The new owner of Humberts has announced the new management structure of the rural estate agency which he bought out of administration.
Last week, it was revealed that luxury holiday operator Natural Retreats had purchased Humberts following weeks of speculation surrounding the 176-year-old agency's future.
In a note sent to staff, Humberts' new owner Matt Spence has outlined his aims for the brand as well as the company's new management structure.
Spence, who founded Natural Retreats in 2006, will be Humberts' full-time chief executive. He will be flanked by Anthony Wild as chief financial officer and Ewan Keraney as chief operating officer. All three hold the same positions at Natural Retreats, and Spence says this will provide 'real consistency'.
Tim Simmons will be Humberts' head of residential sales and Samantha Trott will be head of HR. Former managing director, Ian Westerling will support Ewan Kearney as 'head of new projects'
"Once we are firmly on this road we will open other revenue streams - from land agency to property management and lettings."
"Over the next five years we will become the first choice for rural landowners and homeowners. Each client will find a service-orientated, high-end ‘one-stop-shop’ for all things land, property and rural," says Spence.
He says that although both businesses have similar traits they will continue to work as 'entirely separate brands'.
In a call to arms to his new staff, Spence says that 'great things only happen through innovation' and that 'great companies and their people only come from the will and ability to continually evolve'.
Spence says that he is aiming to make Humberts the UK's 'rural champion'.
He talks about the current landscape for estate agents, discussing the role of disruption and naming Purplebricks.
"The estate agency industry in the UK is 'asleep at the wheel' - festooned in doubt, lack of identity and with no true pioneering brand or leader."
"It is my view that actually the larger branded agents have a lot to do with the residential market not performing consistently well, yet they are quick to cry into their milk. Never rely on the government to create your opportunity – you should always create your own!"
"As sure as night follows day - disruption is coming to estate agencies! We should not make the mistake of thinking Purplebricks is a disruptor. They are an agent without shops."
Spence says that in his opinion the 'real disruption' will be when the entire transaction (including completion) is all done online.