Ex-Foxtons director joins Connells after quitting Purplebricks role

Chris Beckwith

Chris Beckwith, who recently quit as Purplebricks’ chief sales officer after less than six weeks in the role, has joined Connells Group.

He has joined the company in the newly created role of lettings managing director, responsible for lettings in Barnard Marcus and the Group’s Connells and Sequence business in the South.

Stephen Nation, Connells Group lettings managing director, said, “Chris is a widely respected lettings operator with an excellent reputation for delivering growth, who is perfectly placed to impact our business.”

An estate agent for more than 25 years, Beckwith has previously held senior leadership positions at Dexters, Currell (part of Savills Group) and until recently at Foxtons, where, as a director, he led M&A.

Beckwith joined Purplebricks towards the end of March with a remit covering all aspects of Purplebricks’ sales in the newly created role of chief sales officer.However, he quit at the end of April.

A Purplebricks spokesperson told Eye at the time that Beckwith had left Purplebricks “due to personal reasons”.

“He has decided he can’t give the role the focus it requires – and we fully support his decision and wish him all the best for the future,” the spokesperson added.


Senior promotions at Connells Group


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  1. MrSmith78

    Not sure why these article are news. Some guy goes from one job to another. Estate agency is a simple beast, not sure what you would expect that is different.

    1. Robert_May

      For the record this is a clever appointment. Chris Beckwith has a very strong experience in lettings and a good history of success. Chris has got himself a  great job and Connells have got someone who can develop a strong division to the business


      Congratulations both!!


    2. jan - byers

      I agree

      Who tf cares

      1. Robert_May

        For what it’s worth Jan, I care.

        It might not be an interest to you but Property Industry Eye isn’t here for exclusive content bespoke to each reader.  Up until now  Connells haven’t really featured as a major player in lettings, they have stuck to their knitting and done that well. This appointment doesn’t need to be of interest to you but there are about 10,000 business owners who  will take note of this appointment  and consider the implications for them.

        You won’t give a fish’s t1t what I think but I cannot work out why you sometimes post as you do, it’s almost as if you’re looking for a row. That’s a shame because your posts usually add a balance to the comments posted



        1. FUDGE53

          You are about 10 years behind the curve with your not featuring in lettings comment.

          1. Robert_May

            Am I? I didn’t say they don’t feature I said they “haven’t really featured as a major player in lettings” If  Connells have  quietly gone about having 60,000 or so tenancies under management  for the past 10 years they haven’t shouted about as much as they should.

        2. jan - byers

          No offence meant.

          As it happens I think many of your comments also are valid and thought provoking.

          I guess I just look after my own business.

          I could not care less what others are doing.

          I am certainly not looking for a row I just do not get why PIE is obsessed with who is moving around.

          In any corporate it is just same s++t different bucket in the main.

          Wish you all the best my friend.


          1. Robert_May

            You won’t offend me Jan,  this is a B2B discussion  forum and I’ll end up with reactions to what  I’ve typed. If I don’t want the reaction I’m not forced to post.

            Pie isn’t obsessed as much as they’re  filling the quota of stories for the readership. If a PR team send in a story PIE will either use it or lose it based on the level of interest the story has, the comments it will generate or the competition for space from other stories.

            This story is interesting to a subset of the industry, it is a senior appointment to the largest firm in the business.

            Behind each of these appointments is someone’s family, it is nice for the  person and their family to see their career progress noted and to hear the respect others have for them.


            Chris has done well and it’s nice for him that his achievement is recognised. It’s also nice  that the people who know and respect him can say well done.

  2. Property Poke In The Eye

    The guy couldn’t take the stress from PB and moves to another agency with a guarantee- standard practice for some agents/managers

    1. AgentQ73

      Given the staff turnover at PB I would guess there is a lot more than “stress” at play.

