When it comes to selling houses, M2 is a new South Wales estate agent that's setting out to stay a step ahead.
A step ahead of the competition - and a step ahead of its customers' needs and expectations.
Specialising solely in residential sales, M2 may be a fresh new brand, but its sales staff have extensive local knowledge and many years' experience.
M2's owner, Mark Roberts, who set up Roberts Estate Agents in Newport 15 years ago, now aims to establish the company's former branches in Usk and Abergavenny at the core of a completely new and separate enterprise.
"Estate agency is a people business, so I am delighted that the wonderful staff from both premises will be helping me to develop my new brand," he said. "Sales know-how and familiarity with the local area are really important - so are a friendly face, an understanding approach and excellent customer service. At M2, our staff are welcoming, professional and skilled in helping buyers and sellers achieve their goals."
M2, launched on Thursday August 23, specialises in residential sales across the market, promoting higher end properties (£500,000 plus) under the Town and Country banner. The offer is simple and straightforward - sales fees are competitive and there are no upfront charges and no add-ons. "Our priority is finding people their perfect home," says M2's Nicola Foxton, who has spent 19 years in estate agency and is manager of the Usk branch, joining four years ago, just two years after it was set up.
Among other "familiar faces" is Jo Francis, branch manager at Abergavenny who has 26 years' estate agency experience and opened the Abergavenny branch nine years ago. Shortly afterwards she just happened to sell a property to the parents of her one-day-to-be assistant branch manager, Alex Buchanan! Jo has also successfully developed the branch to the point where she can claim: "To date, this year this branch has sold by far the most houses we ever have."
Both Jo and Nicola put much of their success down to their sales progression skills. "I take responsibility for the whole process," says Nicola. "I am with my customers every step of the way to make sure the sale goes through."
Both branches have also benefitted from an increase in demand from Bristol buyers prompted to look this side of the Severn Bridge. Usk is only nine miles from junction 24 on the M4, making the city easily accessible by car whilst Jo says commuters are tempted to buy in Abergavenny because of the train station.
"The removal of the Severn Bridge tolls at the end of this year has acted as a catalyst," says Mark. "But once they start looking here, buyers realise they can get so much more for their money and a completely different lifestyle. They can get a three-bed semi for £200,000 here when in Bristol they would be paying £400,000."
Whilst Mark's future plans for M2 include development of online property sales across a wider region, he and his staff recognise that in towns like Usk and Abergavenny customers appreciate a face-to-face approach - and an agent they can visit at weekends. Both branches stay open to facilitate this - Abergavenny opens 7 days a week (on Sunday from 11am to 3pm) and in Usk, whilst the branch shuts for the weekend at 1pm on Saturday, viewings continue into the afternoon. Staff always accompany viewings and make a point of having seen a property and met the owner first.
Find M2 and Town and Country properties on the Rightmove, Zoopla and Prime Location property websites or call into the M2 offices at 17, Bridge Street, Usk (phone: 01291 672827), 11 Cross Street, Abergavenny (phone: 01873 856388) or 69 Bridge Street, Newport (phone: 01633 289622)
paragraph#find the bear competition
A house move can be quite an upheaval with a young family. M2 have come up with a fun-filled promotion to engage the kids and take some of the stress out of house hunting.
M2's Find The Bear competition challenges youngsters aged 16 and under to look out for the company's latest trainee - an adorable bear mascot who'll be cropping up in online photos of available properties.
M2's owner, experienced estate agent Mark Roberts says: "Bearing in mind that house moves can be unsettling for young families, we think it helps to get everyone involved early on, so we have devised a way to entertain them and make house hunting fun for all the family."
The innovative initiative, thought to be a first of its kind, is also intended to drive traffic to the company's new website www.m2ea.co.uk. It's here that families will find listed the range of residential properties being offered for sale by M2 plus the competition entry details, full terms and conditions and an online entry form.
Families are encouraged to look out for the M2 trainee bear as they search the properties for sale. "Our bear loves to help owners prepare their properties for market, getting stuck in with hoovering, dusting and gardening," says Mark. "But he sometimes gets in the way of the photos! At the beginning of each week, he'll appear in three photos in our online adverts. He'll be in one property marketed by each of our branches and there will be a weekly prize awarded for each office. To encourage children to save from an early age, winners will be awarded their prize of £25 via a Monmouthshire Building Society Young Savers Account."
Terms & Conditions:
1. All competition entrants must be ages 16 or under but parents/guardians may assist with submission
2. Each child may submit no more than three entries per week, one for each m2 office.
3. Entries for each weeks competition must be received by 17:30 pm on Friday of that week.
4. One prize will be awarded for each m2 office. If there is more than one correct entry for any office then the winner will be chosen by random selection
5. Winners will be contacted by email/phone and announced through social media and local press.
6. By entering this competition you give the rights for m2 Estate Agents to use your name and home town and a photo for publicity purposes.
7. To encourage children to save from an early age Winners will be awarded their prize via a Monmouthshire Building Society (MBS) Young Savers Account. MBS product terms and conditions will apply, (full details available via any MBS branch). If winners already hold an MBS Young Savers Account then the prize will be paid to that account.
8. m2 employees & their immediate family are not permitted to enter the competition