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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Top agencies shut branches as industry adapts to 'new normal'

There are various reports of estate agencies closing branches - or not reopening them after lockdown - as they reduce the size of their networks.

Knight Frank has not reopened its Worcester office, telling Estate Agent Today: “Knight Frank has made the decision not to renew the lease on its Worcester office, located on College Street. In current working environments, the need for a physical presence is reduced and we are able to work remotely.

“Going forward, our dedicated Worcestershire team will operate dynamically from Knight Frank’s Stratford-upon-Avon and Cheltenham offices. The team is also supported by our national Country House department based in London.

“Knight Frank remains fully committed to the Worcestershire market and our teams will remain focused on providing best in class advice to our clients and customers.”

Knight Frank’s Worcester office was located in the same street as the former Andrew Grant agency - the company recently collapsed into administration, closing a string of offices across the Midlands. 

Further north, Jackson-Stops is also choosing not to re-open its York office and instead keep staff working from home on a permanent basis.

Chairman Nick Leeming told EAT over the weekend: “Our York branch is still open for business and is operating successfully as a virtual office. The branch, which is now known as our Yorkshire office, has a strong pipeline of sales and is listing new inventory on a regular basis. The move to home working during the lockdown period coincided with our lease coming to an end on our York office. These factors, combined with the vast region the office covers, resulted in the executive decision to operate on a virtual basis moving forward.

“Whilst this move is not representative of the current direction of travel for the Jackson-Stops network, it is testament to the agility of our business. Naturally, this does not impact the high level of service and local expertise our customers receive from the Yorkshire branch, Nick Talbot, who is a seasoned property professional, is operating the business as usual.”

Last week Haart announced that it was closing 23 physical branches to create a network of so-called ‘partner agents’ - all working either from their homes or using hubs.

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