An estate agency is to set up in a new ‘hub’ to cover the whole of a major city and its surrounding areas. It plans the model to fill the gap between online and traditional agents.
Enfields is opening in a large barn, in a village some six miles from the centre of Portsmouth, from where it will cover a number of PO postcodes.
The picturesque 15th-century barn is already used by Evolve, a firm specialising in estate agency marketing products including EPCs, floor plans and photography.
The building’s spare capacity means it has plenty of space for another business.
Enfields already has eight offices in Southampton, Bournemouth and Pontefract.
Its new Portsmouth ‘hub’, opening in late March, will cover not only the city but sizeable towns such as Fareham and Gosport – altogether, the initial territory will cover postcodes PO1 to PO19.
The ‘hub’ will employ its own agents, covering their own areas, and able to earn commissions described as exceptional.
Evolve and Enfields will keep a distance between their businesses, with founder and managing director David Brierley continuing to run Evolve as before.
Jason Bull, Evolve’s national sales director, will take responsibility as chief operating officer for the new Enfields venture, and says further ‘hub’ launches are planned this year and next.
Simon Thurston, director of Enfields Franchising, said: “Over the past few months we have been carefully watching the developments in both the online and traditional agency models and have concluded that there is a growing gap between the two.
“Whilst undoubtedly there are some excellent offerings from the traditional high street sector, the online model has shown some advantages for consumers who appear to like the less formal approach and greater use of technology to help book viewings and valuations.
“The recent State of the Nation Report issued by Zoopla highlighted the gap between what the majority of agents are offering and what consumers really want.
“Having then spent considerable time looking at what might be appropriate to help fill the gap, I am delighted to announce the arrival of a new addition to the Enfields network, which we believe fulfils the true needs and expectations of the consumer.”
Bull said: “We will be 100% transparent in our fee’s and processes and will provide consumers with the freedom to choose what they want without any hard sell.
“We believe the products and quality and quantity of marketing will speak for themselves.
“There will be no ambiguity on fee, no dodging how much we charge, and all enquiries will be met with clear, concise answers to the age-old question of how much are your fees?
“I have handpicked the team, which consists initially of eight people and all are home owners, so they understand the emotions of buying and selling.
“Each is employed, salaried and will receive personal commission that dwarfs anything seen elsewhere in the employed sector of our industry.
“The environment and tools are truly exceptional, and I am hell bent on putting people first and delivering fantastic experiences for both my people and our customers.”
Bull said that the launch team is envisaged to swell to 14 within three to six months of launch.
He anticipates that most of the recruits will be “disillusioned corporate managers and senior negotiators”.