The Ethical Agent Network – It’s Not for Everyone

I was going to do a video recording of this announcement, but I tend to ramble as my mind plays ‘idea roulette’ with my mouth.

Thankfully (or maybe hopefully), I write better than I speak.

So, I thought I’d do an open letter to explain to agents and industry partners (we don’t call them suppliers) what we’re doing, and why, with the Ethical Agent Network (EAN).

So, what is it?

I’ve always believed that businesses can have a soul.

Something you can’t put your finger on, but that just feels right.

A business built around win-wins and being the best it can possibly be.

Simply put, the Ethical Agent Network (EAN) will bring like-minded agents and partners together and give them the tools and support to succeed as businesses and make a positive difference to the lives of their clients, colleagues and community.

It will provide members with more comprehensive content, access to exceptional trainers from the industry (and beyond) and a supportive community, along with referral income opportunities.

It will also show prospective clients that when an agent is a member, they’ve pledged to follow the highest ethical and professional standards (marketing material we produce will support this).

Our motto is Doing the Right Things, and quite simply, we want to do exactly that across all aspects of the services we provide.

We’ve created the six pillars of the EAN.

They are:

Content: We’re pretty good at this in the Estate Agent Content Club, but the EAN will provide more in terms of monthly themed campaigns and extras like guides, direct mail and email nurture campaigns.

Courses: A monthly budget of at least £1,000 (the more members the EAN accepts, the more budget goes towards getting trainers and coaches in). For example, when we hit 100 members, we’ll have a training budget of £5,000 per month.

Care: Health and mental wellbeing courses and access to trainers to support the person as much as the professional. Also, care for your business through marketing critiques and mystery shops twice a year.

Connections: The EAN will only accept approved partners based on a code of ethics. So, suppliers that don’t act like partners and use sharp practices like overly long notice periods and automatic 12-month renewals will be about as welcome as a cold caller during the middle of your favourite TV show.

Community: We will provide Karma Club donations of £500 a month to match fund EAN members’ community and charity efforts. Not only that, but we are creating quarterly campaigns supported by PR, marketing and consultancy from our team of experts. For example: Have a Christmas Toy Appeal for people to drop toys off at your office, and we’ll provide you with video templates, news releases, social media posts and supporting, easily editable graphics.

Collaboration: We will provide ethically-minded, community-focused agents a place to share ideas, solve issues and learn from each other. A strict code of ethics applies and a very defined ‘no d!ckheads’ rule will be in place.

Why it’s not for everyone

Not all agents will be interested in the EAN.

They won’t see the point and benefits.

They might not identify as being ethical.

Or they’re just happy with the status quo.

Whatever the reason, we understand.

Because we know it’s not for everyone.

And that’s exactly why it works.

What’s different from other industry networks?

Well, for starters, we will listen to what you want.

You’re estate agents, we’re not – you know what your agency needs – we’ll gather up the ideas and create the content, courses and connections that non-competing, independent agents want.

We are in a strong financial position with a long-term plan for the EAN, so we’re in no rush to accept any member or partner who doesn’t share our values and commitment to doing the right things.

It’s not all about the money, but it is ALL about making a difference to our members and the communities they serve.

And to prove that, we’ve created five scholarship places. These are heavily discounted monthly subscriptions for new / smaller agencies who do the right things, act ethically across all areas, but need a bit more support to get to where they want to be.

The scholarships will be based on turnover and a couple of other pieces of criteria.

The goal

We’re not aiming to be the biggest, but we do want to be the best.

I was asked by a member of the Content Club where I want the EAN to be in five years’ time?

First up, I said if a company that shared our values came in and said, “here’s X millions Jerry son, go buy that caravan in the New Forest you’ve always dreamed of”, it wouldn’t be something I’d rule out.

I would be lying if I said that’s not a possibility that’s crossed my mind.

But what I do want in 2028 is for the monthly subscription fee to the EAN to be the most valuable payment members make each month – because of the value they get from it.

Talking of value

The price for EAN membership is a £499+VAT per month investment.

Again, it’s not for everyone.

But the value of everything provided will be three to four times that.

I’ve never been more confident and up for a project than I am about the EAN.

And it all kicks off next month during a two-month trial period of testing and tweaking before we ‘go live’ in July.

Thanks for reading.

Jerry 🙂

PS: If you want to know a bit more about the EAN, check out the 18-minute presentation that I made at a recent event.