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Pro Step Marketing Files Lawsuit Against Real Estate Webmasters (REW)

Pro Step Marketing files a lawsuit against Real Estate Webmasters (REW) for breach of contract related to Purchase of Selected Assets.

DENVER, NC, USA, March 31, 2016 / -- Pro Step Marketing (PSM) filed a lawsuit against Real Estate Webmasters (REW) for Breach of Contract related to Purchase of Selected Assets.

Click to view complaint

The lawsuit, filed in Lincoln County North Carolina Superior Court, outlines how the defendants Real Estate Webmasters (REW), with CEO Morgan Carey at the helm failed to make the 2/16/2016 scheduled $50,000.00 second payment per the agreement after taking control of Pro Step Marketing client accounts.

Over the course of nearly 3 months, negotiations occurred between Morgan Carey and Pro Step Marketing for REW to acquire Pro Step Marketing’s website hosting business. A letter of intent was signed in August 2015 which included significant amount of sales prices to be determined via an Earn Out calculation based on retaining 90% of monthly revenues to alleviate Mr. Carey’s concern of a “Mass Exodus” of clients as a result of the sale. As a result, the approach communicated to the REW and PSM due diligence team’s by Mr. Carey was to provide a “low impact” transition to clients, that “nobody likes to be Forced to Change”. A REW team was assigned by Mr. Carey, to conduct a due diligence review over the next 30 – 45 days consisting of Carrie Van Hoffen to review financial data, Guy Champagne, to review all contracts / reseller agreements, Niki Techen to review code base / server / technology, Anton Nikl, to double check items and contact vendors to ensure proper accounts transition, and Morgan Carey. During this time, PSM provided all requested information, and proactively communicated and coordinated billing gateway requirements utilizing Pay Pal and Front Stream Technology for a seamless billing transition. The due diligence process was signed off in mid October. With completion of due diligence, PSM was led to believe that REW could fully operate and support it’s US based clients with a “low impact” transition, process billing payments via the identified gateway provider, that REW systems provided the same or superior functionality and that "transition plan" would be provided and managed by REW. On October 31, 2015, Pro Step Marketing clients were notified of the acquisition.

According to the complaint, REWs intentions however, as they unfolded over the several weeks, proved to be larcenous. A transition plan was never provided. A post on the Facebook ProStep group page by Mr. Carey caused a panic as clients understood that the systems they had invested in would be turned off, that they were being forced to change. Several days later, Mr. Champagne notified PSM that the application process with Frontstream Technology had been abandoned because it was “problematic”, requiring bypassing the integrated billing system, and requiring all clients to sign up on a separate REW billing system. REW’s promoted replacement website system offering only applied to a small percentage of PSM clients utilizing custom sites. As time progressed, REW appeared to be unable to provide a value add sales approach for clients and succumbed to simply referring to PSM systems with unsubstantiated claims of being antiquated or obsolete. Based on REW actions, PSM was led to believe that REW was purposely driving down the sales price by eliminating the earn out payment, attempting to gain only PSM top clients with custom sites.

“For 14 years Pro Step Marketing (PSM) delivered high level strategic website solutions and built a company with a strong client following and one of high integrity,” said Tricia Andreassen, Founder of Pro Step Marketing. “After fruitlessly working behind the scenes with REW to protect both PSM and clients’ interests, I have determined the best approach to communicate the truth is through the court systems. This lawsuit exposes the actions that Real Estate Webmasters never had the ability to fully support all of our US based hosting accounts. The statements of our website editing platform being obsolete, when in fact it is far superior and offers typical features you would expect from a website hosting provider such as email, leads me to believe that REW did not fully understand how advanced our system is, necessitating the “forced” move it or lose it approach as clients recognized the differences. This case will also allow us to provide documentation that corrects misleading statements made on the Facebook Pro Step group page regarding the "root cause" of the recent billing issues experienced by PSM website users”.

Pro Step Marketing is asking in the lawsuit for the balance of the Purchase Price and for consequential and incidental damages in amounts not yet ascertained.

Pro Step Marketing, Inc.
Real Estate Webmasters (REW)

Pro Step Marketing (dba Creative Life and Leadership Institute) is the real estate marketing strategy leader in providing fully executed marketing plans for real estate professionals from print to web. Pro Step Marketing's marketing specialties include brand building, offline marketing, web design and search engine optimization. Founded by Tricia Andreassen, real estate industry expert, author and speaker, the firm focuses on providing turn-key solutions that help REALTORS® grow their business.

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Tricia Andreassen
Pro Step Marketing dba Creative Live & Leadership Institute
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