EYE Exclusive: Property Franchise Group boss comes clean over ‘dead sheep’ at EweMove

The boss of The Property Franchise Group last night admitted that a number of EweMove franchisees have failed.

However Ian Wilson also said that taking out a franchise could be a ‘licence to print money’.

Wilson was last night responding to persistent claims from EYE poster Hillofwad that there have been significant failures among EweMove franchisees.

He has alleged that some have inadequate previous experience, and go on to win few listings, and chalk up large personal debts.

Hillofwad yesterday claimed that 23 EweMove franchisees have ‘died’ since a list of franchisees was published in May last year.

We put this to Wilson, who provided other figures: of the 2014 and 2015 franchisee recruits, he said that 42 are no longer trading.

However, he said that since 2016 the number of franchisees withdrawing is down to single figures.

He said that husbands and wives and other personal partners wanting to work together made the failure rate shoot up dramatically – and that such applications made his heart sink.

Other failures have been among franchisees wanting to play at the business, when really they should have been playing at golf.

Wilson told us that ‘tough love’ has been administered to franchisees, who have been told that it is not a lifestyle business.

Wilson also said that while experienced agents outperform inexperienced non-agents in the first two years, after that there is no difference.

He told us: “The EweMove franchise is a licence to print money for the right recruits.”

His full blog, exclusive for EYE, follows this story.

The current directory of branches is at the link below, supplied to us as correct by EweMove.

https://www.ewemove.com/branch-directory/

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35 Comments

  1. smile please

    Are they going to tighten up their recruitment process in the future? Why is it Ewemove have such a high failure rate compared to other TPFG brands?

    Well done HOW of bringing this to the attention of others. Hopefully will save others from making an expensive mistake.

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    1. PropPro69

      A quick look at Companies House shows 205 Ewe Move franchisee companies having been set up since 2015.   Of these, 56 have already gone t*ts up and 12 are now trading outside the Ewe Move brand, presumably having been released from their franchise agreements, a total of 68 or 33.2%.   I do not know of any other British Franchise Association member company with such a high failure rate.

      In addition, the vast majority of Ewe Move franchisees have been recruited in the last two years and, bearing in mind that their franchisees don’t have the £1,000 per month fee applied for the first year, l believe we will see the brand go in meltdown in the next few months, particularly if the property market declines at the same time.

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  2. Hillofwad71

    Well finally an admission and that is to be thanked  for having to step up to the plate for the Head Shepherd
     
      However, he said that since 2016 the number of franchisees withdrawing is down to single figures.!
     
    Still in denial  on the numbers as the  23  franchises who have  disappeared since 2018 shows  
     
    The Head Shepherd  has been constantly accusing that the number of failures have been misrepresented whilst  waxing lyrical about Ewemove being star performers  
     
    They are a listed company who provider regulatory news statements which investors make decisions  on  
     
    Subsitute neglect for “Tough Love” for leaving them out in the field too long  racking up  further debts whilst boasting how the revenue has increased .
    It was clear that some of the  butchers and candlestickmakers   from early on that they should have  been put out of their  misery sooner rather than incur life changing debts  
     
    Likewise there have been some who have made a success of it The types who would make a success in any industry However these are the exceptions to the rule
     
      For those still trading  still increasing deficits  and creditors year on year its not “tough love”they need but some shepherding 
     
    There are  a number currently trading whose losses are steadly increasing who need assistance   Time for some changes

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    1. BigVillan

      Getting a little bored of your one-eyed rants HoW. Yes, you are right, there are failures in our business, congratulations for pointing out the blindingly obvious. But your incessant attempts at targeting a lack of support from HQ and the Head Shepherd are unfounded as the business has put in place a huge amount of support including boot camps, online training, videos, webinars, business development managers and the expected support team at HQ amongst many other resources. Some of my colleagues may have sadly failed but it certainly isn’t as a result of being left “out in the field”. Get your facts right or stop ranting on about lack of support.

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      1. smile please

        Seeing as you seem to be in the ‘Know’ BV.

         

        Why does Ewemove has such a high failure rate compared to other brands in the TPFG? If the support is there is it poor recruitment of franishes?

         

        I have been very critical of Ewemoves recruitment policy and called out many times this Head Shepheard and the previous that it seems they are just happy to take peoples money but been assured numerous times that they turn down more than they take on.

         

        Something just does not ring true. I am sure there are successful individuals but i think so far year to date 14/15 franchises of Ewemove have closed.

