A COUNTY estate agents has hired a manager to head the expansion of its operations.

Nicol and Co, which has branches in Worcester and Droitwich, is opening a branch in Malvern, and has appointed Erica Hinwood to oversee work from the town.

Ms Hinwood, who has 12 years experience in the industry, joins Nicol and Co having previously worked in Kidderminster.

She has experience and knowledge of Malvern through family connections, saying: "I’m excited to be joining Nicol & Co, which I’ve always considered as the industry leader in the Worcestershire property market.

“I’m looking forward to working with such a successful and reputable company as it enlarges its footprint to take in the lovely town of Malvern.

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“My father went to school at Malvern College and I know the town well. It’s such a nice place that’s got a lot going for it, and I feel we can make a real impression in the marketplace there.”

Ms Hinwood joins Nicol and Co later this month and will initially work from its office in Worcester to make a start on Malvern operations ahead of the new office opening.

She added: “Initially, I’ll personally be helping both sellers and buyers, by conducting market appraisals, consulting on the sale of their property, carrying out the viewings and agreeing the sales.

“Then as the team grows, I shall coordinate all their activities from the new office base. My vision is to help ensure that Nicol & Co becomes the ‘go to’ estate agent for sales and lettings in Malvern.”

Matt Nicol, managing director of Nicol and Co, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Erica to the company and are confident her experience will make a major contribution to our new Malvern operations.

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"Her appointment also reflects our confidence in the property market despite the COVID-19 lockdown.

"While this pandemic has presented all sorts of challenges, we are successfully getting through this period and are sure we’ll emerge even healthier.”

In addition to this, Nicol and Co is using video technology to keep going during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mr Nicol said: “Technology will lead the way in how Nicol and Co handles new instructions and house sales in future.

“Regardless of the lockdown being eased, we will be continuing with livestreaming properties before clients can book physical viewings.

"In that way, we can show people around properties without putting them or our staff in any danger."