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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countrywide: latest poor figures show 2017 agency income set to be 14% down

A trading statement from Countrywide this morning continues the decline shown by the agency group in recent years.

It says total income in the sales and lettings business for the full year is expected to be circa £360m, down 14 per cent on 2016, “reflecting a disappointing fourth quarter performance.”

Total Countrywide group income for the full year - including non-agency activity such as financial services - is expected to be circa £672m (2016: £737m), with quarter four income of circa £164m (2016: £179m). 

Income in the UK business is expected to be circa £205m, down 17 per cent year on year, and in London is expected to be circa £155m, down 10 per cent.  

Lettings income - which has saved the day for many agencies - is expected to be down four per cent in Countrywide’s case, at circa £169m, driven by an eight per cent decline in the UK, with London lettings revenue flat year on year.

The statement - which unusually does not include any quote from chief executive Alison Platt - adds that the group’s business to business activities, including  commercial property arm Lambert Smith Hampton, is expected to deliver strong growth for 2017. 

It adds that: “Financial Services delivered a resilient performance overall with double digit income growth across the combined Buy to Let Business, Mortgage Bureau and Mortgage Intelligence channels offset by lower transactional volumes from estate agency.”

The company will announce its preliminary results on March 8.

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    This is a considerable achievement, considering the Group were on the acquisition trail 2015 & 2016. Not only 14% down on volume, the productivity must be about 20% down overall, that must be something they are very proud of.

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    Death by acquisition.

    I worked at Countrywide for a little while and I know exactly why sales are falling. This is an old minded, non diverse business that is teetering on administration. No wonder 1/3 people leave them within a few months. A business led by arrogant white men who think this is still estate agency from 1992 and do not want to change.

    James Robinson

    ...arrogant white men? Please enlighten us all on why the colour of peoples skin has a baring on this subject?

     
    Simon Shinerock

    I disagree, racist comment aside, the biggest reason they are failing is exactly the opposite, they have brought in fresh thinking new blood, Alison Platt’s Decision that estate agency is retail and her decision to bring in a cheap online offering has undermined the business. Her attempts to make things better have made things worse, out of the frying pan into the fire. Correcting the problems could be achieved quite simply by going back to the basics and making a commitment to add real value, this would require someone who understands the business as it is today to take the helm

     
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    Whilst i agree partially with Jack most of the arrogent white males as quoted made the company the sucess it was, and have now either left the buisness or been forced to leave by a CEO that just does not understand what the buisness she runs is and how it became sucessful in the first place.
    Sad to see but have a little chuckle all the same.

     
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    It has a massive 'baring' on this subject. Why is the business failing ? Due to the fact their senior management are old school white men who have been doing the same thing for years and think its OK to carry on doing the same thing. Without a diverse workforce how can you sell a product/service to our diverse society? This starts from the top and moves down... They can try to blame a poor market but there are plenty of thriving agents out there, it is their offering, their workforce and the message they portray. Without change, they are doomed.

    P.S calling leaders arrogant white men is not racist...It is fact. There is no such thing as reverse racism but let us not get onto that touchy subject.

    James Robinson

    "P.S calling leaders arrogant white men is not racist...It is fact?"
    No Mr Smith it is not a fact, of the 8 members of the executive team their are 2 ladies, Alison Platt who is the Group Chief Executive Officer, Kate Brown Group HR Director and the Group Chief Financial Officer is a Mr Himanshu Raja.
    And as Simon Shinerock rightly stated, Countrywide's collapse has been "Alison Platt’s Decision that estate agency is retail and her decision to bring in a cheap online offering has undermined the business" these decisions were brought in by a new team which has ousted most of the old guard there. E.A.T has announced each and every leaver and there have been a great deal.so I think you maybe letting your prejudices colour your views.

     
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    I have a suspicion we will see an exit from Mrs Platt within the coming weeks.
    There after I believe the further parts of the business will be sold. My guess is changes to the mortgage services is on the table whilst it still has a value.

  • David Bennett

    Come on. Let's drop the racist spat. It has nothing to do with the original post.
    Estate agents seem to think they are a breed apart, but an estate agent's office is a retail shop. Unlike M&S, you rely on your stock from vendor's, not the cash&carry. Unlike the cash&carry, you have to barter with the vendor, to get the asking price right, then barter with the buyer, to agree a sale. The price is negotiable, whereas in M&S the price is on the ticket and we just pay it! Why do estate agents deny their world is in retail? Mrs Platt has simply applied retail logic to the business, leaving the estate agents to work their magic on the sales floor. Most estate agents are skilled at what they do (negotiating, characters etc), but often poor business people.

    Simon Shinerock

    Not my understanding of what she has done at all

     
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    Keep an eye on the mortgage business. You won't be seeing many jobs advertised like the normal 1000 per week!!!
    Next part for Mrs Platt to destroy

  • James Robinson

    Ooops! I spoke too soon, and there goes Kate Brown.

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