jumping to the wrong conclusions (again).
      Some franchisees run predominantly lettings businesses, not sales businesses, hence you won’t see many sales instructions.
      If a franchisee does close (your example being Altrincham) then the web page won’t be there.  There’s nothing untoward about that yet you suggest it is being ‘hidden’ and ‘pretending it’s a computer glitch’.  This is a somewhat rash and ill-considered / incorrect conclusion.

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  10. Hillofwad71

    I made no reference to either sales or lettings  apart from instructions which covers both – just the disproprtionate amount of failures
    What do you say to those current franchisees whose debts are still mounting?
      If you  search Ewe move Altrincham  this comes up .Try it and see Why dont you just say the branch is closed?
      YOU’VE ENTERED INTO THE TWILIGHT ZONE!
    “And the web page you’ve requested has been eaten by the server monster. It’s probably because we moved an old link and Ben, the IT guy, took his eye off the ball. Chances are this went wrong on a Monday, the day he always says his new diet is starting. How many Mondays are there until September, one asks? Ben’s getting married in September you see”

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  11. Hillofwad71

    The fact that you have some good performers is no consolation to those that are struggling Cheltenham Its clear from the paucity of instructions (both letting and sales) and his accounts at Companies House he is struggling
    .No previous estate agencyexperince yet you have recently granted a new franchise in Gloucester restricting his territory . How is that likley to help him?  

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    1. Keyser Söze

      There are a good number who look like they are struggling to make any form a living.

      The Ewemove model is very good for the franchise. Terrible the majority of franchisees.

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  12. Hillofwad71

    This is your pitch .What % of your current franchisees are earning over £100k per annum?

    Those franchisees currently nursing tens of thousands of debt and those who have already suffered life changing losses can only dream

     

    With low overheads and by charging premium fees for a high-quality service, our franchises have enormous profit potential. Our top performers enjoy incomes well in excess of £100k each year. How? They follow the EweMove Way diligently and reap the rewards consistently.

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  13. Hillofwad71

    No doubt you have been lucky in attracting some excellent franchisees who have set the bar high Especially in the Hull area- an area noted for its high proportion  of National Lottery winners!

    Your national franchise distribution seems to have developed on an enquiry led basis Large gaps but a high concentration in certain areas Bucks and Leeds for example

    So going onto your website and searching for properties within 5 miles  of Leeds a potential buyer or seller is faced with 4 different franchisees.They must have some very restriced territories

    Bramley ,Pudsey ,Leeds North    and the recent  recruit Horsforth & Ade.l I wonder how that went down with the other 3 franchises?

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    1. s71

      awaiting a response from the Head Shepard

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    2. Head_Shepherd#2

      Franchisees working ‘next door’ to each other has a great deal of mutual benefits.  The territories are well defined and amount to between 20,000-25,000 households, defined by postcode sectors.

      When a new franchisee wishes to buy a neighbouring territory we arrange for them to meet with their prospective neighbours before they start, so all parties are happy with these arrangements, so not sure what the intent of your question is, as there are no issues with neighbouring territories?

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      1. Hillofwad71

        Well let’s look at the Cheltenham franchisee .The new franchisee for Gloucester  has arrived with an existing management portfolio so she is timeserved 
        Has  her arrival impinged on his designated territory?
        Possibly some of her existing mangement properties fall within his designated postcodes and he has gained some new letting instructions .Has that  been the case? 

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        1. AgentV

          Head_Shepherd#2

          What exactly does EweMove give franchisees that experienced agents cannot already do for themselves as an independent?

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  14. Hillofwad71

    A franchise tale which tells its own story She arrived with no property  experience in 2015

    https://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/13501168.mum-brings-online-estate-agency-to-gwent/

    1year 6 months later – carnage

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09485240/filing-history

     

    Now in HR

     

     

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    1. ArthurHouse02

      Maybe estate agency isnt that easy then, despite Ewemove being a readlly fun company to work for with all the training she would need. As per the article, she is offering a full service that works around looking after her children. “Ewemove is an online agent that has no high street branches”

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  15. Hillofwad71

    Precisely.A £35k debt which is no sheep droppings for her dipping her toe in the property market courtesy of Ewemove now in salaried employment to pay off the debt.

    The industry has done little to shatter the illusion that Ewemove are propogating all you have  to do is turn up finish the s chool run  offer a winning smile and some steely determination and success awaits .

    Having the dream sold Ewemove are now part of a listed company  where there are  no friends in business  where at the end of the day it’s keeping shareholders happy

    “We believe in always doing the right thing. We’re honest, hard-working and helpful and that’s exactly what we look for in our franchisees. It’s these qualities that vendors and landlords seek when it comes to choosing an agency to instruct. So, who says nice guys don’t win?”

    Are they doing the right thing allowing some of these franchisees to struggle on debts remaining intact ?.No fun and games either for the flock of failed  franchisees sent to the abbatoir  suckered in by this Little Bo-Peep story .

    I guess they were the black sheep and Ewemove were the nice guys and bailed them out!

    Many of the franchisees apart from having nil property experience haven’t even run a business before.Some of them never stood a chance .The failure rate is unacceptable and little empathy seems to be shown .Sink or swim There must be some personal tragedies amongst the failed franchisees whose experience with Ewemove willl have a deep and lasting affect on their futures with debt millstones

    Even Franchise of the year Leek where fair play to him he is nailing  some sales in not an easy area to start up in, it certainly doesn’t look from Companies  House that he is bringing in £100kpa +after nearly 5 years of trading

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09026971

    His latest set of accounts showing a negative balance in 2018 from a positive in 2017.No wool in the barn and been trading since 2014 .Having said that it does  look as if  it reflects his success and he has expanded and taken on additional staff.NowThe exception that proves the rule

    The Head Shepherd keeps very quiet about the amount of personal debt accrued by some of the franchisees currently trading with little evidence from  current instructions (sales and letting !!!!) ever to reduce.It’s frightening

     

    Keep bu**ering on

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