London agent Douglas & Gordon has confirmed that it plans to roll out more ‘virtual’ offices this year and next.
Calling it a ‘hybrid’ model, the firm’s boss suggested that compared with other outlets, high street estate agent offices are not popular with the public – and that the model will attract people to work in it from outside the industry.
As reported by EYE last week, the firm has launched a ‘virtual’ office in Streatham, south-west London.
There is no actual office in Streatham, but two dedicated ‘brokers’ – Charlie Mitchell and Enna-Mae Assiter – will service the area through working remotely and providing 24/7 coverage. They will handle transactions from valuation to completion.
Once established in Streatham, Douglas & Gordon said it plans to roll out the model to more locations in 2017, with further expansion through into 2018.
James Evans, CEO of Douglas & Gordon, said: “There are plenty of estate agents’ offices already taking up prime spots on high streets such as Streatham.
“We believe that residents would rather these spaces are freed up for local businesses like coffee shops, bars and restaurants or independent shops.
“Our promise to our customers is that they will get the best possible service and results. This model allows our brokers to give clients that service whenever they need it – be it an evening or a weekend.”
Evans added: “It also means we can attract talent from outside the industry and bring in people who really understand customer service and are skilled at negotiation, but who aren’t interested to work solely within standard office hours.”
Douglas & Gordon was founded in 1958 and employs 200 people in 19 offices.