LSL Property Services group, which owns many of the leading brands in the UK’s estate and letting agency business, has launched a major cost cutting exercise, and the result is over 100 branches are to close their doors.
Your Move and Reeds Rains are among the top brands and the only ones affected by the root and branch review of their lettings business, with 124 branches to close under the company’s restructuring plan.
Staff will see “owned branch” numbers slashed in what LSL has termed their response to “the changing landscape and customer demands.”
The closure plan involves merging approximately 81 neighbouring branches into a new “keystone branch network”, to be branded as either Your Move or Reeds Rains.
Other branches will join a franchising network of approximately 40 existing branches. These will be in locations which don’t necessarily align geographically with the so called “keystone branches” but which may still offer opportunities to already successful LSL franchisees.
The changes will result in a reduction of Your Move and Reeds Rains branches from 404 to 280, 144 of which will be deemed “keystone branches”, with around a further 136 being franchised.
The company says it still sees traditional bricks and mortar branded agencies as representing the bulk of the sales and lettings market, certainly for the foreseeable future, and is exercising caution over the Brexit outcome.
The RLA has already approached LSL for more details on which branches are set to close and the impact this is likely to have landlords whose lettings the company manages.
Information is still sparse as to the exact branches to be closed and the eventual number of job losses, but a spokesperson for LSL told Property Industry EYE:
“We confirm that, following a review of our lettings operations across Your Move and Reeds Rains at the end of last year, and following a period of consultation, the decision was taken to centralise our regional lettings support centres into our existing Lettings Hub in Southampton.
“This was part of the LSL Property Services plc ways of working programme which began in the second half of 2017 and progressed through 2018 in support of its objective to deliver improvements to Your Move and Reeds Rains operational performance and enhance their market competitiveness.
“The relocation of our lettings central support activities began last year and is now coming to an end.
“Our priority continues to be in supporting our staff, 47 of which have been made redundant, and customers who have already been informed about the change.”