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Very Sad
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Very  Sad

From: Very Sad 14 September 2017 10:06 AM

Very  Sad
Really difficult for Sam having come from failing businesses earlier in her career, to have such an equally negative time in her leadership of this once great 'service' business, however, in her short time with Countrywide, she has managed it. Increases in market share are only due to acquisitions, if you added the market share of the businesses bought in the last 5 years to Countrywide's market share in 2012, the total would be significantly higher than it is today. That is because factually Countrywide's acquired businesses are dismantled by the ability of the Countrywide senior managers to integrate the great businesses they buy, into really poor business they run. 'Getting really focused on our customers has really paid off', absolute rot! If you look at the real figures without the acquisitions the market share has dropped like a stone, if you look at the market share of the acquisitions post buyout, they have dropped like a stone. That is the measure of how Countrywide's customers feel about bringing the sales and lettings businesses together. The lettings business at Countrywide was always been really poorly run, now they have been able to take over the agency and they are destroying it. Fixflo is a software which means the clients can email the Property Managers rather than ring, as their Prop Man is so poorly resourced they are either unable to answer the phone or deal with the issue the caller is raising. That is why Fixflo was born, good piece of kit dividing unpaid invoice enquiries from leaking taps, but doing the filing won't solve the underlying issues. The phone lines are jammed by contractors who are trying to get paid, as Countrywide's infamous Finance Team have lost the invoice again and again..... Poor old Finders Keepers, I hope their reputation, brilliant staff and customers don't go the same way as Snapes lettings, JP Brimelow, lettings, Curtis Baines, and the other acquisitions who get plugged into a far more inferior IT illiterate business, that is definitely not customer focused that line is a complete sham throughout the organisation. Now the wrecking ball has well and truly destroyed Bridgfords and Blundells, two of the great northern brands, maybe it would just be better for Countrywide to just concentrate on London. Piece of advice Alison & Sam, the software can't rescue the management structure you have destroyed in the North, get out of the North as your operational and market knowledge about it, is as good your IT. I'm sure London would welcome the concentration of HMV rejects cocking up their businesses soon.

From: Very Sad 14 January 2017 09:56 AM

Very  Sad
Oh dear, another brand tarnished, another few hundred hard working and talented people exposed by the incompetencies of Northern lass’s senior management team. When will this team understand they don’t own the intellectual wealth of the business, that is what makes agency unique. How to grab market share sits with the fee earners and quickly dissipates when you get rid of the experienced people who hold the knowledge. Strip out all the data from recent acquisitions in agency, lettings, and financial services and inspect those numbers and you will see the real impact made by this current exec. A shocking waning of market share in their traditional strong holds. Buy a business and let their key people leave, not a business model for success. Give agency to people who can only use a calculator is proving to be a disaster. Next plans are to bring Hamptons back to the north, where it failed spectacularly previously even though it was staffed by great people and run by agency professionals in Robin Paterson and co. Good luck to Alison and Jim on their next jaunt across to the US to find some more half-wits who think they know what they are talking about. Start at the Whitehouse, tell the tenant you’re scottish and like golf and maybe you might get some more dirty dollars to poor down the drain. Really sad for the great people at Countrywide who remain, have a Merry Christmas, think about a happy new year when you have found a new employer who appreciates, values and understands their business

From: Very Sad 16 December 2016 09:05 AM

Very  Sad
Really sad situation, do not know about the South, but at least three brilliant Bridgfords branches shut today, and allegedly about 30 regionals gone nationally, I believe. This is a great opportunity to get some really good people on board from this once great brand. This brilliant brand in the north has cascaded into the doldrums as a result of the misconception the current exec board's view the Group's wealth is in the South, however, Countrywide's strength and attraction was heavily weighted on the sheer volume of transactions generated in the North. Sadly, through no fault of it's key fee earners, this brand has been ruined by the lettings senior management buying strong local letting businesses, however, plugging them into a really poorly managed lettings business, which has destroyed the brand's reputation over the last 5 years. Really sad to see the careers of so many great people in confusion, because the Board think they know what the future looks like. Bringing Hamptons back to the north to resurrect their results in the area is highly flawed, as even when Hamptons was well managed by quality experienced managers, it failed spectacularly! How can today's model ran by ignorant, uninformed, poorly educated in locality and history, city-types lead this once proud and inspiring business. However, this degrading, slow death of UKs largest agency should not solely be blamed on the current encumbants, they have only speeded up the process in their obvious recent naivety. This process began when lettings management first became involved and the regional manager's mandate was reduced from 2012. When ownership of their IT was given away at a similar time, the opportunity to take advantage of their market strength dissipated. I'm sure something this large may continue for some time, however, I'm pretty sure the talented Countrywide people thinking what to do today, will go out and grasp the rest of the little market that Countrywide has in the North. It claims still to have wealth in it's managed book, well due to new legislation and their horrendous service standards watch that dwindle as quickly as the IQ of the USA and Essex voting population has in recent times! Advice - Take the operational decisions away from the accountants and rely on the local intelligence which worked successfully for decades. Countrywide has become what it avoided for years the next Corporate Agency failure, whose strategy has been led by 9 years by the last set of Corporate failures, Countrywide is the new Bradford & Bingley, Prudential, Halifax, Lloyds, General Accident et al. Hang your head Oldham girl, Alison, you've sold out to the City to the cost of the North and your shareholders!

From: Very Sad 09 December 2016 16:03 PM

Very  Sad
Really sad situation, do not know about the South, but at least three brilliant Bridgfords branches shut today, and allegedly about 30 regionals gone nationally, I believe. This is a great opportunity to get some really good people on board from this once great brand. This brilliant brand in the north has cascaded into the doldrums as a result of the misconception the current exec board's view the Group's wealth is in the South, however, Countrywide's strength and attraction was heavily weighted on the sheer volume of transactions generated in the North. Sadly, through no fault of it's key fee earners, this brand has been ruined by the lettings senior management buying strong local letting businesses, however, plugging them into a really poorly managed lettings business, which has destroyed the brand's reputation over the last 5 years. Really sad to see the careers of so many great people in confusion, because the Board think they know what the future looks like. Bringing Hamptons back to the north to resurrect their results in the area is highly flawed, as even when Hamptons was well managed by quality experienced managers, it failed spectacularly! How can today's model ran by ignorant, uninformed, poorly educated in locality and history, city-types lead this once proud and inspiring business. However, this degrading, slow death of UKs largest agency should not solely be blamed on the current encumbants, they have only speeded up the process in their obvious recent naivety. This process began when lettings management first became involved and the regional manager's mandate was reduced from 2012. When ownership of their IT was given away at a similar time, the opportunity to take advantage of their market strength dissipated. I'm sure something this large may continue for some time, however, I'm pretty sure the talented Countrywide people thinking what to do today, will go out and grasp the rest of the little market that Countrywide has in the North. It claims still to have wealth in it's managed book, well due to new legislation and their horrendous service standards watch that dwindle as quickly as the IQ of the USA and Essex voting population has in recent times! Advice - Take the operational decisions away from the accountants and rely on the local intelligence which worked successfully for decades. Countrywide has become what it avoided for years the next Corporate Agency failure, whose strategy has been led by 9 years by the last set of Corporate failures, Countrywide is the new Bradford & Bingley, Prudential, Halifax, Lloyds, General Accident et al. Hang your head Oldham girl, Alison, you've sold out to the City to the cost of the North and your shareholders!

From: Very Sad 09 December 2016 16:03 PM

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