The hunger for space and consumers looking to move to larger homes is driving demand in the prime housing market. Whilst first-time buyers are still a driving force in the property market, consumers reassessing their property needs and wanting more space has shifted the dynamic with second and third steppers taking the reins.
According to Daniel Harrington, Head of Global Growth at Fine & Country, the shift to home working and less need to commute has altered home buying patterns. “With many now being able to either permanently work from home or only commute to the office one or two days a week, proximity to the workplace has become far less important, while lifestyle offering and space has moved up the priority list,” he adds. “As consumer property buying behaviour has changed and more people are looking to invest in larger homes, the premium property market has been outstripping other sectors, which has been positive for estate agents in the upper quartile of the market.”
The increased activity within the premium property market has attracted an influx of property professionals looking to capitalise on the favourable prime market. “Within the first two months of this year, Fine & Country has signed 27 licensee agreements across the core, platform and associate models and broken into new markets such as Scotland. Agents have recognised the changes in consumer behaviour and the opportunities a presence in the upper quartile of the market provides. While many were already successful within the middle market, they were looking to partner with an established premium brand that would help them grow their presence in the upper tier of the market and offer them valuable points of differentiation. Partnering with Fine & Country has given them the platform they need to be able to tap into the upper end of the market and diversify their revenue streams,” says Harrington. “Working with a large network with a substantial UK presence and international offices also opens up the opportunity for referrals both locally and abroad.”
Just as consumer’s lifestyles have changed, so have agents’ lifestyles and the way in which many of them work. “An aspect that has assisted the brand to grow so rapidly is the fact that Fine & Country caters to property professionals who wish to run an office, as well as those who wish to work remotely. As estate agency has evolved, so has the types of license options available to agents who wish to join our network. There are currently three levels of licensee agreements, Core, Platform and Associate, all of which offer agents the option of partnering with a premium brand. They also provide technology solutions and premium marketing to the next wave of estate agencies across the world, Harrington concludes.
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