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Humberts says: 'risks we took in 2018 are paying off in 2019'

The radically-restructured Humberts estate agency claims the risks it took last year in scrapping branches and moving to ‘hubs’ has paid off handsomely.

The statement does not contain specific figures to show the agency’s volume of business but does offer various percentage changes which - it claims - indicate success.

It says it’s seen a 50 per cent rise in buyers registering since a new website went live on February 1, and a 200 per cent increase in vendors registering. It also says that “overall efficiency in instruction-to-exchange ratio has increased by 13 per cent.”

The statement adds that “the number of viewings per sales has decreased significantly and the Humberts work force is being empowered to offer a full management service under its new lifestyle arm, Humberts Living.”

It is some eight months ago that it was first revealed that Humberts had been purchased by Matt Spence, chief executive of vacation property company Natural Retreats. He stridently criticised the traditional estate agency model, and many online operators, and instead advocated hubs of more widely-skilled employees - called Property Consultants - who would offer many lifestyle services to clients in addition to selling, buying and letting. 

The latest statement says this has been a big success with consultants now able “to execute a holistic service for their clients: from arranging the re-insulation of rooves to gardening, painting and basic cleaning. Genuinely providing a service that goes beyond anything the market currently offers enables staff to be better at their jobs, happier in their roles and allows the company to reach new capabilities at an exponential rate.”

It continues: “As agencies across the property industry find themselves compelled to restructure or close under the pressure of a failing market, and after especially quiet trading during December and January, Humberts reports positive news. 

“2019 looks set to be Humberts best year yet, with an aggressive growth plan that aims to take on new areas of the country, a focus on increasing its lettings business, a new interactive website, a high-tech-high-touch concept being rolled out in its hubs and a brand-new arm of expertise and service: Humberts Living.”

The statement also takes a swipe at those who expressed scepticism at the new Humberts model.

“Naysayers questioned Spence’s bold actions in 2018 – taking the vast majority of shops off the high street to be replaced by seven high-tech-high-touch Hubs, servicing wider areas than were previously possible. Spence however believes that innovation is key in the property market and that shaking up the traditional way of how business is being done is crucial.“

Chief operating officer Tim Simmons adds: “Our recent testimonials have been the best we have ever had - with the figures to match. The future of the market needs dramatic and immediate change in order to create more opportunities for growth and we are delighted to see the huge risks we took in 2018 are paying off more than we could have possibly imagined. We plan a similar approach in 2019 and driving Humberts continuously onwards and upwards.”

Poll: Do you think Humberts has adopted the right strategy?

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