EweMove says that its recruitment of Local Property Partners is now firmly under way.
However, managing director Nick Neill has criticised the quality of some applicants who have experience of similar roles at other online firms.
He said: “We have had applications from Local Property Experts at Purplebricks.
“One approached us saying they did not want to get involved in selling houses, or have anything to do with the sale.
“They told us that all they wanted was two appointments a day to go out on and try to list, and then they wanted to go home, having done the job and made their money.
“It was a very easy decision for us not to take on this person.
“We are only looking for excellent agents who will see deals through from beginning to end.
“We want to recruit agents who will see the valuation visit as the first step on the journey, not the only and last step.
“It is something I am passionate about – for the vendor, the person that they first sit down with on the sofa will be the same person they see at all the viewings, and the person who will do all the negotiations and progression.
“That is actually quite rare in estate agency.
“We do pay our Local Property Partners for a listing – £250 – but the bulk of their pay is on the sale, when they can typically expect about £500 more, depending on area and type or property.
“We think that if a Local Property Partner lists ten properties a month and sells half of them – although we are doing better than that – they would be earning £65,000 a year.”
Neill said that the initiative to recruit Local Property Partners was only launched at the end of April, but the reaction has been mostly promising.
There are currently two Local Property Partners ‘live’ in the field, with two more about to start work. There are a further 23 applicants who look likely to be accepted.
He said: “We want to do this properly. I think we will take on 40 or 50 this year: any more than that, and I would probably want to slow recruitment down. It is vital we take on the right people, not take part in a race to recruit the most people on the ground.”
He said that EweMove, part of The Property Franchise Group, will continue to recruit new franchise owners.
“One of the reasons we wanted to go the Local Property Partner route is that, in recruiting new franchisees, we met some excellent people.
“But some were worried about the risk of taking on a franchise, and others simply didn’t have the capital.
“We offer our Local Property Partners three-year contracts, to try and bridge those issues.
“At the end of the three years, our partners can make the decision to leave, carry on as they are, or take out a full franchise if they have convinced themselves the model works and they can make more money out of it.”