Flexible working works well for North East estate agency

New legislation on working hours has not been welcomed by all - but Keith Pattinson estate agency is embracing the change

Caroline Pattinson of Keith Pattinsons
Caroline Pattinson of Keith Pattinsons

Flexible working guidelines have been welcomed by a North East estate agency which is looking for new recruits who want to work their own hours.

Whilst many entrepreneurs may not welcome the move, Pattinson is welcoming more opportunity for employees to work flexibly.

The firm is one of the largest in the region, offering houses and property for sale, rent or auction and employing over 200 people across 29 branches.

The Newcastle-headquartered business was set up in 1977 by chairman Keith Pattinson and is now led by his daughter, managing director Caroline Pattinson, who has launched a recruitment drive to capitalise on the upturn in the housing market.

Last accounts for the firm, for the year ended December 2012, showed a 3.43% lift in revenues and a net profit increase of 48.6%.

Caroline Pattinson said: “We are currently recruiting for many more Pattinson Agents, which has been a successful initiative we have had within our business for 10 years.

“Our agents are self-employed so can choose to work the hours they like, and are rewarded for their results, not just for the hours they turn up.

“Many of our agents are mums of young children, or indeed people caring for elderly parents. We had one who was a football agent, so is quiet at certain times of the season and likes to top up his income.

“They are passionate about their job, because they have a great work-life balance and that shows; many of our freelance agents are our top sales people. Happiness sells houses.

“We also have a number of our core employees that need time off over the school holidays, which we are happy to try and accommodate.

“We simply gear up by recruiting additional summer staff, and at the moment we are interviewing for over 12 summer positions that are always snapped up quickly especially by students returning home for the summer.

“Smaller businesses may struggle with the new flexible working laws, but we’ve found it has been beneficial to our business to try to help people achieve a work-life balance, and with some good planning you can create a balanced and happy team.”

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