One of the country’s longest running estate agencies is introducing a new Partner scheme which will see some branches replaced with people working from home.
Butters John Bee – which has 19 offices across the West Midlands region including in Stoke-on-Trent, Stone, Stafford, Cannock and Wolverhampton as well as parts of Cheshire – was acquired by the Spicerhaart Group in 2017.
Last month, Spicerhaart – which also owns haart estate agents and Haybrook estate agents – announced plans to recruit a number of ‘Partner’ agents who will work from home while still having access to the branch network and the firm’s national call centre.
Now Butters John Bee has confirmed it is following suit with the recruitment of a new North Staffordshire-based Partner.
It is thought that Spicerhaart’s new Partnership scheme – which was introduced in response to the coronavirus outbreak – will see the closure of around 20 of its existing branches, but it is not yet known if any Butters John Bee offices will close as part of the move.
The initiative will also see the creation of 250 Partner agents who will be based in the West Midlands, Leeds, Brighton, Southampton, Bristol and the Oxford-Cambridge corridor.
New dad Thomas O’Brien is one of the first Partner agents to be appointed at Butters John Bee.
The 29-year-old started his career in estate agency 11 years ago before taking time out in 2017 working as a decorator and returning to the industry in 2019.
Thomas will be based in Kidsgrove, in North Staffordshire.
He said: “It was always my destiny to return to the estate agency world as that’s what I was born to do, and this was the perfect opportunity.
“My clients like the flexibility I can give them by working at home as they’re not restricted to office hours. I’m not a nine-to-five kind of guy and this really suits me.
“It’s really helpful at the moment as the market is incredibly busy. I listed a house for sale at 9.30pm the other evening and had two viewings lined up for the following morning.”
Spicerhaart managing director, Antony Lark said: “It’s great to welcome local agents like Thomas as one of our first Partners in a new scheme which will see us growing our network across the UK.
“Unlike other organisations that employ people on a self-employed basis with all its inherent risks, our Partners are fully employed by haart, with all the benefits and security this brings; especially for young families like Thomas.
“Plus, by replacing some of our branches with people working from home, giving them a better work-life balance and more flexibility around their working day, we are able to reinvest the money we save on office costs by providing better marketing and technology to support our customers. It really is a win-win all round.”