Countrywide has revealed to Estate Agent Today that it is to begin a trial where selected local branch staff will work between 7am and 9pm.
They will visit customers in their homes if requested, or be available in offices, at any time in the 14-hour working day.
The three areas in which the trail will take place have not yet been finalised but the experiment will begin in April and is part of what Sam Tyrer - Countrywide’s managing director, retail - calls “new thinking” in how the agency group works with its customers.
The emphasis will be on face-to-face meetings with people where they want and when they want, whether that’s during traditional office hours or before or after work.
The trial will also move away from one individual service being offered to a client.
“It’s often the case that a customer may call to ask for an appraisal or a valuation, but actually it ends up with them really wanting to remortgage or put a conservatory on the back of their house” she says in an interview with Estate Agent Today.
She says Countrywide has the services to offer the customer who wants any of those things, through local agency brands specialising in lettings and sales, and through Countrywide’s own branded surveying, conveyancing and mortgage arms.
However, Tyrer feels that the group’s current “silo operations” - with staff knowledgable chiefly about their own division but without expert knowledge of other services - prevents customers being offered what she calls “the complete Countrywide experience.”
The staff who will take part in the trial will therefore be pioneering what Tyrer refers to as “the teams of the future, who will have blended skills and a complete set of digital tools to help the customer with whatever they want from Countrywide's services.”