An increasing number of estate and letting agents are choosing to rebrand their businesses in order to secure a more widely recognisable brand identity, according to CENTURY 21 UK, the estate and letting agency franchisor.
CENTURY 21 UK says it has seen a surge in interest recently from independent agents looking to become part of its international brand in order to reach a global audience, as well as to take advantage of the greater level of support on offer and the opportunity to venture into new areas.
Within the last month alone CENTURY 21 UK has announced the opening of two such offices – CENTURY 21 Ilkeston and CENTURY 21 Queensbury – which were previously independent agencies but have chosen to become part of the UK franchise network.
CENTURY 21 Ilkeston was formerly a lettings agency, Pelham Property Services, but has now also moved into sales as a result of the support and training offered by CENTURY 21 UK.
CENTURY 21 Queensbury in North West London previously operated as Hab and Kal Properties in the same area but decided to rebrand in order to secure further markets for its services.
Other existing offices, buoyed by their experience and support from the franchisor, are also looking to spread their wings opening new offices in second territories. The owner of CENTURY 21 Halifax, Roger Claughton, has recently opened a new office in Salford.
CENTURY 21 UK has been quick to stress to potential start-ups that, while desirable, property market experience is not absolutely necessary in order to operate a successful agency. CENTURY 21 UK provides full support to all new office owners from finding and kitting out new premises to sales and marketing training.
Rob Clifford, Chief Executive of CENTURY 21 UK and Group Commercial Director of Shepherd Direct Group, said:
“Many within the agency world are quickly realising that brand recognition is not just desirable, but a must have, particularly as they are trying to stand out from the crowd in a highly competitive marketplace. While there are a number of advantages when it comes to being a small independent, many of the agents we speak to are also looking to secure far greater support and help in order to take advantage of a whole host of opportunities which are currently not within reach for them. Add to this the importance of the global marketplace and the need to put properties in a worldwide shop window and it is therefore perhaps not surprising that more agents are looking to rebrand.
“There is a particular increase in interest from independent agents in the Greater London area where we have our highest concentration of offices. Many London agencies recognise they need to change to a globally recognised brand like CENTURY 21 to attract overseas buyers. Brand recognition is clearly important to overseas investors, and can provide clients with a confidence and trust that they wouldn’t necessarily have just by finding an agent online. It also helps to have a global listings website such as century21global.com which means interested parties – wherever they might be - can view property details, make enquiries and contact the local agent to make viewings and offers.
“This move to global brands is likely to continue as agents seek to compete in their local property space. Clients are much more likely to use the services of a brand they have heard of and trust, and therefore office owners might wish to look at what CENTURY 21 UK can offer them so they don’t just survive but thrive in this business.”