  3. LongInTheToooth

    Beckwith might be good, but no ones that good! PB’s senior management team’s posturing and politics are a big problem there which could be a factor, but I suspect the task was just too large.  
    PB need a restructuring of their fee model, without adding gimmicky insurance products with confusing terms.
    As a demonstration of their staff’s motives they’ve sold 31% of their available stock in my patch, which is 20% less than their market leader traditional counterparts.
    Staff are low calibre (and declining) and attrition is higher than usual, LPE’s previously dismissed for gross misconduct have been allowed to return. Territory owners have more power than before as directors cannot influence recruitment now due to intense scrutiny under IR35.
    To alleviate pressure TO’s are making poor recruitment decisions, which are often motivated by saving a recruitment agents fee too.
    PB hit the iceberg a couple of years ago, EXP and KW have provided some lifeboats and the rest of the industry will prove chilly waters for the rest of PB’s one trick ponies.  

  4. Gangsta Agent

    “Up until now Connells haven’t really featured as a major player in lettings” is rubbish as Connells have been heavily involved in lettings for many years and have lettings teams in most of their high street offices

    1. Robert_May

       As my definition of a major player in lettings is  different, based on experience of single branch agencies with  10,000 + properties under management, to yours how many lettings, let and rent collection or full management properties are on their books?

      1. FUDGE53

        Can you please name a single branch agency with 10,000 + properties under management.

        1. Robert_May

          I could but I’m not going to,  they quietly go about their business and its not for me to disclose their business.

          1. A W

            Robert are you sure that you’re talking about single branch agencies and not asset / outsourced property management companies? I’m genuinely intrigued if that’s the case…

  5. Hillofwad71

    The story everyone wants to hear is what happened at Purplebricks .?

    His role at Foxtons was Mergers & Acquistions and he left shortly after the announcement of the acquistion of Douglas & Gordon to join  Bricks


    With £70m  in the bank you would have thought that his role  there was to get busy with the folding and produce them a lettings inventory  and possibly beef up sales  .Excited by the prospect of adding value


    it probably  became clear fairly quickly that all Vic wanted to do was buy in some gadgetry and add the odd bell and whistle


    As Robert says what is Bricks loss is Connells gain.


    Meanwhile  Bricks letting inventory  is a paltry 172 today


    Suspect Chris  has had to grit his teeth and accept the “personal reasons”excuse  which hopefully he has been adequately compensated for so Bricks can escape a PR  disaster

    They fool no one

    1. Magic

      Everyone keeps discussing the 70m that PB have, this is fake cash flow to prop up the share share price and keep it alive, If you look at the accounts in detail a large proportion of it is already distributed or tied up in other external and internal investments, they have just done well hiding it from you There is no 70m that is why share price will not rise until they either generate more revenue per listing or reduce costs. They have tried the reduce costs over the last 12 months, removing 16 RDs / Replacing quality DSDs with poor branch mangers as DSDs, cutting marketing budget by 50%. This resulted in them loosing market share whilst others increased and flourished. Chris saw what other good DSDs RDs and other leadership that have left, they see through and challenged the rubbish they say and the status quo did not like it, so they replace him with 2 yes men that would not even get a role as a branch manager in the real world.    

      1. Hillofwad71

          Yes good point  the £70m  in the Tommy  is a unicorn ,The reality is a lot different. Looking n through the accounts Note 11 they show 2 investments totalling £27.3m  
        What do you think their actual cash position is?
        They add little detail  about whether their share of losses in Homeday are likely  to improve currently their share is £3m   for example and should imagine the reality  hit Chris very quickly and  that he did not have access to  an open cheque  book
          Only a matter of time  before investors lose patience. All that trouble to create a brand  and do nothing with it ,
        Next step might see them buying shares back In that would really  take the biscuit          

        1. Magic

          I would suggest the majority of the 70m is tied up hence the need over the last 12 months to focus on cost of service plus remove top talent on proper money and replace with yes men on very little.

          The need for them to break even has never been so important so i would guess there cash position is 25% of the 70m looking at accounts and watching there actions.

          No one wants the PB big Jobs anymore hence why Vic D is being praised and given a golden handshake to keep him there.

          1. Ostrich17

            “The need for them to break even has never been so important so i would guess there cash position is 25% of the 70m looking at accounts and watching there actions.”

