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Exclusive: Spicerhaart CEO denies he’s planning more redundancies or business model changes

Paul Smith responds to our article in which an insider claimed the company was preparing to adopt a Purplebricks-style self-employed model at some branches.

Nigel Lewis

spicerhaart

“As the largest independent estate agency in the UK, it is inevitable that others in the industry will be watching our every move – in many cases, criticising the way we run our business or making assumptions about our plans for the future.

However, I’m really pleased to say that as a result of some very tough decisions that we have taken over the past few weeks that we are in a really strong position, going forward.

The Spicerhaart team has pulled together in extraordinary ways since this pandemic began and I have never been more proud of every single individual for the way they have stepped up.

Business has been reignited and we have had an incredible number of calls from existing and prospective customers, so much so that our In Work teams are working flat out to try and keep up.

Every day, our executive team reviews what is happening in the market place and the likely impact this will have on a business like ours.

We have also been looking very closely at our operating costs and I have questioned whether we need so many physical branches or whether our staff can still work locally without the huge overheads that come with having an expensive physical space.

Any rumours about changing our model for people to become self-employed are simply untrue.

In fact, our views are the exact opposite, that by offering people the security of employment but with a more flexible way of working, we will bring out the best in our current Spicerhaart family and those that see our new model.

Right now, our number one priority is the safety of our staff and our customers. We have a new COVID-19 Safe and Secure training programme that all our staff are expected to complete with an assessment procedure to ensure everyone understands what is required of them in the coming months ahead.

We are also working through a programme of bringing people back from furlough, so that we can continue to trade successfully and strengthen the brands under the Spicerhaart umbrella, maintaining our strong position in the markets where we currently operate.

Finally, let me assure you at this time, we are not planning any large scale redundancies; as I continue to state we are strong, and will come out of this much, much stronger.”

 

May 19, 2020

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