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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

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All change as several agencies announce expansions and acquisitions

The spring agency merger and expansion tradition continues apace with a series of announcements by firms.

Bristol-based online agency Urpad.online - which as we have reported in the past has amongst its offices one in a Devon cafe - has expanded into Caerphilly. 

The Welsh franchise is being rolled out by Andrew Dillon and Daniel Murphy - “I am delighted to bring the urpad brand to my home town of Caerphilly, the franchise has already enjoyed great success in Bristol by bringing a new approach to the property market" says Dillon. 

As part of the company’s offering, a homeowner can sell their property with urpad’s fees starting from £299. Landlords can also let their properties with urpad with fees from £119.

Century 21 has opened its 41st office franchise office in the UK and says more are to come. The agency will cover sales, property management and chartered surveying and will build on an existing lettings agency in Norwich, owned by local agent Alex Okolidoh; the new branch will be managed by another local agent, Sue Clark. 

The branch says one of its key 'client service values' is the commitment of a single, dedicated operator to manage all aspects of each client's transaction including marketing, viewings, negotiation and chain management. The branch also claims to be the only one in the city incorporating an interactive screen in its office window, allowing users to browse properties, register interest and sign up for further details.

Meanwhile Wallasey estate agency Bakewell Horner has undergone a management buy out by one of its minority shareholders, Russ Smith; the company employs 19 staff and its 2015 turnover was £600,000. It is on target to reach £700,000 this year.

“I’ve had the ambition to run my own business from very early on in my career and, in fact, that is what made me write to [former owner] Peter Horner 10 years ago and ask him for a job" says Smith. 

Finally Bowmark Capital has merged two companies in its portfolio - Leaders and Romans - to create an entity with over 40,000 properties, mostly in south east England. 

Bowmark acquired Leaders in 2010 in a £48m deal; it acquired Romans in 2013 in a £50m-plus deal. 

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