EYE NEWSFLASH: Redundancy consultations under way at ZPG

News reached us this morning that redundancy consultations are under way within ZPG Group.
ZPG has given us this statement:

“The unprecedented difficulties faced by the property market have required us to reflect on the way we take our business forward.

“A key element of this is how we support our software customers.

“We believe our proposal, which would see the creation of two support two centers of excellence, offering an improved, more integrated service to our customers in the months and years to come.

“The proposal would see the closure of our Brackley and Pocklington offices and in turn a number of roles across our organisation could potentially be made redundant after a period of consultation with staff.

“These proposals have not been made lightly and are the next steps of a thorough review and consultation.

“We are in discussions with the potentially impacted colleagues and offering them our full support during this difficult time.”

“We are committed to offering our customers the very best service and are confident that if we were to implement the proposed changes they would not compromise this commitment.”

The company has also explained some of the detail of what is taking place, and why.
 
No decisions have been taken at this stage as we are in the early stages of consultation with potentially impacted employees.

Any changes would, if implemented, be made as part of a long-term investment into ensuring a mutually successful relationships with our customers.

If the proposals are implemented following consultation,they would enable us to create two support centres of excellence where multiple software brands are supported. 

We believe that doing so would improve the service we offer with immediate benefit to our existing customers as well as allow us to continue to improve our service in the months and years to come.

We also believe that the proposals, if implemented, would allow us to deliver an improved customer experience, with enhanced Help Centres for self serve content – how to, best practice, and troubleshooting.

Our Software business has been built up through five acquisitions which have never been properly integrated over the years.

These proposals, if implemented following consultation , would help us do that.

Among the updated functionality to be offered would be instant support with Webchat across all of our brands, providing customers realtime online support.

We have invested £30 million in our agent partners as part of our two fee structures launched in March and are committed to their success long-term.

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22 Comments

  1. simonwilkinson73

    “Unprecedented problems in the property market” – where? You should have been working here after the MIRAS Crash August 1987! Most agents are having record sales months. This is nothing more than ‘natural selection’ good agents/portals will survive. Many SME agencies have adapted and evolved to the market we are now in and are thriving. Those that have not and remain closed will not survive.

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    1. DerekSharpham

      A record sale MONTH – let’s not get carried away…

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  2. Jockey

    Interesting to see the reaction of commentators to new that will, unfortunately, become more and more prevalent as more efficient ways of providing an excellent customer experience are implemented, and if the reaction is the same as those who were more of an ‘early adopter’ to these prevailing winds.

    The industrial revolution replaced people with machines….

    Technological progress and the desire from customers to have a very personal but frictionless interaction with a service provider, will mean there will always be change.

    It can still be business as usual (or even improved)…just different.

    John Lewis announcing store closures and job redundancies – this was always going to happen with their significant improvement in their previous online offering (until the did the price match and lost 90% of their profits). You can always buy ‘cheap’. Cheap and great you cannot have – there is a balance.

    Belvior announced yesterday a move for partnership with The Nottingham Building Society and to share office space and the exciting opportunities this would now bring to their respective industries and were being praised, only for later in the day to announce this would result in the closure of a number of Belvoir offices – where was the online fury at that? Didn’t happen.

    Rationalisation will always take place, but as businesses more and more align their offering to what customers want, and also take more account of Millennials and now also Generation Z, then changes will happen.

    Early adopters of such new working practices should perhaps be given a little more credit than has been the case in the past?

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    1. chris

      Most of the larger buy-outs/mergers I have seen in my lifetime ended up in a sorry state. This inevitably, normally a few years later, opens the door for others or previous entrepreneurial owners to return to the arena with virtually the same product albeit updated and improved.

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    2. AlwaysAnAgent

      Jockey – your facts are all over the place and plain wrong. John Lewis is laying off staff because they were in a tough position before lockdown and now they need to alter their cost base. ZPG were always going to lay off staff after being acquired and COVID provides the perfect opportunity. Belvoir didn’t announce any closures they said they were opening in 11 of the society offices. Check your facts before babbling nonsense.

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  3. smile please

    Sad when this news comes out about any firm,

    Given the diversification over the years of ZPG, is this just a convenient excuse to cut costs?

    For a start, no need for account managers who are probably 25 – 35k p.a. = Us as agents never hear from them.

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    1. chris

      Always hear from mine (in recent years not the same one) once a year giving you when they are about to raise prices normally giving you options but pushing the benefits of the most costly one.

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      1. MarkJ

        Cost saving idea…… they could car share with the Rightmove rep.

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  4. Property Pundit

    Did they furlough staff like we heard Rightmove did?

    Has Rightmove paid their furlough cash back yet?

