Some customers dislike entering traditional estate agency branches, occasionally feeling 'like prey' for sales staff when they enter.
This is one of the main findings from research carried out by Winkworth into branch layouts and concepts.
Clients also said they disliked the 'regimented' feel of many agents' offices and that window displays often blocked views in.
Winkworth has introduced an interior design guide to help its franchisees introduce its favoured branch concept.
The design guide has been developed by Turnerbates Design and Architecture, the firm which developed Winkworth's branch format and implemented it into a number of company-owned branches.
Turnerbates' concept fosters a 'warmer and more welcoming environment' to encourage customers to linger and relax, while creating a more pleasant working environment for staff.
The design guide provides details of all design elements - as well as alternatives - so Winkworth branches can tailor a scheme which fits with their size, needs and budget.
“One of the biggest considerations for someone thinking of opening a Winkworth franchise is their office and its interior,” Winkworth's head of brand development, James Peacock, told Retail Design World.
“Not only is it a large investment to make before their doors open, but it also says so much about themselves as a business and Winkworth as a brand.”