         

         

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        1. s71

          Dear Smile Please & Hillofwad  
          BigVallian: for the Head Shepherd to say they hired people who should be  plying golf says it all; bring in any Tom, Dick and Harry, put them in boot camp show them how to value a proeprty and they become local LPE and start selling properties!!!
          If this are the people they hire to sale properties then i pitty the vendor. (Please note: not all the LPE’s are incapable, they maybe some who are exceptional)

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          1. BigVillan

            Firstly, let us be clear about who we are talking about here as some of you are confused (s71). The Head Shepherd is Nick Neill, EweMove MD, not Ian Wilson, he is the CEO of TPFG of which EweMove are just a part.

            I actually agree that some of the comments made by Ian come across harshly, but that is his style, he says it as he sees it, which is quite refreshing I guess, although not always palatable. I don’t think you would hear the Head Shepherd talking in such harsh tones.

            smile please, I don’t know the reason for the high failure rate, and it is disappointing to see colleagues try so hard but not make it but there are also others that appear to be very successful. Many of us are somewhere in between. It is easy to cast stones from afar but Nick isn’t just happy to take the money in my humble opinion, I think he feels the failure of any franchisee but does appear to be trying to put in place the resources for us to succeed. I don’t think there is any surprise that the change of recruitment process to include more experienced agents has slowed the failure rate. HoW the single figures comment was per annum but that was trimmed by Ros for this article.

            I don’t personally have any agency experience but am having enough success for me to be happy with my investment, making a decent salary, and despite Ian’s comments, many of us who started early on did come in as a lifestyle choice. There is no doubt that many have found it more difficult than anticipated and the PFG way is definitely different to the original EweMove way but we all have to adapt in life…

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            1. Hillofwad71

              Let’s be very clear IW has got it wrong perhaps misinformed by the Head Shepherd

              THE FAILURE RATE HAS NOT SLOWED ONE IOTA

               

              FAILURE rates are currently in double figures pa,  Already over 13 this year and we are only in August No signs of slowing as evidenced by Newmarket  heading for  the hills  yesterday

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              1. BigVillan

                Quite possiby HoW. To be honest, you are better informed than I about “failures”, not sure where you get your information from but I couldn’t tell you how many have decided to stop trading (as EweMove) this year from within the business so I am not going to argue the figure one way or the other without the facts.

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                1. Hillofwad71

                  Branch  Directory In May which was put up  here yesterday but taken  down  at the request of IW which conatined  adddress and contact details of dead franchisees

                  and branch directory today and x reference its not rocket science

                  Also In ths articlein Eye  listed the  agentswhich is broadly  similar and look at the directory today

                  https://propertyindustryeye.com/ewemove-looks-to-round-up-a-whole-new-flock-of-local-property-agents

                  Comment  18 Keyser Soze

                  DYOR today and you will see the 23  that have disappered Southampton and Chlemsford over the years  have seen not just 1 franchisse disapperar but 2

                  Ths year the following have gone Newmarket.Poole.Bolton North,Staines&Ashford Altrincham  Salford Cardiff  Bournville Streatham and Croydon  Stevenage Laindon Park Barnsley   one oft the franchises in Doncaster Pudsey

                  Certainly double figures which contardicts what Ian Wilson said !!!

                  No indication of any slowing down unfortunately

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      2. Hillofwad71

        Yes I am very  sorry that some of the franchisees have failed.Shoot the messenger These are the ones I am concerned with  Unfortunately  the number of failures have not been blindingly obvious as the Head Shepherd  has been consitentally saying that the number of failures have  been misrepresented  The Head Shepherd  failing to recognise that he has a duty as being  part  of a listed company to tell it as it is

        The facts are there in black  and white

        His pitches have been overly optimistic   differing from those of Ian Wilson who has been around the block

         

        What is clear now is that far too many and that  includes some of those still trading have been allowed to  continue without financial  support

        I guess we diifer I find it unpalatable  that the HS has boasted increased revenue to appease shareholders whilst the franchisees have suffered losses That shows a business naivety on behalf of the HS

         

        The numbers failing are not dwindling as even thisimorning Ewemove Newmarket  who joined13 months ago threw in the towel

        He had just the 1 instruction

         

        How do you think he feels about the HS boasts ?Questions need  be asked of the management Franchisees like yourself have a difficlut enough job in a challenging market

         

         

         

         

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  3. MikeT

    I would be amazed if even the best performing Ewemove franchisees thought that their business was a ‘licence to print money’. I bet they work extremely hard and long hours like most agents, so I would find that comment very insulting.

    I would like to know how many franchisees currently exist and how many sales completions do they average each month?

    I also notice that no figure was actually given for the number of franchisees going down since 2016? Even so, there are probably loads struggling but tied into 5 year agreements and can do nothing about it.

