The Coronavirus lock-down will have far-reaching and unforeseen effects on many industries but according to one hybrid estate agency, for property it’s going to be the rise of home-working and self-employed staff.
Paul Clarke, who with his partner set up estate agency, ‘Mr and Mrs Clarke’, claims this will an inevitable outcome of 50,000 estate agency staff being forced to work from home until June and beyond.
The company, which was established four years ago, is now looking for partners to expand its brand, which was the brainchild of the Clarkes after they had a poor experience selling their London home and buying a new one outside the capital.
But after perfecting ‘the brand’ the couple realised selling homes is more difficult than it looks.
They then hired a former Knight Frank and Modern House sales director to help them refine their service and they are now looking for locally networked local agents to join them.
“Our market is agents like Savills, Fine & Country and Knight Frank but also good independents,” says Paul. (pictured, left)
“Our customers are people who love their homes and want to show them off when they put them on the market.”
Mr and Mrs Clarke is an unusual agency for several other reasons other than its name. The company sounds upmarket, but it is also one of the most innovative users of social media within the industry.
Clarke says the company gains 50% of its buyer leads from Instagram while Rightmove and Zoopla supply the rest. In return the company offers its partners 75% of the fees earned form each sale.
“There are a couple of agencies like us in London but nothing like us outside the capital,” says Clarke. “The difference is we offer vendors an astounding marketing package including photography, property marketing materials, EPCs and floorplans.”