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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Agency closes 23 branches and employs 'Partners' working from home

Haart - one of the brands owned by Spicerhaart, which laid off staff in the first hours of the pandemic - has announced it's closing 23 branches and will have a structure involving a Partnership scheme with agents working remotely.

So-called Partner agents will work from home or from haart’s Local Property Centres and will be supported by a national call centre; there will be training at a Partnership Academy which will also “bring new talent into the industry.”

“The pandemic has shown us just how effective and productive our teams can be working from home, making 18 per cent more calls” claims Haart managing director Antony Lark.

“This bodes well for our new Partnership scheme and we are now starting our search for estate agents who are well-known in their local areas to become Haart Partners, with all the backup and support of our well-known brand and marketing expertise” he continues. 

“We have reviewed and assessed all types of employment models and feel that by being fully employed by us, our Partners have the best of all worlds. It’s far better than being self-employed as the role comes with all the associated employment benefits, along with industry-leading technology and marketing that gives incredible lead generation to support the individual to grow their business.

“Very importantly, individuals have far more autonomy to manage their own day, giving them a much better work-life balance and enabling them to provide a more flexible service for our customers.

“Partners also have access to our £6m purpose-built IT support system, which gives them their ‘office in their pocket’, so they can work while out and about. We are also retaining and investing in our existing Elite network as part of our major expansion plans.”

Haart says 23 of its existing branches will not re-open, while the Partners programme will start in the West Midlands, Leeds, Brighton, Southampton, the Oxford-Cambridge corridor and in additional locations around its existing Bristol Property Centre.

Haart says it wants this structure to ultimately involve staff at 250 locations.

Spicerhaart chief executive Paul Smith says: “We have been planning our new Partnership scheme for some time but the Coronavirus pandemic has shown us how important it is for estate agencies to respond swiftly to changing circumstances and adapt to new ways of working.”

Meanwhile, Haart’s bricks and mortar branches are set to re-open within the next 10 days, following alterations.

Poll: Estate agents employed by a corporate but permanently working from home

PLACE YOUR VOTE BELOW

  • C B
    • C B
    • 03 July 2020 06:44 AM

    Shame the poll doesn’t say:

    “Working for Haart - good idea or bad idea?”

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    Working permanently from home?! Great idea so far as I'm concerned - their business will go down the pan! Hurrah!

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    I hesitate to post as I did not want to get trolled as of a Friday evening after a few Eye readers had opened the bottle of Grand Hermitage 51- or more likely Asdas excellent Pinot Noir.
    Whilst not at the sharp end of this I see it an interesting and brave move. I think it leaves circa 160 physical branches plus the new partnership locations to be announced shortly -a mighty machine compared to most. Add in overall 250 partnerships over the next two years and you can begin to see the idea.
    Now if the team at Spicerhaart is lacking in the skill in making this model work then that will be at their cost. If they make it spin, they will be forward thinking and ground-breaking. Only time will tell.
    On closing a few branches, I know from many years’ experience some branches, for some agents, not matter hard you try, are a dead duck. Maybe a competitor is simply amazing, or the location is now secondary, or ongoing premises costs just too high to make it worth the effort.
    Whatever one thinks of Purple Bricks they have disrupted the industry to the extent the customer clearly accepts that it is not always necessary to have a physical office. Maybe accelerated by the Covid 19 ? This model is a good halfway house and gives those that want to operate in their home patch from home an opportunity to earn Branch Manager salaries-with life/work balance, amazing tech support and working with a team as well. Not for everyone but works for some if not many. And if it does -what is wrong with that?
    There are some big jobs for current employees capable of doing them and perhaps for some high-quality new candidates out there as well.
    Some of the best agencies I know are the smaller individual or branch chains. Some of these independents are fleet of foot and know their towns inside out. If Partnerships can replicate some of this at least they will have a successful model when multiplied many times over.
    Bottom line-this is a way the SHG can expand into those Areas without taking on expensive High Street premises-to grow for the future and not shrink.
    Now where is that Red wine.

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