Laura Robinson and Ross Nicholas are founders and directors of The Norfolk Agents, both of whom are very experienced estate agents with a wealth of knowledge, having both worked and lived in Norfolk for a number of years.
Having experienced the changing landscape of local estate agents, Laura and Ross identified a gap in the market to create a hybrid agency in Norfolk combining the best of both Online and Traditional High Street estate agency.
In January 2020 Shane Ballard joined the business as the third director bringing more than 15 years experience to our growing business. Shane has previously held director roles at the award winning Greene and Co working under the stewardship of industry heavyweight David Pollock and latterly as Retail Director of Mid – Market London for Countrywide incorporating brands such as Bairstow Eves, Gascoigne Pees and Greene and Co. On Shanes return to Norfolk and before joining The Norfolk Agents he continued as Regional Director for Countrywide looking after 15 offices across Norfolk.
All three directors are really passionate about our business model and believe that our proposition is one that delivers both on value and service compared to the High Street.
Since the business was formed it has continued to grow and win friends across Norfolk, saving our customers in excess of £1,000,000 in fees. We do not have or believe in expensive High Street offices and believe that our model is proven to be the most cost-efficient way to provide fantastic service and deliver significant value to our customers.
How We Are Different
– By Ross Nicholas
Having spent a decade in estate agency in Norfolk and seeing first-hand how people’s buying habits had shifted away from the High Street, establishing a more cost-effective solution for sellers began to seem like an obvious move. When we set up The Norfolk Agents in 2016, there were already a growing number of online only agencies trading; however, they didn’t seem to be making much of an impact on the local scene. When I asked people why they didn’t use them, the answer almost always involved how appealing the financial saving could’ve been, but ultimately doubts over customer service and not having a personal relationship with the agent during such an important time put them off. This led us on to thinking, what if we could offer an alternative which brought together the most important parts of a traditional High Street service at a cost which compared with the online only agencies? Surely that would be a winning formula.
We spoke to lots of buyers and sellers while we were fine tuning our offering, many of whom were driven by making the biggest fee saving whilst others were more concerned about being looked after during the process and were happy to pay a bit more when the job was done. In an ideal world of course, they would get both.
From our research it was clear that sellers wanted a choice of how they wanted to work with us; whether on a fixed price basis which is payable at the start of the process and is the same regardless of the property value, or on a more traditional ‘no sale/no fee’ arrangement, with the commission based on a percentage of the sale price. We have also introduced a Split Fee package which offers a bit of both for those who can’t quite make up their mind.
We also wanted to offer complete transparency around our charges. When we asked people what they found off-putting about other estate agents, it was how they often struggled to get a clear answer on selling fees and were concerned about hidden costs. Therefore, we print our full choice of fee packages on all of our marketing literature, so our clients know exactly where they stand from the minute we meet.
None of our packages tie our clients into lengthy sole agency contracts. Why would any company who had the confidence and belief in what they offer ask their clients to commit to exclusive terms for 15-20 weeks, or sometimes even longer? We believe that while our clients are happy with what we are doing, they will be loyal to us.
We haven’t tried to reinvent the wheel by any means; in fact, our core values are as traditional as they come, based on hard work and doing the right thing by our clients. We just want to give people the opportunity to get great value for money whilst receiving a fantastic service.
Having experienced the changing landscape of local estate agents, Laura and Ross identified a gap in the market to create a hybrid estate agency in Norfolk combining the best of an Online estate agent and Traditional High Street estate agents.
This is what one of our first clients had to say about our service:
I found that during a difficult part of the process Laura made an extra effort to ensure everything moved forward. Not only have you done your job but exceeded all expectations and have gone out of your way to ensure the smooth purchase of our onward property.
The service is consistently personal, courteous, prompt and professional. A huge thank you for your role in the purchase of our new property.