Estate agency Haart has responded to criticism of its decision to axe 24 branches by launching a ‘New Deal’ for estate agency.
The firm has come under fire for the way it sacked probationary and some other staff via videolink, as part of a restructuring exercise.
It later announced a major restructuring exercise, including the branch closures and the creation of a new work-from-home business.
Now the firm has announced the first appointments to its new national partnership scheme and outlined plans to grow the network nationwide.
Stephen McDonald from Blaby, Holly Newman from Rushden and Chris Murton from Thanet are the first partners to be appointed, with 250 more set to follow.
The company is inviting applicants for the new roles, starting in the West Midlands, Leeds, Brighton, Southampton, the Oxford-Cambridge corridor and in additional locations around their existing Bristol Property Centre.
Managing director Antony Lark explained: “We’ve set the ball rolling by promoting three of our existing branch managers into the new roles, which will see them working from home or from our Local Property Centres, with all the benefits associated with being fully employed, not self-employed.
“We’re also creating a Partnership Academy to bring new talent into the industry. Plus we will be investing in our existing Elite branch network and developing our Local Property Centres alongside our Partnership programme.
“It’s critical at this time that the industry responds to the changing needs of the public, not least following the coronavirus outbreak, and we will be expanding into other areas not previously covered by Haart.”
Flexibility of new role
Holly Newman said she appreciated the flexibility of the new role: “I’m really looking forward to a much better work-life balance. Without the need to cover an office all day, I can also provide clients with a much more flexible service. We’ve got a strong brand with great technology and marketing behind us, as well as the support of our Local Property Centres and national call centre.”
Stephen McDonald added: “I’m really excited by this new chapter in my career as it gives me a great opportunity to control my own destiny. It’s a management-level role, giving me complete responsibility for my location, but is also offers wider career opportunities.”
“We have all the benefits and security of being fully employed,” said Chris Murton. “But the best part is that we can earn far more than we did as branch managers, with great commission spurring us on to deliver a fantastic service.”
The company has said that although some physical branch locations will close, nearly all will still be covered by Partners working in the same area.