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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide stays silent on rumours of Bairstow Eves closures

Countrywide says it is unable to comment on speculation that some Bairstow Eves offices in the south of England have been told that they are amongst the latest closures to be announced by the troubled company.

Estate Agent Today has been contacted with details of specific branches which have allegedly been told that they will close by the end of this year. Their staff were apparently informed of the decision last Friday December 2, although Countrywide is declining to confirm or deny that.

In a statement to EAT about the Bairstow Eves closures a Countrywide spokesperson said: “Following changes to our Retail and London businesses, on Friday 2nd we updated colleagues on the next phase of change which includes streamlining our branch footprint and strengthening our regional management structure. We are unable to provide any specific details because it is an ongoing formal consultation process and not final. However, as always, we remain committed to working with colleagues to ensure that those who wish to be redeployed are supported in doing so.”

In an earlier ‘streamlining of the branch footprint’ at the end of the summer, Countrywide closed approaching 60 branches

After some two years of reorganisation and high profile departures, the latest changes confirmed last week involved the outsourcing of some back office tasks across the Countrywide group, a de-layering of management, a re-shaping of the regional structure and conveyancing services, and redundancies in a sales support centre in Lancashire.

Last week it was confirmed that Countrywide’s share listing on the London Stock Exchange had dropped out of the FTSE-250. Its share price has rallied from a recent low of 168.9 and yesterday it closed at 178.0.  In spring 2014 it reached a high of 686.50.

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    The subterfuge and propaganda continues unabashed whilst a large and mostly successful company is dismantled as the management try to reinvent it as something it isn't. 10,000 employees and falling, share price falling and profile on the high st falling as to be irrelevant. Dear Mrs Platt admit defeat and let those that know the business take back control and save what's left from oblivion.

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    couldn't of put it better myself,would also put money on the fact that it not just barstow eves branches closing but a fair few others, just look back at september when 60 branches/brands across the network were closed. just when are the shareholders going to realise that dear old mrs (i assume she's a mrs) platt is doing more damage than good and that estate agency is NOT retail!!!! As i have stated before Countrywide are sinking quicker than the titanic there will not be any branches left at this rate

     
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    Sorry, forgot to mention; non disclosure agreements being thrown around like confetti to try and reduce the negative publicity that should rightly ensue as a result of this absolute debacle!

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    HA HA - we are making a load of you redundant with statuary redundancy, the rest of you are living in fear of losing your jobs, any branch could be next - BTW Please sign this NDA its for the good off the company.

    Sounds a wonderful place.

    Just a note to investors.

    If a company is perceived to be in trouble, Good experienced estate agents will not want to join them (job security) - So they take any Tom,Dick or Doris with a driving licence and suit. Poorly performing company will become even more poorly performing.

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    I am a Countrywide employee based in are area quite close to the branches mentioned in this article. They are talking of 4 branches in Essex from Colchester , to Romford, to Southend way. The communication from the company has been virtually non existent, and we have been promised updates. When we get updates its a lot of text, with very little substance explaining that any good business needs to streamline etc etc. As an employee who has stayed very loyal to the company over the last 5 years i am beginning to wonder how much better i would be treated at my local independent branch with directors WITH estate agency experience as opposed to leaders who have worked for Tesco, Next etc. Gone are the days of regional awards do's with a nice meal and drinks, gone are the days of the regional xmas parties put on by the company. I feel its a very sad time for a company that i used to really enjoy working for.

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    couldn't of put it better myself, very well said

     
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    It is indeed a sorry state of affairs , back in the day everyone wanted to work for a Bairstow Eves , it was know for excellent training and career prospects, ive experienced the bitter taste of working for a successful business being taken over by Countrywide and the empty promises made , I can only suggest that if their employees have half a brain they will seek employment elsewhere before its too late ( or last one out turn the lights off)

     
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    Its sad to see a big hitter Estate Agency like Countrywide being vandalized in this way. It reminds me of the late 1980's and early 1990's when banks, building societies and insurance company's were buying up estate agents big time and tried to turn them into hybrid financial services outlets, it simply did not work. The departed senior management of countrywide were seasoned long term career estate agents and knew the business inside out, some of them I knew as competitors in our younger days working at the sharp end and they were good. The current experiment to turn the business into some kind of retail outlet moving away from hardcore professional estate agency was always going to end in tears. I drove past one of my local Countrywide branches this morning. It had just four properties in the window the rest of the display was just yellow cards with black writing presumably trying to promote their retail messages. That sure as hell is not gonna get prospective vendors walking through the door.

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    hear hear,well said.

     
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    i understand gotta move with the times but not this sort of movement

