The Property Software Group, part of ZPG, is to pull support for some of its older software products because of the new General Data Protection Regulations.
It is the first tangible sign of the upheaval that the new regime, coming in next May, could cause. While PSG is playing this down, the concern for agents is the relatively short time frame they have to identify, purchase, get a new software system in place – and have staff trained up in its use.
One agent, with a large portfolio of properties, told us they have had ‘sleepless nights’ worrying about the cost and disruption to their business. They felt they were simply being pressurised into purchasing another ZPG system.
The agents affected are those using CFP Premise and Premise Platinum, and CFP Winman ADB products who have been told that support will be withdrawn from May 25 next year, when the new GDPR kick in.
Agents will still be able to use the software under their existing licences, but uploads to the portals will stop, as will SMS delivery. There will be no more user training, and support in the instance of system issues or hardware failure will cease.
Users have been written to, advising them to make alternative arrangements before May 25 “as your properties will be removed from our servers after this date”.
The letter continues: “We are aware that your estate agency software system is key to the operation of your business and this decision has not been taken lightly.”
One user says the decision has come as a “great shock”. He says six months is too short to find and implement an alternative.
The agent told us: “As a loyal customer of more than ten years using Vebra Premise, we feel the rug has been pulled from under our business.
“I am not sure how long they have known about this but feel they have given woefully short notice to adapt.
“We have 1,000+ active properties that we let and manage, and the disruption in trying to change to another management system is massive as well as the huge cost involved.
“There is an incredible amount of data and financial information within the current software that needs to be transferred. Their letter offers no help other than a sales contact to sell us another system. Their excuse for discontinuing is not reasonable and the holding company, Zoopla Property Group, certainly has the resources to ensure all their software functions adequately.”
A spokesperson for PSG told us that only a few agents are affected.
He said: “We have written to a very small number of our partners and given them six months’ notice of our intention to remove support for our legacy products: CFP Premise, CFP Premise Platinum and CFP Winman ADB software.
“Over the last few years we have been slowly removing these older desktop products from the market and helping our customers transition to the latest desktop or cloud versions of our market leading products.
“The majority of those who transition to one of our newer products will have all of the current functionality as well as further significant business-enhancing new functionality.
“GDPR has been a catalyst for the recent letter as we are in the process of ensuring all of our ongoing software will enable all customers to be fully compliant with the new regulations.
“This does not affect our main CFP Winman SDB product in any way.
This is nothing out of the ordinary and is in line with how we’ve worked with our customers on older products over the last few years.”