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.”