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Countrywide explains softly-softly approach to re-opening branches

Countrywide has refuted claims that none of its branches have so far re-opened for business but has issued an explanation why there is a “phased” return to operations.

Yesterday there were claims in some parts of the trade press that Countrywide had not opened any of its branches. “This isn’t the case” Estate Agent Today was told by the company yesterday morning.

However, the company has since issued a statement emphasising a softly-softly approach.  It says: We welcomed the UK government’s announcement regarding the reopening of the housing market. Our priority has been, and will remain, to keep our people safe and protect our customers. 


“Our branches and offices have begun to open in an orderly, safe way and we are following government guidelines to ensure they are ‘Covid-secure’. Each and every branch and office must be assessed, modifications made and a risk assessment approved prior to opening. 

“The group’s priority is to reopen safely and whilst we have begun to open our branches and offices we will only do so once modifications are made and risk assessment and certification processes are completed.”

Broadly speaking, independent and small-chain agencies were quick off the mark to re-open after the government gave the go-ahead for buyers and agents to travel to physical viewings, which were to be conducted in accordance with strict social distancing and other health measures. Some corporates have been slower to react.

Poll: Is Countrywide being too cautious? Or just right?


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    What we are hearing from our Regionals is we are on hold for not paying our stationary company and we can’t get any PPE sad times


    Well we haven't been told this, we have been told that we are not opening due to the mass health and safety task required at each office and branch.


    Clesrly not the case as branches are open and PPE has been delivered to staff at home in readiness

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    Let’s be honest we all know why. Firstly Countrywide are very close to calling in the administrators. They were before lockdown and certainly must be very close now if not starting proceedings.
    My understanding from those inside is to keep branches closed as long as possible and keep as many of the staff on furlough as there isn’t enough cash to pay wages for 3 months based on current pipeline.
    I think there will be some big announcements in the coming few days. Lots of talk about mortgage business changing or being sold. Also I reckon they will have to start selling of done brands.

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    Mike, bold statements there. On what evidence can you back up your comments that Countrywide are ‘about to call in administrators’
    Could you also back up your claim that there’s ‘lots of talk’ about the mortgage side of things being changed/sold??
    I for one assume that it would change given the fact that clients cannot be seen face to face in current times, however this would be for every advisor in the UK you would hope given the government advice. However il look forward to the evidence being provided for all the other comments you have made. I just hope you can back them all up with actual proofs...... which I very much doubt

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    • 20 May 2020 16:04 PM

    They were near collapse even before Corona. Share price on the floor again, still heavily in debt and loss making.

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    • 20 May 2020 17:02 PM

    The days of the large corporate LA are over.
    They have costs far in excess of the individual EA/LA.
    Such individuals are able to control their costs far easier than corporates who tend to have top heavy and very expensive management.

    It would be far better for small EA etc to combine with eachother.
    They are not used to corporate largesse and have far more idea on how to control costs.

    They DON'T have the proverbial corporate credit card to use.

    Small EA/LA have far more idea of how to utilise funds for the maximum benefit.
    They also tend to pay themselves more in line with their success.
    A return for the smaller EA/LA is on the cards.
    Price gouging by large corporates p####s off the customer.
    Dealing with extremely localised EA/LA with intimate knowledge of their areas is what the customer wants.

    So literally to have EA/LA pounding their local streets to understand what they are like.

    Such very important local intelligence can be passed onto clients which could easily convert to client business.
    People want businesses that know in depth their local patches.
    A local EA for local people!!


    I would suggest that Countrywide agents in branches have fenominal local knowledge. I know of mangers who have been in the same branch for over 20 years

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    Let’s see where Countrywide are in 12 months Michael A. I presume you will be one of those washed up Branch Managers !


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