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Agencies & People

Chancellors: How it avoided ‘damaging cuts’ during COVID lockdown

MD of multi-branch independent agency in London and Home Counties reveals how it has survived the pandemic.

Nigel Lewis

Chancellors, one of the UK’s largest independent estate agency chains, says its strategy of building up a rainy day reserve during the good times have helped the company avoid ‘damaging cuts’ during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The 53-branch firm, which covers Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey, London and Mid Wales, says it is now ready to begin growing again once the Coronavirus pandemic lifts.

“The company has traditionally adopted a risk averse approach to its trading activities, which has resulted in significant reserves being held which have been prudently used to invest in and develop the business infrastructure and network,” says Robert Scott-Lee, its MD (pictured, above) who is the son of former chairman James Scott-Lee.

“With the spread of Coronavirus these reserves put the company in a good position to manage costs effectively while not being forced to implement damaging costs on the basis of cash flow requirements over the course of 2020.”

Profits drop

But the company’s 2019 accounts reveal that, despite grabbing market share last year as the tenant fees ban impacted the lettings industry, its revenue held strong but profits dropped by nearly 45%.

“During the [lettings fees ban introduction] period the business was able to…expand its geographic reach through opening new locations,” says Scott-Lee.

“Further expansion into new homes on both the sales and lettings front added to improved business pipelines for the future.”

Chancellors was last week named as one of the top ten most popular agents on Facebook in a poll published last week by recruitment agency Rayner Personnel. It currently has 13,113 followers on the social media platform, placing it at No.7 among all UK agencies.


August 3, 2020

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