London’s long-standing chain Douglas & Gordon is the latest company to embrace the concept of the Purplebricks-style hybrid estate agency.
The company’s website says it still has 19 branches across London but a statement released to the press yesterday says that “traditional bricks and mortar offices [are] becoming a thing of the past.”
It adds that agents operating in a hybrid company “need a wealth of local knowledge to be able to provide credible and useful information to clients” and adds that “by talking directly to residents, traveling within the area and working on the ground within the local community, they become familiar with the areas in which they work much faster.”
The statement goes on to say that hybrid agency combines the best of online and traditional agency models to “create a more agile solution while maintaining the face-to-face aspect crucial to building relationships.” It says this means “a smaller team of agents working remotely within the community while a head office provides 24/7 support in the form of online advice, booking features and more.”
The company’s chief executive, James Evans, says: “In the absence of a physical office, Douglas & Gordon aims to operate at a hyper-local level so that our agents understand the charm and hidden opportunities of the areas they operate in”, said James.
He continues by saying: “Douglas & Gordon are proud to be embracing change by adopting the first local broker model into Queen’s Park and Kensal Rise with knowledgeable professionals who work from within the local community.”
This “involves online support 24/7, giving clients direct access to information and advice whenever they need it.”
For many older agents, Douglas & Gordon will be remembered as an innovative company led in the 2000s by managing director Ivor Dickenson; at the time one of its leading agents was Ed Mead, who remains a non-executive board member of the company and was at one time highly sceptical of online estate agencies.