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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Many Countrywide branches now shut permanently

Estate Agent Today can reveal that a string of Countrywide offices across the country have been closed in recent weeks - but the company is declining to comment on specific closures.

On Friday we reported that at least two Palmer Snell branches had closed in recent days.

Now agents have contacted EAT to say that the two flagship offices of CW Bridgfords at Wilmslow and Prestbury - thought to have been the original branches when the business was founded in the 1830s - have recently closed.

Likewise the King & Chasemore branch in Felpham, West Sussex, closed in early September.

And Countrywide is also said to have closed down two more of its Beresford Adams branches at Abergele and Ruthin in Wales - offices in Wales have to be closed temporarily under the Coronavirus lockdown there, but it is thought these Beresford Adams branches are shut for good.

Over the weekend we have also been told that the Taylor’s branch in Hemel Hempstead closed earlier this month, and also that the Geering & Colyer branch in Faversham has not reopened since lockdown with its listings now being marketed by Bairstow Eves in a neighbouring town.

On Friday Estate Agent Today asked Countrywide about specific closures and asked how many branches it had shut this year. The company refused to answer those questions.

However, on Sunday afternoon it did issue a statement to EAT saying: "Our branches and our colleagues who work within them remain at the heart of our customer offering. As a responsible business we must constantly assess our branch footprint, the customers they serve and their profitability. We have recently agreed to opening new branches where the market opportunity exits. Sadly, due to the impact of Covid-19 and in particular the closure of the housing market during lockdown, we have had to make the difficult decision to close some branches. Wherever possible, we will seek to redeploy the teams and service our clients from branches close by."

 

Last week one of Countrywide’s largest shareholders - Catalist Partners, run by agency veteran and current property entrepreneur Robin Paterson - raised objections to a bid for control of the firm by a private equity company, Alchemy Partners.

You can see details of the proposed £90m Alchemy investment here; and you can see an earlier request for action about Countrywide made by Catalist here.

*If you know of other Countrywide branch closures please contact press@estateagenttoday.co.uk

  • Hybrid Agent

    "A traditional estate agent works from expensive high street retail premises, prints out brochures, writes letters and uses armies of staff to answer numerous phone enquiries for viewings and buyer offers in order to try and justify its very large fees.
    The next generation of evolved / hybrid agent works from their home office, uses technology to receive enquiries for viewings, valuations and offers, embraces social media for marketing, charges a fraction of the fee and is much closer to their clients." from the book "No.1 Hybrid Estate Agent. How to Evolve in Property Selling." its on Amazon and spells out why and how shop closures are happening and shows what Estate Agency is likely to become.

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    Poppycock.

     
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    Maybe one day in the next 20 years but the high street is far from over and although having all of these over heads cuts in to your profit, you some times need to look at the bigger picture. Invest in your staff and they will invest and champion your business if you can make a good living running a hybrid fair play to you as I do understand the personal benefits

     
  • Richard Spiller

    Hybrid Agent...agree with everything you say, I have being doing the Hybrid model since 2005!! Redhomes.co.uk

  • Paul Singleton

    A decent traditional agent has a high street premises for customers to call in and chat about selling their house or buying one from us, to meet our mortgage advisers and book viewings etc. We make and receive phone calls to provide a quality service to our customers.
    The hybrid model works from their bedroom, don’t return calls, ask vendors to do their own negotiating, don’t bother with viewing feedback, certainly don’t progress sales (but leave the proper agents to do their work for them) and overall provide a very poor service. BUT HEY ITS CHEAP!!! The issue is that the public don’t want cheap they want a PROPER SERVICE!

    Hybrid Agent

    Hi Paul
    Why does it take expensive retail premises to be able to deal well with vendor clients and buyers? Why does good service require a shop? Why does that traditional estate agent make 6 phone calls from an expensive shop to make one viewing appointment? How is it that we have sold and completed on thousands of property sales around here in recent years without a shop?
    Emails, texts, calls, WhatsApp etc. enable the hybrid agent to provide a service that better meets the requirement of both sellers and buyers outside the normal working hours of a shop.
    Property Portal + Good Local Home Based Agent - Shop = Consumer Lead Estate Agency Service.

     
  • adrian black

    The most successful agent in the past, present and future will deliver the best advice, service and results.

  • Richard Spiller

    Paul Singleton.....you get bad eggs hybrid and High Street. No need to tar everyone with the same brush, having consistently sold 100 properties per year over the last 15 years working from my study, I provide great service hence why I am still trading. The fee is cheaper because we don't have your overheads so we are kind and pass the savings onto the clients. Our fee gives us more profit to running cost ratio than high street agents so in theory we are charging more for our service...but don't tell anyone!!!...

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    Interesting that the on-line/listing/hybrid agencies are active predominantly in the first time/smaller end of the markets. This is where I bag most of my purchases where “proper” estate agents are less likely to be found!

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