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Business & Economy

Bright future planned as estate agency Thirlwells becomes Clarke Munro

A Teesside estate agency says it is looking to the future with renewed confidence after revealing a new look and change of name.

Thirlwells is now known as Clarke Munro.

The name is based on partners Wendy Clarke and Nicola Munro, who took over the business from founders Margaret and Keith Thirlwell in 2004.

The business, which employs more than 20 staff across branches in Middlesbrough and Billingham, opened under its Thirlwells guise in June 1977, which bosses say makes it the longest serving independent estate agency in the area.

Wendy, who joined Thirlwells in 1979 as an office junior, said: “We are proud of the Thirlwells legacy, but we felt the brand had become a little tired. 

“With it being 20 years since the last revamp, we felt it needed a bit of a facelift.

She added: “While our renowned personal service and local expertise remains, we’re also looking to the future.

“Gone are the days of an estate agency on every corner; we’re concentrating on our two super branches in Middlesbrough and Billingham, where we have staff with 200 years of combined service all sharing ideas and best practice.”

Nicola said the business’ new look will be supported by the incorporation of fresh innovation – such as virtual property tours – but moved to reassure customers its traditional services will remain in place.

She said: “We have been selling houses across Teesside for more than 40 years, and we know what works.

“We’re known for our honest and reliable service, and none of this is going to change.

“However, we’re definitely looking to the future too, and will continue to build on our innovative digital services, such as virtual walkthroughs and online appointments, which we’ve always offered, even before COVID-19.”

Clarke Munro was officially relaunched by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, with a virtual celebration held via Facebook Live for clients, suppliers, friends and staff.

Praising Wendy and Nicola, Mayor Houchen said he was confident their venture would go from strength-to-strength, adding he has first-hand experience of Wendy’s abilities.

“Wendy actually helped me find my first house in 2009,” he said.

“Both Wendy and Nicola are incredibly dedicated to the Teesside area and the community they serve – I was honoured to be asked to relaunch the company.”