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Is Countrywide now one of the biggest hybrid agents?

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Is Countrywide now one of the biggest hybrid agents? previous nextAgencies & PeopleIs Countrywide now one of the biggest hybrid agents?While the City salivates over Purplebricks, Countrywide has been quietly rolling out a huge network of agents who offer a very similar service.Nigel Lewis9th March 201705,009 Views While there’s enormous interest in ‘online-only’ and hybrid agents such as Hatched and Purplebricks, a lesser-known online operation has been rolling out across swathes of the UK.Countrywide revealed this morning how its digital ‘hybrid’ roll-out has been progressing over the past year, and it’s significant. So far this has included a four-phase launch that now covers 25% of its business, and 200 branches.Four phasesAfter trialling it with three brands in June last year – Austin & Wyatt in the SW, Frank Innes in the East Midlands and Spencers in Leicestershire – it then introduced the offering to a further three agencies in November. These were Carsons in Hampshire, Miller Countrywide in Cornwall and Devon and Fulfords in Somerset.In January this year it also added its hybrid offering to Entwistle Green in Liverpool and Lancashire and says that it has shown “the most positive results to date”. A launch then followed last month at Bridgfords, the largest agent to do so thus far.BenefitsBenefits of Countrywide’s hybrid model, which charges a £695 to £995 fee (see ad above) for a Purplebricks-style service during which vendors have to conduct both their own viewings and sale price negotiations, have included increased traffic to agent’s websites. Also, it generates more leads compared to agents with the traditional, full-service offering.Results from its original trial brands from earlier in 2016 reveal that having a ‘hybrid’ option drove 11% more valuations, 18% more instructions and 9% more sales, all without impacting fee levels, the company says.The platform that drives the offering across the different brands has so far seen  2,700 online accounts set up and 1,000 valuations booked online.“The launch of our digital sales pilot in summer 2016 has surpassed our ambitions and we have now accelerated the roll-out to more than 25% of our network,” says Chief Executive Alison Platt (pictured, left).Purplebricks Alison Platt Countrywide digital hybrid March 9, 2017Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Annual Blue-Gold Game relocates to LaBar due to stadium renovations

first_imgThe 86th Blue-Gold Game will be held at LaBar Practice Complex this Saturday, marking the end of the spring football season.The Blue-Gold Game is a football scrimmage between Notre Dame’s offense and defense. John Heisler, senior associate athletics director, said the game is the last of Notre Dame’s 15 practices permitted during the spring and serves as a way for coaches and fans to see how the team is doing.“In the past, it’s been a great opportunity for families to bring their kids and see how our football team is coming along,” Heisler said. “For our fans, young or old, it’s an opportunity to see some players that they haven’t seen before. This is kind of the first look into next season, in terms of the personnel.” Michael Yu | The Observer Graduate student Quarterback Everett Golson, pictured in red, looks to pass during last year’s Blue-Gold Game. Saturday, members of the football team will compete in a friendly matchup in preparation for the 2015 season.Sophomore receiver Justin Brent said he is excited for his family to be able to come watch him play football again.“There’s only one time in the spring when our families get to come see one of the main reasons we’re here at Notre Dame,” Brent said. “I’m excited for them to see all the hard work we’ve been putting in. It’s a time for my teammates and I to really display everything we’ve been working on this spring.”Heisler said a unique scoring system is designed for the game to award points for both offensive and defensive plays.Sophomore Nick Jones said the Blue-Gold Game represents the start of a new Notre Dame football season for fans.“While it doesn’t carry the clout of an actual football game, the scrimmage gives those who want it a look at new players, formations and plays,” Jones said. “For those who don’t care for football strategy, it’s a reason to cheer and be excited about the upcoming season.”“It’s a really cool way to see where the team’s headed and who’s playing what position,” freshman Mary Shea Kelly-Buckley said. “I think Notre Dame is for sure going to win this one.”Heisler said this year’s game had to be moved from Notre Dame Stadium to the team’s outdoor practice facility, LaBar Practice Complex, because of Campus Crossroads construction. This change of venue significantly limits the number of people able to attend the game.“We’re going from an 80,000-seat venue to something we’ve kind of built from scratch around our practice fields because there really is no permanent seating there,” Heisler said. “We’ve managed to build some temporary seating for about 4,000 people to be utilized by the University and the football departments. That’ll be the biggest difference about this year’s game.”The University considered hosting the game at a variety of venues, including some off-campus locations, but ultimately decided to use LaBar Practice Complex in order to minimize expenses, according to Heisler.“We looked at some other options, but if you go somewhere else there’s obviously some potential significant costs involved,” Heisler said. “Maybe it’s not perfect because we aren’t able to offer the public the access that everybody’s used to, but it just seemed to make the most sense in terms of what we could do in terms of the event itself.”Heisler said this year’s Blue-Gold Game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network as in years past. Additionally, a live telecast of the game will be shown in Purcell Pavilion for football fans on campus that are unable to watch the game in person.Jones said he was disappointed he would not be able to attend this year’s Blue-Gold Game.“While I understand that the new construction makes the stadium an impractical venue for the Blue-Gold Game, I wish that they had chosen a venue that allowed students and fans the opportunity to attend the game, such as Soldier Field in Chicago, as had been rumored earlier this year,” Jones said.Brent said the game will be different without most of the student body.“It’s not as fun as being on the practice fields, of course, but it’s for a good cause because they’re trying to expand the stadium,” Brent said. “I know a lot of people want to go and be a part of the game. I feel bad for them, but hopefully we’ll get this out of the way, play on the practice fields right now and return to the stadium where all the students can enjoy it.”Heisler said he is not sure if Campus Crossroads will affect next year’s Blue-Gold Game.“We certainly knew this was going to likely be the situation based on these several years of construction,” Heisler said. “We could be facing the same decisions a year from now. There are no guarantees what will happen.”Heisler said he hopes fans will show their support for other Notre Dame sports teams this weekend, almost all of which will have free admission.“There’s a lot happening on campus this weekend,” Heisler said. “We’ve eliminated admission charges for most of the home events. With the understanding that the general public isn’t really going to have access to the Blue-Gold Game, we’re thinking maybe people will watch it in Purcell in between attending other Irish athletic events.”An email sent to students Thursday night said there are a limited number of tickets for the Blue-Gold Game. Tickets will be distributed on Friday beginning at 9 a.m. at the LaFortune Information Desk and Box Office.Tags: Blue-Gold Game, Campus Crossroads Project, Football stadium, Notre Dame footballlast_img read more

