Formal consultations have started concerning the job losses and branch closures for Your Move and Reeds Rains, revealed yesterday by their parent firm LSL Property Services.
"The simplification and streamlining of the Your Move and Reeds Rains operations is expected to result in a headcount reduction. This will be minimised wherever possible by the franchising of branches, the merging of branches with keystone branches and offering alternative employment where available within the group” says a statement from the company.
"Affected colleagues based in Your Move and Reeds Rains branches and related central support functions are entering a period of consultation. We are focused on, wherever possible, minimising the impact on them and supporting them through this process.”
It is not known how many jobs will be lost as a result of the restructuring, but one newspaper this morning puts the number at risk as 500. “Between two to six people are thought to work in each branch, meaning around 500 jobs could go” says the Daily Mail.
It is thought that the 400 or so LSL Property Services branches will see 124 closures, while many others will be sold off to become franchises. Some offices will merge into so-called 'keystone branches' in core locations, while other branches will close. It is believed 43 other branches which won't merge or be sold will simply close.
London’s Marsh & Parsons network, also owned by LSL Property Services, remains unaffected by the restructuring. There has been no announcement about the company’s investment - alongside Savills and other non-agency firms - in the online operation Yopa.
The LSL share price remained largely unmoved by yesterday’s announcement, ending the day up just under one per cent.
Like many agencies, including online rival Purplebricks, the performance of LSL in recent months has been well below its longer-term best.
Five years ago, in March 2014, LSL saw an all-time high of 480p per share; that has slipped gradually downwards, despite relatively strong trading performances by the company.
In August last year it was at a recent-high of 294p but has been moving broadly downwards since the time.