Humberts has opened a branch on the site of a former Winkworth franchisee’s office in the East Sussex village of Forest Row.
The branch is the ninth outpost of the recently-rejuvenated estate agency brand and is a sister branch of the firm’s nearby East Grinstead high street office.
The current owners of Humberts, a group of franchise owners led by its Norwich branch, bought the collapsed and directly-operated part of the business out of administration in January 2020 and have set about re-building the brand.
Its latest branch is within a Grade II listed property that had been operated as a Winkworth branch until 2019 after which it stood empty but with the agency’s branding still intact.
Before that it existed for at least 50 years under the Wood, Evatt & Gardner name. Prior to that was the village’s post office.
The Forest Row franchise has been bought by an existing Humberst franchisee, Simon Lewis, who, being one of the ‘originals’ already has a branch in East Grinstead where he has been operating for over 27 years.
The new agreement expands Humberts’ network to nine branches, four of which joined just as Covid-19 began.
The network now includes East Grinstead, Forest Row, Honiton, Norwich, Sevenoaks, Taunton, Truro, Yeovil and York, offering services across residential sales and lettings, new homes, commercial, leisure, farm and land management.
“Thanks to the support that Humberts provides including high spec technology and marketing, 2021 was a bumper year of sales and lettings at my East Grinstead branch,” says Lewis.
“Humberts’ digital services, in particular, were instrumental in keeping viewings happening during the various lockdowns, which demonstrates the group’s ability to allow businesses to thrive during periods of uncertainty”
Tim Stephens (pictured), Head of Franchising and Director of Humberts Norwich says: “We are delighted that Simon has expanded his business with Humberts, following the success of East Grinstead during these unprecedented times.
“It has certainly been a testing couple of years for everybody, but we are all feeling very positive about the next twelve months.”
“Humberts continues to seek out estate agents with the ambition to expand and to link in with existing franchise offices across the country.”