The chief executive of Foxtons, who has been in the job exactly one year, now claims the company has enjoyed “incredible success” and is the capital’s number one agency brand.
A statement from the company, given over mostly to the work of Guy Gittins in the past year, says that prior to his arrival the agency had “lost its mojo” and had “yielded to the pressure of public potshots”.
And the statement goes on to say: “What followed was a suffocation of the Foxtons ethos, transforming the company into a corporate vehicle that struggled to embrace the character, energy and aspiration of the early years. Until last year, that is, when Foxtons alumni Guy Gittins returned to take control as company CEO.”
Gittins worked at the agency for five years in the early part of the Millennium, before joining Savills and then becoming chief executive at Chestertons.
Gittins is quoted as saying that on his first day in charge of Foxtons in October 2022 he made a company-wide address via video link to introduce himself and his plans
“My company-wide video address … was clear, we are the original property industry disruptors and we’ve always done things differently to the rest of the marketplace and to the benefit of our clients. This is something to be embraced, but the reality was that our focus and performance had slipped over the previous years.
“It was time to get back to the Foxtons that I knew and loved, a company based on the fundamentals of high volume sales, high energy culture and a clear focus on growing market share, growing acquisitions, creating efficiencies in every part of the process and striving to be the very best.”
The statement quotes Gittins as saying that in the past year the company has invested heavily in people, technology and brand.
He claims that Foxtons’ technical innovation is “far beyond that of our competitors” and allows the agency to “anticipate the market and prepare for the challenges of tomorrow, today.”
Gittins claims headcount has increased “considerably” with a “10 times increase in the level of face to face training we provide our staff” plus giving more “trips for top performers.”
And he says Rightmove figures show that Foxtons agreed sales were up 61 per cent in September, against a market backdrop of eight per cent, while the company has been “the fastest growing agent with regard to market share over the last six months, regaining our title as London’s largest lettings and sales agent*.
The claims come after bullish statements in recent weeks from Dexters, Chestertons and other agencies anxious to improve their share of the lucrative London market.
In July Foxtons revealed that a strong lettings division performance allowed it to record strong growth in its latest half year trading statement, despite the challenging sales market.
The agency told shareholders at the time that it expects the sales market to remain challenging amid high mortgage rates and inflation - however, a 26 per cent leap in its lettings revenue allowed the group as a whole to post a 10 per cent jump in half-year profits.