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    Really sad situation, do not know about the South, but at least three brilliant Bridgfords branches shut today, and allegedly about 30 regionals gone nationally, I believe. This is a great opportunity to get some really good people on board from this once great brand. This brilliant brand in the north has cascaded into the doldrums as a result of the misconception the current exec board's view the Group's wealth is in the South, however, Countrywide's strength and attraction was heavily weighted on the sheer volume of transactions generated in the North. Sadly, through no fault of it's key fee earners, this brand has been ruined by the lettings senior management buying strong local letting businesses, however, plugging them into a really poorly managed lettings business, which has destroyed the brand's reputation over the last 5 years. Really sad to see the careers of so many great people in confusion, because the Board think they know what the future looks like. Bringing Hamptons back to the north to resurrect their results in the area is highly flawed, as even when Hamptons was well managed by quality experienced managers, it failed spectacularly! How can today's model ran by ignorant, uninformed, poorly educated in locality and history, city-types lead this once proud and inspiring business. However, this degrading, slow death of UKs largest agency should not solely be blamed on the current encumbants, they have only speeded up the process in their obvious recent naivety. This process began when lettings management first became involved and the regional manager's mandate was reduced from 2012. When ownership of their IT was given away at a similar time, the opportunity to take advantage of their market strength dissipated.
    I'm sure something this large may continue for some time, however, I'm pretty sure the talented Countrywide people thinking what to do today, will go out and grasp the rest of the little market that Countrywide has in the North. It claims still to have wealth in it's managed book, well due to new legislation and their horrendous service standards watch that dwindle as quickly as the IQ of the USA and Essex voting population has in recent times!
    Advice - Take the operational decisions away from the accountants and rely on the local intelligence which worked successfully for decades. Countrywide has become what it avoided for years the next Corporate Agency failure, whose strategy has been led by 9 years by the last set of Corporate failures, Countrywide is the new Bradford & Bingley, Prudential, Halifax, Lloyds, General Accident et al. Hang your head Oldham girl, Alison, you've sold out to the City to the cost of the North and your shareholders!

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    Really sad situation, do not know about the South, but at least three brilliant Bridgfords branches shut today, and allegedly about 30 regionals gone nationally, I believe. This is a great opportunity to get some really good people on board from this once great brand. This brilliant brand in the north has cascaded into the doldrums as a result of the misconception the current exec board's view the Group's wealth is in the South, however, Countrywide's strength and attraction was heavily weighted on the sheer volume of transactions generated in the North. Sadly, through no fault of it's key fee earners, this brand has been ruined by the lettings senior management buying strong local letting businesses, however, plugging them into a really poorly managed lettings business, which has destroyed the brand's reputation over the last 5 years. Really sad to see the careers of so many great people in confusion, because the Board think they know what the future looks like. Bringing Hamptons back to the north to resurrect their results in the area is highly flawed, as even when Hamptons was well managed by quality experienced managers, it failed spectacularly! How can today's model ran by ignorant, uninformed, poorly educated in locality and history, city-types lead this once proud and inspiring business. However, this degrading, slow death of UKs largest agency should not solely be blamed on the current encumbants, they have only speeded up the process in their obvious recent naivety. This process began when lettings management first became involved and the regional manager's mandate was reduced from 2012. When ownership of their IT was given away at a similar time, the opportunity to take advantage of their market strength dissipated.
    I'm sure something this large may continue for some time, however, I'm pretty sure the talented Countrywide people thinking what to do today, will go out and grasp the rest of the little market that Countrywide has in the North. It claims still to have wealth in it's managed book, well due to new legislation and their horrendous service standards watch that dwindle as quickly as the IQ of the USA and Essex voting population has in recent times!
    Advice - Take the operational decisions away from the accountants and rely on the local intelligence which worked successfully for decades. Countrywide has become what it avoided for years the next Corporate Agency failure, whose strategy has been led by 9 years by the last set of Corporate failures, Countrywide is the new Bradford & Bingley, Prudential, Halifax, Lloyds, General Accident et al. Hang your head Oldham girl, Alison, you've sold out to the City to the cost of the North and your shareholders!

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    Is there some way that those that are experiencing the demise of where they work and had a career can voice their dismay to the institutional investors, Chairman and those that decided on recruiting Ms Platt? It seems that the destruction of this company that employs around 10,000 people is occurring under a veil of subterfuge and those that have invested in it, may be unaware. The fall in fortunes is not solely because of the market. We who work in the business daily know that the market is only partly responsible and if you do not have the appropriate enthusiasm then the fall gains pace and you end up in a hopeless mess. It may be that Countrywide is there already. I can see the headlines already; 'retail sector suffers'. Mrs Platt and Ms Tyrer being keen to use that to avoid responsibility for their flawed and ruinous actions. Reshuffling a bunch of mediocre (being kind) management, some of whom have not the foggiest what they are doing, will not help the genuine hard working staff they are subjecting to a Xmas nightmare! Disgraceful!!!!

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    I was a branch manager on an office that was closed down last week and only found out through a client as had been on holiday for 2 weeks and hadn't been consulted. I am now out of a job with xmas less than 2 weeks away and a family to provide for and worried where my next job is coming from. Countrywide don't care about there staff just about there falling share price and Ms Platt hasn't got a clue how to run the company only how to look after the shareholders!

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    Oaktree Capital hold 30.1% of the shares in Countrywide. A cursory glance at their website illustrates a huge contradiction in what they profess to be their philosophy and what is happening at Countrywide. If it wasn't so appaling you'd laugh!!!!!!!

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    i hear that d-day is tomorrow for a few branches closing for good and that staff have been relocated, and so they should to make people redundant this time of year is especially bad. best of luck luck to all those effected by this, and best of luck for the new year as i can foresee that countrywide will be adding to there branch closure come spring/summer time.
    just when will the shareholders take note of whats going on, hmmm maybe when their shares are worthless, then it will be toooooooooooooo late, too late i tell you

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    Quarter 1 0f 2017 will be an interesting time. Unless there is a significant increase in activity those 'marginally' profitable offices will go. Having the wrong staff, demotivated and disaffected staff will not be enough to halt the slide. Any marginal increase in activity will be mopped up by the agents with the 'can do &will' attitude that centralised corporate mentality simply cannot replicate. Redundancies will be next as this is likely to be seen as the less problematic solution to reduce costs. The advertising embargo will persist hobbling the organisation and the few that 'can do the job' that remain. Man the lifeboats! It's that serious; mark my words!!!!!

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    the life boats are out already trust me

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