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Countrywide beefs up research as modernisation continues

Countrywide is to set up a central research team, in the latest sign of the group’s continuing modernisation programme under new chief executive Alison Platt.

Johnny Morris, widely regarded within the industry as one of the country’s leading residential property analysts and until now head of research at Hamptons International, is to be Countrywide’s first research director and has taken up the post this week. 

In 2013 Morris moved from data consultancy firm Hometrack to Hamptons. 


“Our new research team will drive the growth of Countrywide’s voice and focus on helping both our customers and our people understand how their markets work. With Countrywide’s unparalleled coverage of UK housing and property markets, our research team is ideally placed to provide a truly rounded picture of the sector” says Platt.

Morris will be the primary research spokesperson for Countrywide, while Fionnuala Earley will continue as lead spokesperson for Hamptons International’s research, where she is the director. 

In recent months Platt’s changes at Countrywide have gathered pace. 

In May the managing director of estate agency and the group commercial director both announced their departure and in June Countrywide announced a pioneering partnership with the National Association of Estate Agents and was reported to be considering possible investment in online agency activity.

Last month there was a dramatic reshuffle of the executive team at the group, which is responsible for roughly one in 10 of residential transactions in Britain.

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    It's always good News when any agent takes greater steps to professionalism and I'm sure I am not alone in estate agency circles in hoping that the new faces in the management team will herald a new era of professionalism from an organisation that has a rather patchy reputation within the industry in some parts of the UK.

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    1. How does setting up a 'research team' count as modernisation?
    2. Will a research team help them sell more properties?
    3. Or is this just a bit of self-importance? Look at how big and important we are, we have a research centre just like xyz.

  • Jon  Tarrey

    Agreed, Chris Wood.

    But I also concur with you, Hafsid, I'm not really sure how setting up a research team is a marker of modernisation either. Surely an increasing use of technology and innovation would be more obvious signs of modernising?

    I think you have a point with Point 3, too. They are certainly quite a divisive agency, and this does sound a bit like a blowing your own trumpet exercise. I'm not sure, as you say, that a research team will have any positive impact on what CW is there first and foremost to do - sell houses!

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    • 19 August 2015 18:25 PM

    @HJ and @JT for me it's about knowing your market place. I know that there are 12,871 chimney pots in my area and that in a good year my postcodes sell about 700 properties and about 400 in a bad year. Prices go up and down, fees change, the demographic changes.

    The area I cover is getting younger, so I'll need to stop newspaper advertising and spend more on Google - but not yet!

    What type of advertising appeals to your area? Do they trust "free"? Down south we love a bit of "free", up north, not so much.

    You can either pay outside companies to do this for you or work it out yourself. If you are planning for a long career in the business then you'll watch the changes around you and watch your performance improve or decline with your understanding of the area you work in.

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    • 19 August 2015 18:26 PM

    Sorry, suddenly realised I have been preaching! But you get my gist I hope! ;-)


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