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Can Chestertons regain the glory days of its 1990s global expansion?

The Negotiator quizzes its international boss Gavin Vercoe about how he's going to catch-up with established rivals Knight Frank and Savills.

Nigel Lewis

gavin Vercoe

Chestertons is hoping to return to its glory days during the 1990s as it prepares to hit 20 international offices next year, its global COO has told The Negotiator.

Gavin Vercoe (main pic) says next year is set be an exciting one for the estate agency which is expanding across the globe via a country-based franchising model.

“Covid has definitely slowed us down – many franchisees have thought twice about signing up as the world and its businesses have struggled during the pandemic,” he says.

Nevertheless, Vercoe says his goal is for Chestertons to once more rival Savills and Knight Frank across the globe and, like those businesses, build on the reputation of its London operation.

“London is an amazing crucible because if you can become successful there then it’s an extraordinary calling card where else you do in the world – because it’s so competitive,” he says.

Already in firm favourites such as Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and earlier this year Cyprus, Vercoe says much of its future expansion will be in Asia and the Middle East.

He says the Chestertons brand is still remembered as a player in the commercial property sectors there from when it used to have offices in these territories, so many of these new operations focus on that first.

Multiple disciplines

“But ultimately we expect to see these franchises operate across resales, new homes and commercial,” he says.

“The beauty of our franchise is flexibility – they can open in the market they see as the best suited, and then expand later – unlike US firm who tend to demand that franchisees go in guns blazing in all disciplines from the start.”

Companies signing up to the Chestertons brand are usually medium-size established firms with multiple branches in their countries who see the Chestertons brand as an opportunity to rival the big international brands who are, increasingly, their main competitors.

So next time you’re abroad, expect to see the Chestertons brand more and more.

December 7, 2021

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