Fine & Country says it’s aiming to be the biggest premium estate agency brand in the UK, its new MD Nicky Stevenson tells The Negotiator.
She joined the company in January to head up its associates operation but after CEO David Lindley announced his departure on June 1st, Stevenson was made MD of the UK, with Daniel Harrington heading up London and its international operation.
In an exclusive chat, Stevenson says that Fine & Country has already started its UK expansion despite the Coronavirus lock-down, with 11 new territories agreed to licensees and associates.
Agents in sleepy rural prime towns might want to watch out. Fine & Country is hoping to leverage its upmarket international reputation to take market share and Stevenson has been tasked with getting this done by its founder, Jon Cooke.
“It is an incredibly exciting time”, she says. “Fine & Country is a young business, constantly seeking to push the boundaries with tech and marketing innovations.”
It also recently enabled licence holders to sub-licence territories to agents on a self-employed basis if they want to. Until recently sub-licensing was not permitted.
“People’s expectations of work-life balance are changing and some want more flexibility, which the associate model enables,” she says.
“Where Fine & Country differs is that we help independent agents to position themselves in a higher end of the market, with a global reach, and therefore charge higher fees which can be difficult to tap into using traditional methods.
“The upper end of the market is moving – we’ve already overtaken our sales agreed rate and instructions for 2019, and because our agents are independent they are quite nimble – they didn’t have to wait for HQ to tell them when to open up, and hit the ground running earlier.”