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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Countywide 'encouraged by early progress' despite new income fall

Countrywide, the troubled agency group which today holds its annual general meeting, says it is “encouraged by the early progress that is being made in sales and lettings” following its back-to-basics shift in direction.

In the quarter ending March 31 the group’s income dropped to £145m from £162m for the same period last year - a drop that was predicted some months ago when acting executive chairman Peter Long took over from resigning chief executive Alison Platt.

The group says most of this is down to London’s difficult housing market.

A trading statement this morning says Countrywide has “moved swiftly to restore expertise in sales and lettings following the appointment as group operations director in January 2018”. 

It adds that “experienced sector professionals now fill all roles at area and regional director level.”

Estate Agent Today has carried a number of exclusives on appointments of former staff members who have returned to the company in recent months.

In sales, Countrywide says it has seen an improvement in both the register of properties available for sale and in its market share; “in lettings our share of listings is also ahead of quarter 4 of 2017” the statement claims. 

Last month Long told EAT that the company had been "grossly mismanaged" in the recent past and promised a back to basics approach with much more emphasis on traditional sales and lettings activities.

The next trading update for Countrywide is scheduled for July 26.

Poll: Will Countrywide's Back To Basics approach work?

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

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    Countrywide will fail if the onlines take over the mortgage side of selling houses too. Everyone knows countrywide was always an insurance company that occasionally sells a few houses and does a few mortgages, if they lose this business they may as well shut up shop. They have got, complacent, arrogant and out of touch with the real world of estate agency.

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    Expertise alone is not enough. Where is the ability? The ‘Bods’ haven’t displayed any over the previous 3-4 years so, what’s changed?

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    How can a fall of £17,000,000 be considered progress. I see nothing happening that gives me confidence this tanker will be turned round. It needs a wholesale change and someone at the helm with inspirational leadership.

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    They are clutching at straws trying to sale the dream in order to keep remaining staff.
    The old bods they have brought back must be rubbing their hands.
    Asked to leave and paid a considerable redundancy/golden handshake. Re-recruited for same role on a considerably higher salary!!!! Will they have loyalty after how they were treated.
    The mortgage business will be sold v soon! More branch closures planned and not back to basics they are embarking on a huge cost cutting plan!!

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