One-on-one interview: Darren Harley of EweMove.com
Stephen Maunder continues his regular look at national and regional estate agents across the UK by speaking to Darren Harley, franchisee success coach at EweMove.com
What makes EweMove a unique proposition?
EweMove is a modern brand; offering power to people and doing away with estate agent speak to provide a more personal service. Whether you're communicating on the telephone, by email or by letter, people want to be spoken to in the same language. You will also be dealing with the same person throughout the process, from showing you around the property to agreeing the deal.
A cardinal sin for estate agents is short opening hours. When I worked for a high street agency, we used to put up adverts boasting that we were open until 8.00pm. EweMove is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you're working days or nights there will always be somebody to speak to.
We are a franchise-based operation, and a huge part of our success is choosing the right people. Our newest franchisees have been a great success and are really hitting the ground running. We currently have 37 branches across England and Wales and have been growing at the rate of a branch a week.
How competitive is the pricing at EweMove compared to traditional high street agents?
We pride ourselves on offering an exceptional service for a reasonable fee. Our pricing changes from area to area and depends upon whether we are signing contracts with sole selling rights or on multiple agent agreements. We always back ourselves to sell your property and we've proven our abilities so far with some exceptional sales at well over market value.
Tell me about Rent now, Buy later
Rent Now Buy Later is an innovative five- to ten-year scheme which gives people who perhaps don't have huge deposits saved the opportunity to get on to the ladder. Customers agree a purchase price for a property and have a clause to allow them to purchase it within a five- to ten-year period. In the meantime, they pay rent and an affordable monthly payment which goes in to a protected deposit fund towards their eventual purchase. It's a great model that differs significantly from others on the market and it's been very successful to date.
What are your expectations for 2014?
It's an interesting time, we're exploding in terms of branches and reach across the country, and bringing our service to new areas will be very exciting. Across the market as a whole, there is the expectation of an average house price increase of 8% in the UK. There will be more homes available to buy, with an increase in people selling towards the back end of the year, but there will still not be enough properties available to satisfy demand.
You can find out more about EweMove at www.EweMove.com