The new owner of Humberts says he would consider acquiring or working alongside existing agencies who want to be part of his new experimental way of working.
Matt Spence - the existing chief executive of vacation property company Natural Retreats and for the past month the owner of the Humberts chain - has already outlined his plans to run the agency via large scale hubs, not branches, and for staff to offer clients a far wider range of property-related services than simply marketing and selling homes.
Whilst he pledges to retain the existing staff, which he describes as “highly skilled [and] hugely experienced” he says future recruits will be needed because of the wide range of products on offer - often concierge-style services associated with high-end lifestyles.
These staff would be likely to come from a wider range of backgrounds than those traditionally associated with estate agency.
The same applies to other agencies which feel they have to do something more radical than merely compete on price with rivals on the same street, or complain at length about the impact of online competitors on the industry.
“If they want to join us on our journey, if they want to join our revolution, and if they’re happy to operate under the Humberts brand, then get in touch and I’ll talk” he says.
Meanwhile Humberts has given more details of how the hubs will work - the first ones, later this year, will be at Poundbury near Dorchester, and at Tunbridge Wells, Cirencester, Exeter and Bath.
A statement from the company says “The role of the Property Consultant will be the heart of the Hub. With consolidating the office space, it means Humberts can expand its expertise across each respective county by employing more Property Consultants ‘in the field’ and specialising in entire counties, rather than just small pockets.
“Clients will have a Property Consultant within a close radius as well as access to a premium first class club lounge style Hub, where they can expect a dynamic open plan office, hot desks and lifestyle concierges.
“Humberts is catering to the needs of their clients beyond just the sale of their property with the Property Consultant being there every step of the way, facilitating a fully integrated range of transactional and management services.
“As Humberts’ model moves towards becoming full service agents, it will take on responsibility for managing both their customers’ homes and lifestyles from the Hubs.”