Foxtons says its use of technology allows it to increase the reach of its branches - and claims this is behind its decision to shut a south west London office last month.
Earlier this week Foxtons announced the closure of its flagship Park Lane branch and then, yesterday, Estate Agent Today revealed that the agency’s Barnes office had also been closed - apparently some weeks ago.
A Foxtons spokesperson says: “Foxtons has always used leading technology to support an efficient business and superior customer proposition. By investing in industry-leading technology we’re able to increase the reach of our branches, which is why our Barnes team has recently moved into our branch in Putney. Our business is built to serve customers better, and our technology means we bring together the right people with the right homes, wherever they are.”
During recent statements to shareholders, Foxtons has talked about how “tech enables us to save costs and increase the reach of each branch” and it also stated that “the branch expansion programme is complete, with technology being used to expand branch reach”.
Although the company did not explicitly state that it was intending to close branches - and the Barnes office was amongst the most recent to open, in 2015 - its recent interim figures for the first half of this year included the statement that the company “continues to review its cost base to reflect market conditions.”
Foxtons has declined to comment on whether this review may lead to the closure of further branches.
In its interim figures, issued at the end of July and relating to the first half of this calendar year, Foxtons revealed a full 23 per cent drop in sales income and a nine per cent drop in overall company revenue, blaming “ongoing weakness in the London sales market” and the capital’s “sustained period of very low activity levels”.
The pre-tax loss was £2.5m - 12 months earlier there was a pre-tax profit of £3.8m.
Lettings’ revenue was down one per cent compared to the same period of 2017.