Food prices

first_imgFor many years commodity and food prices have been so low it’s been hard for American farmers to make a profit and consequently a decent living for their families. Like any business, no profit means farmers will go out of business, forcing food production overseas. None of us wants food production to go the way of oil. Today, we must rely on often-unfriendly countries to supply much of our energy needs. We see the consequences of that situation at the gas pump as just the potential for tightened supply causes prices to soar. The U.S. has about an 11-day food supply within our massive food chain. One can only imagine the consequences if we allowed China and Brazil to grow our food and they decide for political reasons to no longer send us that food.Right now, commodity and food prices have risen. Many farmers could make a decent living based on the actual price received for the food they produce. Prices for Georgia cotton, pecans and peanuts are at or near a record high. Even Georgia peaches are likely to fetch record prices this summer.But, just as our farmers are getting to the point where they can make a decent living from food prices, another issue has come into play. Input costs have risen so rapidly and so dramatically that it’s unlikely many of our farmers can continue to make a decent living. Instability in the energy market affects more than the price of gas for our cars. Far-reaching input impactThe price of fuel to plow fields, nitrogen to fertilize crops and grain to feed livestock has increased at alarming rates over the past year. There seems to be no end in sight to the increases of these vital agricultural inputs. In particular, Georgia’s poultry industry, the largest poultry industry in the U.S., is having an increasingly difficult time as the cost of feed, primarily corn, skyrockets.High food and commodity prices have given some farmers a chance to finally rely less on government-support programs. Yet, with increased costs, these programs will have to be reinstated to keep our farmers in business and food production growing in the U.S. The only real and long-lasting solution is to reduce inputs used in traditional agriculture. We need to find ways to reduce fertilizers, pesticides and water (since it requires fuel to pump ground water) used to grow crops. The cost of feed and medicine to keep our animals healthy also needs to be reduced. Research holds the key Who will conduct the necessary research to find ways to reduce inputs needed to grow our food? Private industry has no economic incentive to reduce input costs, because it will deflate their bottom line. It is difficult to imagine a fertilizer company sponsoring research to reduce the reliance of our farmers on the very product the company sells. It’s equally difficult to see the federal government, which supports competitive research to solve problems, willingly address some of these real-world issues. Federally funded research tends to focus on high-minded, long-term societal needs. This is certainly important and needed research, yet it doesn’t broadly address today’s agricultural problems. It’s unlikely that federally sponsored research will help our farmers adjust to the new reality of extremely high input costs, at least in the short term. And, the short term is going to determine who remains in business.Research to reduce input costs for food production falls squarely on our nation’s land-grant university system. The University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University are two of the premier land-grant universities in the country with a direct mandate to help our farmers stay in business and produce food for Georgia, the nation and the world. In the driver’s seatThe land-grant system in Georgia is fully capable of providing needed research to help reduce our farmers’ input costs. We can translate and transfer that information through Cooperative Extension to farming communities when and where it’s most needed. Supporting the land-grant mission of the University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University is more important now than ever. As the world cries out for more food, we need to double world food production by the year 2050. Agriculture is Georgia’s largest industry with a strong infrastructure that is setting us well on the way to becoming the breadbasket of the world. It is clear Georgia will play a major role in feeding the world. With a deepened Port of Savannah and a widened Panama Canal, we are ideally situated to grow the food and reap the economic benefits this great industry can provide. However, we will only compete and be successful if we remain on the cutting edge of research, training of the next generation of students and transferring that information to the farming communities who implement these new practices.last_img read more

