Savills, CB Richard Ellis, Knight Frank, DTZ and Gerald Eve win
Grosvenor has slashed the number of property agents it uses across its UK portfolio from more than 50 to just five.
The measure is an attempt to improve the management of its portfolio and to be more nimble to take advantage of opportunities in the market.
In future, Grosvenor will only use Savills, CB Richard Ellis and Knight Frank for agency work, and DTZ and Gerald Eve as professional advisers.
Savills will cover Grosvenor’s residential requirements, CBRE will be responsible for the retail portfolio, and Knight Frank will handle offices and other commercial work.
DTZ will carry out valuation work and Gerald Eve will deal with planning, development and landlord and tenant issues.
Grosvenor will now meet with the chosen agents to discuss relationship structures and strategies.
Other agents will continue to work on existing transactions until they are completed. Agents retained by Grosvenor’s fund management and international businesses are unaffected by the move.
Grosvenor said the change would help to “give those agents a clearer understanding of strategy, improve communication and working practices”.
Jenefer Greenwood, director of sales and lettings at Grosvenor, said: “We want to get closer to our agents and get them to understand our business better. We are just about to agree our business strategy for next year and a five-year rolling programme, so we want them to know exactly what we are looking for and what our business strategy contains so they can assist us in achieving that.”
But she added that local or specialist agents might be called on to work alongside the five retained firms when particular expertise is required.
Greenwood denied that the strategy was an efficiency measure to save on agent fees.
“It’s an efficiency drive in the sense that we will be focusing our time on fewer agents, but it’s really about getting our agents absolutely up to speed with what we are trying to achieve and getting the best out of their knowledge to help us achieve it.”
The reduction in agents was part of the Fast Forward project – a review of the business that last week resulted in the reshuffle of Grosvenor’s London estate operation, when 14 roles were made redundant but seven executives were appointed to new roles.
Peter Vernon, chief executive of Grosvenor Britain and Ireland, said: “These changes will ensure the business runs more efficiently and provides a better service to our customers.”