Back in 2009, CEO Dominic Agace decided to set up a dedicated internal Country House department to offer support and extra services to the expanding network of Winkworth offices located outside the M25.
Winkworth's country house department markets prime country properties to high-net-worth individuals both in the Capital and internationally. A member of the team will also gladly accompany franchisees or their staff members from Winkworth country offices on market appraisals and viewings, to represent the benefits of using a combined country and London brand.
David King, who heads up the Winkworth country house department and has done since the beginning explains "Our aim is to replicate the services of the national agents such as Knight Frank and Savills in order that Winkworth franchisees can compete equally with them, and thus raise their profile in comparison with local competitors."
If you are looking to join Winkworth as a rural franchisee, the country house department is another centralised service that your office could benefit from. If you are the owner of an existing local estate agency, the level of exposure that the country house department could get for high-end properties you wish to market is something simply unachievable as an independent.
David continues, "Whilst the franchisees market locally, we can co-ordinate national and international marketing via our expansive network. We can send London offices window displays, arrange features in their office newsletters and offer incentives for them to market to suitable clients. Based in Winkworth's head office in Mayfair, the country house department's contact details can be on all local marketing material to emphasise the fact we are an extension of the local office."
As well as using these tools to help showcase Winkworth's prime country properties, the department uses the following ways to reach target buyers:
- - Widespread national advertising in high-profile print and online publications such as the Sunday Telegraph, the Times, the Financial Times and the Guardian
- - Prominent positioning on the UK's main portals; Rightmove, Zoopla and On The Market
- - Full property profile on Winkworth.co.uk, complete with beautiful photography and reaching over 270,000 users per month
- - Top quality sales brochure and property information pack showcasing the best a property has to offer
Not only are Winkworth able to offer excellent services such as the marketing team, country house department and China Desk, we also have an unrivalled network and client base in London, which I feel truly set us apart from other agencies in the service we can offer the local community. James Quantrell - Franchisee of Winkworth Guildford
Frederick Biss joined the evolving Winkworth country house department almost four years ago.
"Working within the country house team has created a great opportunity for me to build relationships with our regional offices, whilst supporting them when up against our main competitors upon valuation. Our market appraisal to instruction success rate has been extremely positive over the years I have been involved with the department, and I feel that by us being there on the valuations, it gives vendors comfort that their property will be broadcasted to the wider audience."
The country house department has their own database of clients built up over the last decade and are also in touch with search agents throughout the country - useful tools to help sell or let a prime country property.
David adds, "In many cases a London buyer may be looking to purchase in several areas with a particular criteria for the period, size or style of a house, or land, rather than specific locality. This means that centrally we can coordinate between numerous franchisees to ensure all suitable Winkworth products are offered to the buyer, something that an independent couldn't benefit from."