Countrywide’s attempt to rebuild its expertise pool following the Alison Platt era continues apace with the announcement today that John Hards is rejoining.
Hards, who first joined Countrywide in 1994, becomes National Lettings Director with immediate effect.
A statement, given exclusively to Estate Agent Today and Letting Agent Today, says Hards’ appointment - which will be made public later today - “reinforces Countrywide’s commitment to ensuring they have industry experts leading their teams to support the build back of the key sales and lettings business.”
Paul Creffield, newly-promoted to the role of Group Operations Director, says of the move: “I’m looking forward to working with John as we focus on our core sales and lettings business and restore business growth and market share.”
This is Countrywide’s second big announcement of a major figure returning to the fold in the past two weeks; earlier this month Keith Knight rejoined as managing director of sales and lettings in the south east - the role he held when he was at the company before.
Knight first joined Countrywide in 1999 as regional director and went on to lead the South East - which then had around 100 branches. Shortly prior to leaving Countrywide in summer 2016 his title was changed to ‘retail director’ for the south east.
Some three weeks ago executive chairman Peter Long unveiled a ‘back to basics’ programme aimed at increasing the group’s drastically-reduced market share by emphasising traditional sales and lettings activities in branches and scrapping the Platt-era online experiment.
The latest returnee, John Hards, first joined Countrywide almost a quarter of a century ago, and he went on to lead the lettings business. He left the business in 2017.
In the year that he has been away he has been working closely with ARLA, RICS and the Lettings Industry Council, and Countrywide says he will retain these links to ensure that the company is “at the forefront of regulatory change.”
Hards says: “It’s an exciting time to be coming back to a business I know so well. We are the biggest agent with the largest footprint. The people, network and complementary products are unrivalled. With the focus on ‘back to basics’ we can start to build momentum and challenge in this increasingly competitive market.”
You can see news of other appointments at Countrywide, and across the rest of our industry, in our Property Jobs Today feature here.