Thursday, 19 June 2008

And here is the catch!

We posted a while back about the Foxtons offer of zero commission. A kindly ex employee comments on our post as follows:

As a former employee, I can reveal this is a very simple scheme. Foxtons will staff the Camden office with around 4 or 5 junior new sales negotiators (ie: graduates with no experience whatsoever) plus a newly promoted and hungry management team. - There is a fixed time limit (probably mid Sept) for you to get your property under offer. You only pay nothing if an offer accepted before that date proceeds to exchange.- To qualify you must be on sole agency and erect a board.Ergo, if the 4 or 5 virgin negotiators have the good fortune to stumble into a buyer before September and Foxton's inflated valuation is affirmed by the surveyor, then you might be lucky. around 5 or 6 of the 200 instructions they have taken on may get the Foxton treatment for free. The rest will discover in September that they have over-exposed their property for 3 months at an inflated price and will now be contractually bound to pay Foxtons a 2.5% fee on whatever offer they eventually get.Bon Chance!

It is no surprise, yet it is a shame that Foxtons are trying to blatantly trick customers. I almost commended the decision to offer zero commission as a good business strategy to capture market share in that area, but I cannot condone such a strategy that would appear to deliberately mislead the customer, why not just make good on the promise with no catches, what is wrong with them!

This does nothing to help all the struggling agents and agents that are trying to break free and distance themselves from such adverse publicity. Indeed this will just fuel the acceleration of the high street exodus. I have never bought into the ‘let’s blame Foxtons’ campaign, but when they pull stunts like this I am bound to say that our predictions of high street closures and a new highly personalised, customer focused, online estate agent are spot on and when we analyse this revolutionary period of change there will be those that look at Foxtons as a significant contributor to the demise of the high street agent.

Vive la revolution.

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