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), or 11 Cross Street, Abergavenny (phone: 01873 856388). Look out for a new website launching soon.