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    1. s71

      Mike to add to what you say,
       
      please advise how many are running a money printing press as per the licence given by the Head Shepherd

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  4. JonnyBanana43

    I’ve kept all the aggressive EWE move letters this gang have sent to my staff…

    “ traditional estate agency is dead… Leave your job and come and work for me… Pots of gold at the end of the rainbow… “

    If anybody wants the letters, let me know – I saved them for a day like this! Sent from some outfit in York.

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    1. mrtickle

      This doesn’t surprise me. I had to proofread one of those letters in a former life. I was appalled by how unprofessional they were… and how long they were. One was about 8 pages long and didn’t tell get to the point of what the letter was about until the top of page 3.

       

      Cringeworthy.

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  5. LetItGo

    Smacks of lack of support to me:

    boot camps, online training, videos, webinars, business development managers and the expected support team at HQ amongst many other resources

     

    online training, videos, webinars – isn’t really support, just lip service

    Boot camps – really?

    Business development managers – they left years ago!

    HO staff – mmmm

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    1. FlyingSheep54

      Which BDM’s left? Enlighten us.

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      1. Hillofwad71

        Flying Sheep

        Is there a sense of camradarie amongst  the franchisees?  or is it like fighter pilots in World War 2  who steered away from  any attatchment knowing that they would suffer emotionally by forming friendships  with  the many who perished?

        Have those who are making good money clubbed together and taken one for the team and formed a whip helping those who have suffered devesating personal losses

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        1. FlyingSheep54

          Yes there is a good vibe between franchisees and also between us and the franchisor on the whole. It’s not perfect but what business is?
          I have noticed though that the harder I work, the luckier I get. The opposite is also true and might hint at why some franchises have failed. The business model works but it it needs franchise owners to graft. You’ll find the most succesful franchisees working the hardest.
          My final thought: empty vessels make the most noise. Have a good day.

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          1. s71

            FlyingSheep54
            for our information please advise how much money have you made of the printing press?

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          2. Hillofwad71

            Thanks for the response.
            Yes I am sure you are one of the  good franchisees in the fold and fair play  
            What must be concerning is the number over  20% failure rate since May 2018  when the HS has been bleating the carnage has slowed
            Surely you must find that  unacceptable ? That has been dimissed by the HS with troaway coment “Some don;t make It
            t Its clear nothing has been learned from past  mistakes 
            Surely those who  are in charge of recuitment are contributory negligent Some of the franchisees from  the looks of their CV never  stood a chance
            I should imagine all the franchisees  who are trading  well must be horrified at the casualties Its bound to reflect badly . Arent you demanding something should be done about it?
            The offer introduced last  year of £250 per board and 20% of the action doesnt seem 
            to be doing any a favours with the paucity of instructions currently enjoyed 
             
            Can you identify any of the new LPPs  apart from Swindon North who looks to have started  off well who are actually making a decent  wage
             
            Been watching TPFG closely as a suitable investment unfortuantely what  is going on at Ewemove 
            has  caused me to bypass 

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    2. BigVillan

      Another inaccurate statement from someone who thinks they know more than they actually do LetItGo. We have 2 very good BDM’s thank you, and they are always available to provide support. And Boot Camps – yes, really! If you are going to comment then at least be accurate.

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      1. LetItGo

        2 BDMs for what, the whole of the PFG, Ellis & Co, Martin & Co, Parkers….with 300 offices thats 150 each, 3 per week per BDM call that support!

        Maybe you meant just ewemove….maybe thats why its its failing….

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  6. Keyser Söze

    TPFG bought a dud when all of the big corporates were panic buying online agencies. It has been damage limitation since to try and defend the decision.

    It’s not all about the franchises that go under. It’s also about the ones that are barely keeping their head above the water and not seeing the fruits that were once promised.

    There will always be outliers and miracle workers who manage to make something of it but the masses appear to be left disappointed.

    Of the few currently succeeding, which ones already had an established lettings portfolio?

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    1. jaggingon

      “It’s not all about the franchises that go under. It’s also about the ones that are barely keeping their head above the water and not seeing the fruits that were once promised.”
       
      Couldn’t agree more. The most successful franchisees will be flying the flag. The vast majority that are just getting by while giving it every last drop of energy are trapped in lengthy franchise agreements that offer very little option to leave (unless they want to be saddled with life-changing financial penalties) all the while paying ever increasing fees and marketing costs.

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      1. Property Poke In The Eye

        Most Martin and Co and Ellis and Co Franchsies in West London and North West London I know are struggling.  Check their accounts at companies house and you will know what I mean.

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  7. GPL

     

    “licence to print money” ???

     

    A spectacularly BOLD statement ……An ODD statement

     

    Must be “Boris/Trump” rubbing off ……go LARGE statement and deflect from what is actually going?

