As you may have read, Esther McVey was sacked by the Prime Minister and replaced by the little known Christopher Pincher, who tweeted: “Delighted to be appointed as Minister of State for Housing … this government will deliver on our commitment to build the housing that people need. Looking forward to getting stuck in alongside [Housing Secretary of State] Robert Jenrick.”
How long will Pincher last? If recent form for this post is anything to go by, it may not be long…
Let’s move now to Savills, which has expanded its Mayfair and St James’s sales team through new appointments.
Claire Reynolds will take the helm of the North Audley Street office while Kitty O’Sullivan joins the business as a negotiator following four years with Wetherell.
The appointment marks a return to Mayfair for Claire, who spent several years in the sales department before opening Savills Marylebone office in 2013. As co-head of prime central London, Claire will continue to oversee Hampstead, Primrose Hill, Maida Vale, St John’s Wood, Westminster, Mayfair and Marylebone but will transition across to Mayfair from her previous additional position managing Marylebone.
Meanwhile having worked locally for several years, Kitty’s arrival sees Savills Mayfair sales department expand, operating across all price bands. Together they cover Mayfair and St James’s as well as nearby Soho, Covent Garden and Hyde Park.
Now to The Property Franchise Group, which owns Martin & Co, EweMove and three other brands.
It’s to have a former Your Move managing director as its chief executive as Gareth Samples will replace Ian Wilson in the second half of this year.
Gareth has worked in the agency industry for three decades, much of it at LSL Property Services where he was managing director of Your Move brand - the largest single brand estate agency in the UK at the time. In this role he was responsible for Your Move’s franchise operation as well as having overall control of financial services and lettings and the strategy of the brand. More recently he has been managing director of digital marketing platform Briefyourmarket.
Up to Yorkshire we go for the next appointments, announced by high-profile regional agency Dacre Son & Hartley.
Its Harrogate office has strengthened its team with the appointment of sales negotiator, Karin Fritz, and has also promoted sales negotiator, Georgie Williams, to sales manager.
Karin, who is originally from Austria, has multi-national estate agency experience, a keen focus on customer service and joins the experienced team of five in Harrogate; Georgie joined Dacres from school, nearly four years ago as a customer services sales representative at the head office in Ilkley.
Karin says: “I’ve lived in the UK for 26 years but returned to Austria in 2017 to work at an estate agency business. Returning to Harrogate in 2018, I was keen join a firm with an excellent reputation. My role will be mainly office based at first, as well as carrying out viewings and helping buyers to identify potential homes.”
And Georgie comments: “I started working for Dacres in Ilkley after a few months studying at The University of Manchester. I originally planned to go back after deferring for a year, but once I started work, I enjoyed it so much and could see the opportunities and training available, so I decided to pursue a career in property.”
In the burgeoning world of PropTech, a big story this week is the move of the head of SEO at Rightmove to a rival portal, Residential People.
Farhaad Saleh was responsible for all of Rightmove's SEO activities for the last three and a half years, and he now joins Residential People as the director of acquisition.
"While I enjoyed my time with Rightmove, I feel that I took the brand as far as I could. I have always relished the opportunity to work with and grow an emerging brand” he says.
Homesearch is a data company that’s made a big impact in the industry in a short time, and is growing its workforce as a result.
It’s just appointed Mark McKenna (right) as chief commercial officer, bringing with him two decades of experience in tech-business growth strategies.
He says he’s dealt with “great and not-so-great agents” in the past so wants to work on the best possible relationships within the industry.
Also new on board is Natasha Afxentiou (left) as digital marketing executive, with the goal of developing the company’s online strategy.
And a founder of Homesearch, Sam Hunter (right), has become chief operating officer.
He says: “We live or die by our users. I want to make sure problems are solved, feedback is actioned and that agents know we’re an ally.”
Another PropTech firm - high profile deposit alternative provider flatfair - also has now appointments.
Elisabeth Yates has joined as head of marketing, having previously holding senior roles at William Hill and Google. She’s has also worked for other household names, including Groupon and Sainsbury’s, in marketing roles during her career.
At flatfair, Yates will be responsible for leading the marketing team and “creating a robust and innovative strategy to support the business’ ambitious goal of driving a fairer, more transparent and accessible rental market that everybody trusts.”
flatfair also recently hired Dom Gallichan, who joins from Just Eat where he was a global copywriter. Gallichan is responsible for creating the company’s communication style and producing original content for flatfair, its partners and “explaining the benefits of flatfair’s payment technology to a wider audience.”
And there’s a new face at Yourkeys,a platform that digitises the sales process of buying a new-build home. The start-up has added Alicia Navarro to its board as chairman.
Alicia has extensive knowledge of scaling B2B platforms, gained while growing Skimlinks, her content monetisation platform - it has offices in London, San Francisco and New York.
Alicia says: “I have learnt that the key to entrepreneurial success is start with a great team and a bold vision. Yourkeys has both. I’m honoured to be joining a great team and will help steer Yourkeys towards a ruthless customer-centric approach and provide insight and rigour around product development innovations.”
That’s it for this week - more next Monday, of course. Until then…