Connells Group has announced a major recruitment drive as it looks to create 250 new agents' positions - and it’s launched the campaign with a veiled jibe at Countrywide.
Yesterday morning Connells issued a statement saying due diligence had been completed and it was re-confirming its offer of 250p per share for the ailing Countrywide group.
And in the evening Connells revealed its recruitment drive, saying that “many firms push the message that their people are their greatest asset yet don’t back up those words when the going gets tough.”
This has been interpreted as a remark about Countrywide’s ad hoc branch closure programme of recent years; almost a quarter of its branches are thought to have closed since 2016,
Connells Group’s recruitment programme is set in the context of it being - in its own words - in a “market leading position” and pushing for “new branch-based roles as it plans for further growth and to increase market share.”
David Plumtree, Connells Group estate agency chief executive says: “We’re proud to be the number one estate agent in the UK, selling more houses than any other estate agency group, and have a fierce ambition for even bigger and better things. This significant investment in people forms a key part of our plan to further increase our market share, plus affirms our commitment to our high street branch operation.
“It is clear to us that those agents who skilfully combine traditional agency, allied with great branch staff with local knowledge and who are supported by smart tech, are those who are thriving.
“Recent years have shown that vendors see no value in using online only agents, and those agents who have closed branches in favour of a hub strategy have lost market share in so doing.”
Connells Group, which has some 7,000 staff, was praised by many in the industry for paying 100 per cent of basic salary and commission to all furloughed staff during the spring lockdown.
Now Plumtree continues: “For us at Connells Group it is all about our people. Many firms push the message that their people are their greatest asset yet don’t back up those words when the going gets tough. By doing right by our colleagues when the housing market closed in March, they’ve shown their gratitude for that support with some amazing results since the market reopened.
“As a consequence of the way in which we supported our people, as well as our unstinting commitment to traditional agency, we don’t anticipate any difficulty in filling these newly created roles. I am delighted that we are able to create new jobs at a time of uncertainty in the jobs market. Naturally, we’re looking for the best people in the industry to join our success story and enjoy a long and prosperous career with us.”