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  5. Neil Robinson

    That’s a shame. I worked for PSG, which became part of ZPG whilst I was there, and I enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.

    Certainly from reading this, it seems ZPG is going to become completely London-centric. I’m surprised Pocklington has lasted as long as it has, to be honest, but the closure of Brackley seems to signal the beginning of the end for Jupix. Again, not too surprising given that all the investment goes into Alto, which is the most modern and (presumably) flexible platform of the three they offer.

    For balance, I can totally see why they’re doing this, but it’s devastating for those who work there.

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  6. Ouch18

    Using the pandemic situation to shed staff and other costs imo!

    Property markets booming and they’ve done pretty well out of it!

    Started to get too cocky for my liking and we came off zoopla 4 mths ago because of their attitude (very similar to Rightmove) towards us when negotiating a renewal.

    Do not build them into the animal that Rightmove became because that’s the way they’re going !

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  7. GPL

     
     
    Smoke screen.  
     
     

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  8. Ric

    Shame, not great news… no matter how **** I think Zoopla is, it cannot be great to get the call/email/text. Awful.

     

     

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  9. MarkJ

    We still use Encorelive for sales and our support costs rose 10% in January 2020.  Not great when the wait time for support has increased greatly (in my experience). We also got shafted on a forced upgrade on CFP Winman a few years ago… increased costs with no functional benefit to us.  Take it or leave it attitude….

    Rationalisation on software and people.  Definite smokescreen for wringing out more profit by Silver Lake

     

    Genuine Question  ….Have they ever been investigated by the CMA for largely controlling the estate agent software market in the uk?

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    1. Neil Robinson

      I’m not surprised support costs have gone up, but I’m very surprised they’ve only gone up by 10%. EncoreLive is ancient and user numbers simply HAVE to be dwindling.

      In terms of CMA, the short answer is yes. They were referred when they bought out Expert Agent, and were found they’d no case to answer.

      There are several credible software providers out there. ZPG is in no way the default option.

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  10. MarkJ

    Quote “We have invested £30 million in our agent partners as part of our two fee structures launched in March and are committed to their success long-term.”

    I love people who spin things…. as if they had a realistic choice.

    They forgot to add       “…..as without them we wouldnt have a business ourselves.”

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    1. Neil Robinson

      That’s a bit harsh. I mean, without sellers or landlords, you wouldn’t have a business either. Every business relies on its customers. 

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  11. Angi Cooney

    How disappointing to read this – as a JUPIX user who has had to make the decision to change to ALTO due to lack of investment in the JUPIX product I cant quite believe what I am reading. Downturn in the property market??? Where …. For anyone who is working in Siberia maybe.  What about all the fantastic staff at JUPIX what is happening to them?  I truly believe to not invest in a product for years is a disgrace. I know that the user feedback for JUPIX is 100% all the time can you honestly say this for the rest of the ZPG products ! Big mistake !

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  12. Gpassmore855

    Just a callous excuse to cut costs after the covid-19 crisis!!

     

    The staff who support these products have been always been great, a masive shame to hear about this news…

    Once again things will be looking to move toward a more automated “self serve” approach – absolutely useless!! I’m sure 99% of agents would prefer a more hands on and human approach rather than this robotic nonsense. Time to jump ship…?

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  13. Robert_May

    Firms like  Bright Logic &10 Ninety  are going to be busy with enquiries from the Jupix, Expert agent users. Reapit and Dezrez too

     

    5 legacy system  with the diversity of  EA and Jupix users through CORE,  CFP and Vebra won’t ever be accommodated onto a single platform that’s attempting the range of coverage expected of it.

     

    The dismantling of everything that existed there is nothing short of embarrassing for all concerned.

     

    I pointed out the vulnerability of Zoopla  because of its legacy CRMs when portal  wars kicked off this confirms my thoughts.

    Complacently running No2 to Rightmove means  Zoopla is back where it was before it  bought PSG

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    1. 77-78-81-84-05-19

      Crikey. Very bitter comment Rob! I would love to know how you always know so much about other businesses future plans?

      Anyway I must say how gutted I am for some of the staff who will lose their jobs. Yes the market has been good for agents in the last few weeks but do some people on here honestly think that offering free portal access and huge software discounts wouldn’t have any consequences.

      Who ever leaves though will be a huge loss to the software department. They have been brilliant over the years in my experience producing and supporting market leading software solutions. Great company, great software and great staff.

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  14. Robert_May

    It isn’t bitter, I have been  posting this was inevitable for a very long time.

    I was the one taking “what now?” calls from staff affected by this as soon as the news broke. they are staff who have worked for me at CFP and with me at Jupix

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