Home » News » Agencies & People » Estate agency closes down blaming online rivals and instructions drought
Agencies & People

Estate agency closes down blaming online rivals and instructions drought

Andy Blacklock, who founded SW agency Maitlands in 1994, says higher costs but downward pressure on fees left him no choice but to close his doors.

Nigel Lewis

 maitlands estate agents

A leading regional estate agency has ceased trading blaming its demise on the current instructions drought but also online competition and downward pressure on fees, it has been reported.

Maitland Estate Agents Ltd has closed its doors at four SW locations after nearly 30 years of trading.

These are its offices in Plympton, Plymouth and Ivybridge, both in Devon and Saltash in Cornwall.

andy blacklock estate agencyThe company’s MD and co-founder Andy Blacklock (pictured) told local media that he is ‘devastated’ and ‘deeply saddened’ by the move, adding that “this decision, as you can imagine, has not come lightly”.

“Having formed the original business in 1994, me and my team have grown the business over the years employing nearly 300 staff since its formation.”

Existing pressures on the estate agency have been made worse by the pandemic over the past 20 months, he said, citing rising business costs while competition from online and lower-cost hybrid agencies put pressure on fee levels.

“Despite our best efforts to diversify into new markets including new home sales, we have been unable to produce the incomes required to sustain the business,” he says.

Blacklock set up Maitlands in 1994 with just two staff but grew to eventually employ 40 people across four offices.

Maitlands at one point held a Fine & Country franchise and was also part of the region’s 750-strong Home Sale Network of agents.

Maitlands has never just been a job for me and my team, but a way of life and I hope every single member of the Maitlands team will soon be doing what they are great at soon,” Blacklock added.

November 25, 2021

One comment

  1. This is so sad to read. It’s a real shame when independents have to close, because of the pressures from lower cost hybrid agencies. Good luck to all the Maitlands staff and I hope you all manage to find other jobs that match your talents.

What's your opinion?

Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.