Fine & Country to offer its brand for use by self-employed ‘associate’ agents

Fine & Country is to allow its brand to be used by self-employed agents who do not necessarily operate from branches, allowing its licensees to grow their businesses as ‘hubs’.

Existing members – high street agents wanting a prestige brand – will now be able to sub-license the Fine & Country name.

The self-employed model, known as the Fine & Country Associate platform, will let licensees both in the UK and internationally appoint self-employed associates use the brand and split commissions in their territory.

The initiative is being run by new Fine & Country recruit Nicky Stevenson, who was previously  managing director of Keller Williams UK where self-employed agents work around a hub.

Stevenson is based in Fine & Country’s head office in Park Lane, from where the first licensing arrangement is being run.

She told EYE: “This is an opportunity for existing licensees to bring on associates and grow their business.”

Self-employed associates will need to be experienced, having at least two years in the industry, she said.

Fine & Country will conduct criminal record checks on the associates, who would need to be registered with a redress scheme and also have upmarket experience.

It will not be open to agents operating an online-style model but Stevenson said while there will be offices available there is nothing to stop an agent working flexibly.

The model has already been trialled in Fine & Country’s midlands’ offices where Stevenson said Fine & Country agents have seen their earnings double.

Stevenson  joined Fine & Country last month after leaving Keller Williams where she had been director of its flagship Mayfair market centre since last April.

She was previously managing director of consultancy, training and networking group the Property Academy.

David Lindley, chief executive of Fine & Country, predicts that around 30% of estate agents could become their own bosses.

He said: “A self-employed model provides an opportunity for experienced, entrepreneurial-minded agents to own their own business without having the overheads of running a high-street or traditional agency.

“As seasoned property professionals, they will have flexibility and independence while being supported by an established premium brand.”

He said: “Our licensees have the exclusive right to market and sell properties within their territories, and they can choose to participate in the associate platform if they would like.”

Nicky Stevenson

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7 Comments

  1. SamH

    For me, this is one of the most newsworthy stories in recent memory. A clear sign of a HUGE business listening to their best talent (and recruiting someone who clearly believes in it to drive it) and offering them what they need to grow their own businesses and themselves. F&C with both eyes on the future.

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  2. Property Money Tree

    In 2015, I was serviced by a Fine & Country agent who was running his own agency in tandem.  I was a bit cross when my house was advertised under his own name when I’d only signed up with F&C.  Considering however, that he did that, I am literally just now considering the possibility that maybe he wasn’t supposed to be self employed/a licensee, even though that’s how he operated.  Who knows?

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  3. MillicentBystander

    I recall a Westcountry F&C licensee advertising for a self-employed agent on the south coast via an industry recruiter several years back.

    Seems like it could work well for single agents but can’t quite see how an entrepreneurial agent looking to build a business under a brand can do so with restrictive territories.

    Maybe I’m wrong and if they can offer something along the lines of KW, EXP etc they could be on to something.

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  4. haveathink

    Interesting,  high profile move.  One would surely think the ‘world’s biggest estate agent’ Keller Williams have confidentially clauses in their employment contract that prevents someone in a high level role giving them a few months employment before essentially replicating their operation within an umbrella of a would-be competitor.    

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    1. MillicentBystander

      The KW business model is hardly a secret.

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  5. NotAdoctor32

    I’d imagine F&C have far bigger plans than replicating KW and having less than 1 property per agent.

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  6. smile please

    Self employed agency in the UK is doomed.

    Only way a bedroom agent can win an instruction is by cutting fees and over pricing. Its an expensive lesson for them to learn. At least at PB they get £250 for overpricing a property when instructed. Over price couple props a week gives a basic living wage

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