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Another estate agency launches off the high street – with big-tech funding

Estate agency Hale Homes is being launched by a former high street agent who now claims that 'no one wants to visit physical branches'.

Nigel Lewis

hale homes

A former high street estate agent in Cheshire has launched a hybrid agency backed with an investment from a leading software developer.

Hale Homes will be covering the prime Manchester suburbs of Hale, Barns and Bowden.

It has the backing of ICX4, an Altrincham and Delhi-based business data firm that specialises, among other things, in Know Your Client due diligence.

Hale Homes founder Jackie Atkins says her agency launch follows 12 years spent working for agencies in the region including Gascoigne Halman and Jordan Fishwick, and before that a career in property development.

Not on the high street

Atkins has taken the increasingly common decision not to open a branch, claiming physical offices are no longer a key focus for customers when choosing an estate agent.

“No-one wants to peer at properties through estate agents’ windows or make unnecessary office visits in the light of the Covid-19 threat,” she says.

“I meet clients face-to-face, outside, or in a lovely coffee shop, to get a good feel for the area or at their home – wherever they feel most comfortable.

“We will combine the best of a traditional estate agent – the local knowledge, property sale expertise and the best in customer service – with the simplicity and speed of an online operation – a bricks and mortar agency without the bricks and mortar.

“I have been a property customer in Hale myself and customer service often falls short of my expectations – our service is built around meeting my high standards and redefining what customers should expect from their estate agent.”

Visit Hale Homes.

October 9, 2020

3 comments

  1. Is it really any surprise that yet another internet agent opens with the comment ‘no-one wants to visit a physical office’. Funny that as we are busier than ever with our High Street office and in our area we have seen about half a dozen ‘one hit wonder’ internet agents come and go in the past 2 years. Hey ho!

  2. With respect I wish her luck, however the amount of walk ins we get is still very viable in terms of valuations, clients and potential clients asking for advice and helps with our community pledges like the scouts post and various things we do for the elderly and other social groups.
    Photocopying things for people, clients dropping solicitors paperwork in etc.. If you’re off the high street then yes, there is a massive cost saving and you can work from home without the constraints of “the day job”, and yes it’s not essential anymore, but really you re no different to the purple one, and if you have a usp be careful, if the corporate online giant nicks it you’ll get crowded out.

  3. In time as in other industries all real estate agency operations will be more tech based, automated systems allowing the consummate property professionals more face to face time, even if it is via a digital screen. Not sure if boutique coffee shop approach is going to be a Covid reality any time soon unfortunately, but the idea of agile new businesses setting up with experienced property people at the helm is an increasing feature.

    Having the clout of a tech business is also an interesting development, might we see Amazon Estate Agents sooner than we think? Watch this space.

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