At Foxtons, we’re famous for setting the standard in property. We do this by hiring brilliant people to help achieve our goal of being the best place for our customers to find their dream home or unlock the value of their property investment.
In over 40 years of service to London and the Home Counties we have built a network of around 60 branches and a strong operational infrastructure that enables our teams to achieve the highest standards in delivering exceptional service to our customers. Award-winning training ensures our teams have the strong local expertise that our customers expect from us, while our market-leading technology empowers all our staff to provide the best customer experience possible.
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The successful sale or let of a property requires a huge amount of collaboration across different functions. We bring people together across this process through technology platforms and opportunities for interaction. Regarding technology, we continue to invest in our IT infrastructure, customer data platform and data science. Our innovative BOS system allows everyone across our offices to share information and collaborate on property sales. Through social event programmes, open-plan offices, networking events and employees communities, we’ve created a non-hierarchical culture that supports the delivery of the shared goals we have when delivering great outcomes for our customers.
Employees know we promote from within, and that Foxtons career paths lead to success within the company and also outside the industry. We’ve enabled many employees to have exceptional careers in the property industry. 84% of our hiring intake joins at under 30 years of age, as we focus on growing our own employees. As a result, we are known for our award-winning training and development programmes and opportunities for progression. Our focus on developing and nurturing talent pays off, as we’ve increased revenue per employee by 26% and revenue from continuing operations by 35% in 2021.
Our Diversity and Inclusion networks allow employees to share experiences, learn perspectives, access mentorship, and suggest ways to be more inclusive. These groups were created by active members of the communities and are not run by HR as a corporate exercise. This makes them authentic and impactful, particularly with Executive Committee level sponsorship for each, ensuring voices are heard and that there are resources and budgets to affect change. Our most recent employee engagement survey showed 93% of our workforce believe we support a diverse and inclusive workplace, and 34% of our workforce participate in one or more D&I network.
We offer an award-winning blended development programme with wide variety of learning methods including our digital learning hub, in-person workshops, speaker events, knowledge sharing networks, shadowing and mentoring. We’ve embedded a coaching culture using the OpenBlend platform, which supports managers to have quality conversations with team members about performance, wellbeing and motivation. This platform also uses the Wheel of Life coaching model to help employees balance personal and work goals. We won the 2021/22 Business Culture Award for Coaching, Mentoring and Personal Development Initiative because we are passionate about supporting our people to be brilliant at what they do.
Our Mission is to “deliver exceptional customer service through our network, fuelled by the commitment and expertise of our people and industry-leading technology,” putting our people at the centre of our business model. Foxtons Purpose is that we “do more than help people move; we help people move up in the world. We offer job opportunities to people from all backgrounds and experiences, so our people mirror the communities we serve.” Our purpose resonates because it speaks directly to our employees and the communities we work within every day. Social mobility has personal significance and meaning to all our employees.
We are a Loved Workplace because we show “respect, caring, and appreciation for [our] employees.” Our approach is multifaceted. We’ve embedded a coaching culture with OpenBlend that enables support and achievement. We recognise exceptional behaviour and results through an annual awards ceremony and monthly meetings. We share exceptional customer testimonials across the workforce. We focus on wellbeing through trained Mental Health First Aiders and free external counselling, including financial advice. Our employee engagement survey scores have increased three years in a row, scoring 87% on the 2021 survey as “an employer of choice, developing and retaining high performance talent.”
Our values are Expert, Passionate, Agile and Helpful, which CEO Nic Budden demonstrates consistently and authentically. Foxtons benefits from his Expert knowledge of the business and the growth levers in his strategy and decision-making. Nic is a Passionate advocate of diversity and social mobility due to his personal experience, and his support has helped us jumpstart careers for a wide range of people. Like the rest of Foxtons, Nic must be Agile in a changeable property market, to maximise returns for the company. Nic sets the ‘Helpful’ tone from the top with an open, informal approach, offering advice and mentoring.
In 2021, new sales force remuneration plans were introduced to reward high performance. Our employees received wider workforce inflationary base salary increases of 1.6% and wider workforce variable pay outcomes of 52% more than in 2020 (excluding Executive directors). They also had bonus outcomes of 73% of maximum bonus opportunity for Senior Management. We have improved our wellbeing programmes over the last 3 years, training a number of our employees as Mental Health First Aiders, offering free counselling and financial wellbeing advice to all employees and holding speaker events on resilience.
In an industry with a strong focus on performance, the pandemic could put huge pressure on our Negotiators. They faced new restrictions and working practices – we implemented COVID-safety measures in our workplace and home visits – with reduced access to personal support networks. Alongside our 24-hour counselling and qualified mental health first aiders, we turned to our new management aid, OpenBlend, to provide virtual coaching, wellbeing review and structured discussion. OpenBlend gave our managers the tools to check in and support their team. We also set up an employee-led Covid health and safety committee to consult on pandemic-related workplace decisions.