One of the industry’s most universally respected figures, Frank Webster, is leaving Finders Keepers, the agency he helped build up so successfully, and which was bought just over two years ago by Countrywide.
His departure next month follows that of managing director Dan Channer, whose last day is tomorrow.
Webster will leave the high-profile business, after over 30 years, at the end of next month. There is no suggestion that he is retiring.
Finders Keepers, in Oxford, was founded in 1972 by Dan’s mother Mary Channer, and is embedded not just in the culture of the city but stands for a beacon of good practice within the industry, managing over 3,000 properties.
It has become a rite of passage for students to camp outside the Finders Keepers student lettings office for days in order to secure next year’s accommodation – an entirely unnecessary ritual, as Webster has pointed out, in an age of electronic communications.
Webster won an award for outstanding contribution to the letting industry in 2016.
Yesterday afternoon, a spokesperson for Countrywide said: “Frank Webster has resigned from Finders Keepers.
“After more than three decades of service, Frank will leave the business at the end of May 2018. He has been one of the key driving forces at FK and worked for the founder, Mary Channer, for over 30 years.
“Frank has campaigned for higher standards and greater professionalism in the industry for many years. Recently he has been coaching some of the company’s future leaders, and we thank him and wish him the best for his next chapter.”
Webster himself said: “I started in the industry over 35 years ago as a rookie estate agent. My peers at the time tried to discourage me from switching to property letting and management. I’m so glad I didn’t listen to them.
“I’ve had many fruitful years at FK but it is time to move on.
“I’d like to think I’ve seen it all during those years but I certainly don’t know it all: that’s what is so fulfilling about the real estate business.
“I’m very excited about the future and the forthcoming professionalisation of our industry.”
Finders Keepers was twice the Sunday Times Lettings Agency of the Year, with Dan Channer paying tribute to the quality of its staff and its very special culture.
Channer, who has been with the business over ten years, hands over the reins to Paul Rushworth.