The new managing director of North East estate agency Pattinson has set out ambitious growth plans to reverse last year’s drop in sales and profits.
Latest accounts for Pattinson Estate Agency, which offers houses and property for sale, rent or auction across the region, show pre-tax profit dropped significantly by 27.1% from £515,286 to £375,754, while turnover also fell to £6.20m, a 2.7% drop on the £6.37m recorded for 2012.
The firm said the figures reflect how the housing boom enjoyed by London and the South East was unfurling at a much slower rate within the region last year.
As the property boom makes it way northwards, however, managing director Caroline Pattinson said residential sales have improved considerably since the end of 2013 and the start of 2014.
She said: “Whilst in the North East we may not be seeing growth at the same levels as the South of England, we are still continuing to see strong signs of growth in the region and, compared with our half yearly figures from 2013, the number of sales are increasing.”
Following a successful first half of 2014, the firm has outlined its investment plans which include the opening of a new base in Alnwick, Northumberland, taking its total number of branches to 30.
The move will allow the company, which grew headcount from 191 to 194 last year, to increase its presence up to the Scottish borders and comes after strong growth in north Northumberland.
The agency, established more than 35 years ago by Caroline’s father Keith Pattinson, will also continue expanding its national auction network, adding to its existing portfolio of property auctions that are hosted monthly across the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Midlands. The firm is also exploring new ways to attract new business, such as expanding its internet sales and marketing offerings.
Miss Pattinson said: “I am pleased to say that we have seen a significant upswing in the year to date. As a company we are extremely passionate about providing our clients with the best possible service and are committed to continually investing in and improving our services.
“After becoming managing director last November I set out our vision for growth and to increase profitability which would allow us to invest further in the business.
“After implementing a number of positive changes, we are on track to achieve this goal and are definitely already seeing the results of a market upturn.
“The house buying market has seen some big changes over recent months and with the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review transaction time has slowed but the volume of sales which we are seeing has increased.
“We have also seen an upswing in the commercial property market as a number of businesses look to expand and our lettings department continues to perform strongly.
“We are also currently in the process of recruiting up to 30 new Pattinson Agents, a successful initiative which offers flexible self-employment opportunities that has been part of our business for 10 years.”
She added: “We’re also currently investing in the customer experience in our corporate services and financial services departments, as well as working with local suppliers to develop a state-of-the-art bespoke website which will offer a number of new services to our clients currently not available in the North East market.”