     

    Words are Free …   the reaction to them can cost dearly!

     

     

     

     

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  8. Property Poke In The Eye

    Should Franchisors be regulated by the FCA? Could selling a franchise be classed as selling an investment?  If so what risk warnings need to be on the franchise being sold.

    I think mis sold franchises could possibling open up claims like the PPI scandal.

     

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  9. Stapler1

    There is some absolute rubbish and poor articles with limited or no research coming through Property Industry Eye at the moment. Not sure why everyone takes these articles 100% serious. I think I would be taking what is written in their articles with a pinch of salt! Last week there was one about a new estate agent being the first to offer free HomeTrack reports so property owners are well informed – I know at least 3 agents in my area, 2 national, that have been doing this for years!

    I am sure, as with any business, there will be some outstanding EweMove franchisees and some that are not successful. I mean, it is not exactly an easy time for estate agents is it! How many big corporates are closing shops/offices at the moment?

    In our local towns we have seen a few gone such as Bridgfords, Carter Jonas and also a couple of local independents. But I also have seen two new, independent agents open and making a success of it, a new-ish Hunter franchise seemingly do okay and the EweMove and Martin & Co in our area (and Surrounding EweMoves as well) all seem to be doing pretty well over the last few years.

    I also know that a number of the “Closed” Ewemove franchisees have bought existing portfolios and changed brand to the company they were buying (some still in TPFG) – so it is not always as meets the eye.

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  10. Hillofwad71

    I think you need to take the article v, seriously .  Facts are facts  Which bit about 23 out of less than a 100  franchisees  fallen by the wayside dont you understand  since May 2018 .

     

    Meanwhile the HS submiting pres releases  bleating about how succesful the parent company is

     

    Its called misleading  !!

    Perhaps go into Companies House and look the various  accounts which confirms this before  posting an indignant reply

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  11. Hillofwad71

    One final comment If I had been mugged for £20k  and every year it is sitting there sitting staring at  me in the deficit  column   i wouldnt be a  happy lamb that new recruits are arriving being granted franchises for SFA. I would want my money back

     

    Maybe that is what they ought to be doing

    Furthermore encouraging those with no expereince to join yet awarding   those with property exp joining on  preferential terms

    The former treated like black sheep

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  12. WishEweWereHere

    This is not ‘industry news’ this is an absolute load of rubbish! A bitter keyboard warrior who obviously has some sort of vendetta and ALOT of time of their hands – a big indication of why you haven’t made a success of your endeavours previously. I wish I had all day to sit in the comments section but I’ve been at WORK! Selling homes for wonderful families who have entrusted my great little company with their biggest asset.

    You insinuate you’re aim is to defend those that have ‘failed’? Well in the process you’re trying to pull down all of those Franchisees who work tirelessly to create excellent businesses only to have some saddo try and undo it all?? You must feel so big and clever – but you DON’T pay my mortgage and you DON’T feed my 11 month old. As if I didn’t have enough motivation to get up and get to work, you and your spiteful envy has just given me another!

    So from the bottom of my heart a great big thank EWE and I hope that one day you can let go of whatever it was that made you such a Negative Norman because honestly all this tosh says more about you than it does about EweMove

    My Best 🙂

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    1. Hillofwad71

      Well have to admit I have spent a considerable amount of time  digging out the truth behind the hype.this is of course no reflection on the number of franchisees who are excellent and successful
       
      You should be concerned at the unacceptable amount of failures and management’s response I would be furious having put good  money into a franchsie Failures showing no sign of slowing and management’s attempt to sweep it under the carpet   
       
      Research as  an investor  has  stood me in good stead steered me away from Purplebricks at its height and followed Countrywide all the way down from 600p It also led me after initial  reservations to invest in Belvoir.
      Others of course see things differentally  
      During that research  to be frank i was  shocked at the level of debt amongst many existing and failed franchisees 
      Believe me it doesnt make happy reading 
      Especially so as the” happy  sheep” image  has done everything thecan to dismiss this
      Call me old fashioned I find this unpalatable Idon’t apologise for revealing the results of my research
      Even yesterday 1 fellofthecliff
       
      We are not taking about a few £k here we are talking about hundredsof thousand sof accumulated by franchisees Life changing amounts

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    2. Hillofwad71

      Rereading your post I do appreciate that  my comments are not helpful  to you  trying  to run  a business in a challenging  market I do apologise for that Life is difficult  enough without someone like myself ranting 
       
      However I would be directing my rightful indignation at those who can make the necessary changes  to stop the rot 
       
       

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  13. Quags

    Webinars and Boot Camps

     

    Hahahahaha oh lord.

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