A brand and marketing strategic who also ran one of the country’s most successful lettings agencies for a decade has said that Foxtons is one of the very few truly differentiated brands in the property industry.
Dan Channer - former managing director of Finders Keepers prior to its acquisition by Countrywide in 2016 - now operates as a consultant advising agents and has written on brands in the latest issue of Property Chronicle.
In it he asks: “Why is only one brand in the UK [agency industry] truly differentiated?” His answer is - Foxtons.
“It was/is unique, infamous and the subject of envy and no little schadenfreude at times. It spent money on its offices like no other agent; the Millwall positioning (‘Nobody likes us we don’t care’) was like no other agent; it did hard sales harder than any other agent. It. Stood. Out” he writes.
Channer accepts that to some Foxtons is famous for poor service and he says it’s entertaining to see it now trying to undo decades of its previous reputation by now being more conciliatory.
He accepts the company’s past performance may have sown distrust amongst some but he concludes “I still think it’s a fantastic business.”
He adds that while Savills has been praised as a “superbrand” as recently as last September, he does not believe it to be that different to, for example, Knight Frank.
Channer then urges agents to work harder to differentiate, because “blandness is death; being forgettable means being forgotten.”
The article also includes his views on “the individual agent brand” expemplified by some recent American-influenced start up agencies: he regards thisas a growing phenomenon, and a reason why large agencies should hold on to their star employees.
You can read the full article here.