Hunters has said that it expects ‘significant expansion’ this year, after putting in a strong performance during 2016.
Last year the group – whose chairman is estate agent and Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake – opened 30 new branches, whilst reporting impressive trading updates throughout 2016.
During the year, Hunters’ offices opened in counties including Greater London, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire, Wiltshire and Lincolnshire.
With nearly 94% of the group now franchised, training for new and existing staff was also bolstered throughout 2016, which saw the introduction of the new Hunters National Qualification, a training scheme endorsed by the NAEA and ARLA.
Glynis Frew, chief executive of Hunters, said: “Becoming the UK’s favourite estate agent is our primary objective and growing the size of the network is vital to achieving this.
“We also understand that we need helpful and well trained staff to achieve this objective, and we invested the equivalent of £500,000 in training throughout 2016, demonstrating our commitment to our staff, customers and franchise partners.”
She went on: “The last quarter of 2016 was a busy time for Hunters Franchising. Ee have gained many new franchisees and expect this to continue into 2017.
“The group already has a number of branch openings scheduled for Q1 and the board confidently expects significant further network expansion throughout 2017.”
The first opening this year has been in Brixton, London, where Foxtons already has a presence and where Marsh & Parsons has just opened.
The firm, which was one of the first estate agents to advertise on national TV, said it will also be launching a revamped TV commercial on Channel 4 shortly.
Hunters, which opened its first office in York in 1992 and its first franchising branch in 2006, now has a network of over 180 branches nationwide.
The business floated on AIM in 2015, appointing former Countrywide boss Harry Hill to help steer the float. At the time, it had a network of 128 branches, and said that it planned to expand to over 500 offices by 2020.
The firm, originally launched in York, was the brainchild of Kevin Hollinrake, his brother Keith and John Waterhouse. Glynis Frew is sister of the Hollinrake brothers.
Pictured left to right: Harry Hill, non-executive deputy chairman; Dean Fielding, non-executive director; Glynis Frew; Martin Robinson, national sales director; Kevin Hollinrake; and Ed Jones, chief financial officer