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Interview of Ellie Hall
Written by the Estate Agent Today team
Ellie Hall, Head of Acquisitions, LSL Property Services

Who are you?

Ellie Hall.

What does it say on your business card?

Head of Acquisitions.

You're on the hunt for acquisitions, what makes a good prospective agency?

It’s a gift when I am introduced to a well-run, reputable company where the owners really have an appetite to sell and at the same time want to feel completely confident that their business will continue to be run properly when they hand over the reins. It’s an added bonus if it’s a lettings agency with mostly managed properties!

How many acquisitions has LSL Property Services made in the past year?

In the past 12 months we’ve acquired 29 businesses and counting… watch this space.

Why are acquisitions so important to your business?

LSL is looking to strengthen our position in the market and increase our overall market share. We also believe we have a successful model which can benefit smaller agents.

What is your greatest achievement in your current role and what made it so special?

I am extremely proud to be part of the LSL Acquisitions team that has grown the number of completed acquisitions from 6 a year ago, to the 29 we’ve done in the last 12 months, whilst managing to deliver great service to their customers. What has made it all the more special is that I had my first child on October 8th last year, so have also juggled maternity leave and childcare. I must say LSL have been a fantastic company at helping me accommodate all that.

What is the most satisfying part of your job?

Most of the owners I meet are Independent. They started their business from scratch and nurtured it through thick and thin over many years. They have huge affinity to it and strong loyalty to their customers. The most satisfying part of my job is gaining their confidence and trust that we’ll do a good job looking after their customers by guiding them through the selling process and showing just exactly what we can do, and how flexible we can be. I’ve owned and sold my own business in the past and know what it’s like. Many owners carry on working with us in some capacity, depending on their exit strategy.

What is your prediction for the acquisitions market for the remainder of 2015?

I predict greater consolidation of the Lettings market.

Increased competition and the scale and regularity of new legislation, present lettings agents with worry, administration and added cost. I see more and more smaller businesses conceding that selling to larger organisations is an attractive option because they have the processes and infrastructure in place to deal with the increasing complexity of the lettings market.

Zoopla, Rightmove or OnTheMarket?

Rightmove on my mobile via their app. I’m on there all the time.

House or apartment?

House – being on the road or in big cities all day, I find coming home to my house in the country a welcome retreat.

City or countryside?

Countryside – see above!

Modern and stylish or period and original?

Modern and stylish every time.

Rent or buy?

I’m torn on this one. Buy… but because of my work… rent.

Completion or instruction?  

Completion – there is nothing more satisfying than taking on a great business to get a win, win, win situation – the owner wins, their customers win and LSL wins.

Kirstie Allsopp or Phil Spencer?

Kirstie Allsopp – she’s a woman in property so I’ve got to be on her side. Although mainly because she’s always wearing fabulous high heeled shoes.

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