            1. They just turned in a profit (after tax) of £6.8million.

            2. Received £32.9 million nett for the sale of the Canadian operation – are you suggesting they were paid in beans?


            1. Magic

              I am not sure you are capable of understanding or reading a set of accounts, if you did you would of not of responded with the silly questions you have. Are you one of the DSDs in disguise????? getting grumpy


              Why did they need to sell the Canadian business in the first place, this is all that matters? your next silly question should be how much cost have pushed into the next set of accounts so they can show a profit for once.


              It does worry me that some of the people i work with in this industry do not understand business and accounts.





  6. majortom1

    hardly headline news I agree – a person leaves one job to move to another.  Looks more like an internal newsletter than a PIE article It does make one wonder that there was no one good enough to take on this job already within the group. Promotion from within used to be the mantra of some of these companies but maybe that’s living in the past. I’m sure a few up-and-coming lettings senior managers will be scratching their heads-why not me?? perhaps they were all offered the chance but wanted to stay in their current roles.

    1. PeeBee

      Okay – as my last response to this was #NUKED by the EYE powers-that-be for whatever part of their Ts&Cs they care to believe it breached to justify the action taken, I will remove my comment (next part of of comment removed by me before it gets #NUKED again…) 
      Anyway – back to majortom1’s comment, and what I replied as I remember it (plus a bit that I have said many, many times before, which I will repost here also):
      majortom1 You say that it is “hardly headline news” – yet do not question the “headline” directly below it – “Estate agent enters Love Island as a new contestant”  which indicates to me that this is, to you, a newsworthy item. 
      “One man’s meat…” as the old saying goes, I guess – but the above “internal newsletter” is certainly more my choice of staple diet than a page telling me yet another young chancer heads off for telly fame – most likely at the expense of the industry they should represent.
      But here’s the rub.  All this “news” is what comes in to them via various media sources.  It’s all pre-written; packaged as oven-ready – and therefore it would seem, deemed good to go.  Quick as a flash – it’s served up for an audience hungry for input.
      You may not like it; might even huff and puff and go to the extreme step of not bothering to read it – but the only way you’re not going to see it at all is if something else passes in front of the “editor’s” nose that in some way top trumps it. 
      So – the pill for your ill lies at your feet and those of the rest of the readership, majortom1.  Get writing some good PR (even better, come up with a good subject for an article or investigation) and bang it over to EYE Towers and hope that they print something you actually want to read.  
      We’re all EYEs…

  7. Surrendermonkey

    Major Tim … you might want to take a look at the third article in today’s PIE which carries news of two senior internal promotions within Connells?    This, as well you know, follows no less than seven internal promotions to board level within Connells, that were announced last year.   I’ll send you a link to the article if you’d like …. you’ll recognise most of the names as they’re ex-colleagues of yours.

    So, looks like the ‘promote from within culture’ is alive and well within Connells … who continue to thrive as a consequence.   How does that compare with Haart? … where it seems that almost all of the senior roles are either filled externally or left vacant as a consequence of failing to attract good quality talent, who doubtless are reluctant to be exposed to to the ‘family values’ that were deployed at the start of the pandemic.

    1. majortom1

      I didn’t as I got bored after the third article. I was referring to this specific position as I would have thought that would have been a great internal fill, especially with all the Countrywide lettings management as well.. Why do you keep mentioning Haart ? I hear they are doing very well.

  8. Cloggs

    Oh what a surprise …. ANOTHER MAN recruited by Connells, and yes before anybody asks i have read article Three and again, all male.


    Connells Board … do you have a problem with Women?.


    #boysclub #boysontheboard

  9. Magic

    I am not sure you are capable of understanding or reading a set of accounts, if you did you would not off  responded with these silly questions. Are you one of the DSDs in disguise????? getting grumpy   Why did they need to sell the Canadian business in the first place, this is all that matters? your next silly question should be how much cost have they pushed into the next set of accounts so they can show a profit for once. It does worry me that some of the people i work with in this industry do not understand business and accounts.        


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