Pennsylvania Applauds Bi-Partisan Approval of Federal Farm Bill

first_img Bill Signing,  Economy,  National Issues,  Press Release,  Public Health Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today commended the U.S. House and Senate for approving the federal Farm Bill, legislation that provides funding and guidelines for farm and food programs in the United States.“The Farm Bill is critical to ensuring that the agriculture industry and all who depend on it have access to the programs, supports, and services needed to continue operations,” said Governor Wolf. “Provisions that will protect our workforce, expand our opportunities, and preserve our industry are welcomed and appreciated. My administration has made significant investments in agriculture, and Pennsylvania is primed to capitalize on those investments. The addition of the passage of this legislation will further position us for future success.”The legislation contains a number of positive aspects for Pennsylvania agriculture. Two provisions are particularly notable. The first strengthens support for dairy farmers by offering reduced premiums and new coverage levels for milk produced under the new Dairy Risk Management program. The second removes hemp as a schedule 1 drug under federal law, allowing states to create programs for the cultivation of hemp for commercial purposes.“Support for Pennsylvania’s farmers – whether dairy, organic, or vegetable – is made readily available in the approved Farm Bill,” said Sec. Redding. “What’s more, the provisions found within the bill also include support for low-income Pennsylvanians, consumers, the environment, and our communities.”Redding also praised aspects of the final bill related to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which maintains current requirements for recipients, and includes language that would provide permanent funding of programs that support farmers markets and organic farmers. He also applauded increases in funding for conservation efforts and workforce and education opportunities, and continued support for programs that help rural communities and businesses thrive, including broadband access and local food systems. Additionally, the legislation includes protections for crop insurance, helping farmers purchase policies to protect them from devastating weather conditions. The Farm Bill also includes a significant increase in federal funding for farmland preservation nationwide through the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), with Pennsylvania poised to access these funds over the next four years.Finally, the bill includes $20 million for a Farm-to-Food Bank program modeled after Pennsylvania’s successful Pennsylvania Agricultural Surplus System (PASS). This program provides an efficient mechanism for the agricultural industry to donate safe, wholesome food products while being reimbursed for the costs involved in harvesting, processing, packaging, and transportation.Over the past four years, the Wolf Administration has invested more than $50 million in agriculture-related economic development projects; increased support for workforce development and agricultural education to help prepare students and workers for the thousands of anticipated job openings in the industry over the next decade; and signed historic legislation that has created new markets for farmers and lowered their tax burdens. The administration is working to expand broadband access to hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians, creating jobs while improving infrastructure statewide, especially in rural communities.Learn more about Pennsylvania’s strategies and investments in growing the agriculture and food industry at agriculture.pa.gov. Pennsylvania Applauds Bi-Partisan Approval of Federal Farm Bill SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img December 13, 2018last_img read more

Governor Wolf Announces Creation of Nearly 80 New Jobs Through Expansion of CorrChoice LLC

first_img January 10, 2019 Governor Wolf Announces Creation of Nearly 80 New Jobs Through Expansion of CorrChoice LLC SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img Economy,  Jobs That Pay,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf announced that CorrChoice LLC, a producer of industrial corrugated paper packaging products, will expand in central Pennsylvania. The project, supported through state funding, is expected to create 79 jobs in the Dauphin and Lebanon County area.“We’re proud that CorrChoice has selected Pennsylvania as the location for its expansion,” Governor Wolf said. “This expansion will bring nearly 80 manufacturing jobs to the central part of the state. Projects like this demonstrate that Pennsylvania’s manufacturing sector is on the rise.”CorrChoice will expand into a 350,000-square-foot facility in Derry Township at the border of Dauphin and Lebanon counties. The project will enable the company to expand its corrugated cardboard sheet feeder network and improve its response time. CorrChoice has pledged to invest more than $30 million into the expansion project, which is expected to create 79 new jobs and retain a further 97 jobs in Pennsylvania.“This investment enables us to continue our growth with existing strategic customers while providing more responsive service on a broader range of products,” said Tim Bergwall, Group President, Paper Packaging & Services at Greif, Inc., the parent company of CorrChoice. “This latest CorrChoice expansion better positions us to provide a comprehensive supply of containerboard, sheets, and specialty products to corrugated converters in the Mid-Atlantic Region.”CorrChoice received a funding proposal from the Department of Community and Economic Development for a $200,000 Pennsylvania First grant, $158,000 in Job Creation Tax Credits to be distributed upon the creation of new jobs, and $35,550 in job training funding through WEDnetPA for workforce development. The project was coordinated by the Governor’s Action Team, an experienced group of economic development professionals who report directly to the governor and work with businesses that are considering locating or expanding in Pennsylvania.CorrChoice and its parent company, Greif, Inc., are global producers of steel, plastic and fibre drums, intermediate bulk containers, reconditioned containers, flexible products, containerboard, and packaging accessories.For more information about the Governor’s Action Team or DCED, visit dced.pa.gov.last_img read more