Estate agency and financial services guru Frank Lowe has warned that independent estate agents should draw up strategies for survival, with corporates on the prowl to extend their distribution networks.
Lowe was national estate agency director at Home Of Choice, the mortgage network which last year was bought by LSL, parent company of Reeds Rains and Your Move. He has also worked for Connells.
He said that in particular, independents should now get themselves organised to offer robust financial services, and that traditional referral systems were now obsolete.
Lowe said: “Independents should not sit idly by when corporate agents are actively demonstrating their ambition to extend market share through acquisitions.
“The latest agent to become absorbed into the corporate world is Blundells, with 13 offices in the Yorkshire area.
“If the mortgage famine was not a good enough reason to develop a joint venture with quality financial advisers, then the continued expansion of corporate agents is a timely reminder of the threat they pose to the very existence of the independent agent.”
Lowe is principal of Cheshire-based Estate Agency Business Solutions 2011, which specialises in drawing up business plans for independents which could be in danger of losing out “when faced with aggressive corporate activity, in a finite and delicate market”.