It’s been revealed that the branch closure programme by Your Move and Reeds Rains last year resulted in 460 lost jobs and another 440 staff moved elsewhere in the organisation.
Estate Agent Today has been told by a spokesperson for the parent company, LSL Property Services: “There were 900 jobs impacted by the closures and regrettably 460 of these had to leave the business but we were pleased that we managed to find new positions for circa 440 colleagues.
“We did this by holding some vacancies in the lead up to the changes; redeploying staff into Homefast – our conveyancing admin centre; redeploying staff into our part exchange hub in Nottinghamshire which has won some significant new contracts in recent months and expanded the number of people it employs as well as its premises; [and] working closely with our new franchisees to help retain staff who worked in the network branches that were franchised.”
Helen Buck, executive director for estate agency, told EAT: “Our teams were fantastic and quickly moved from the shock of the changes to working on how we could best serve our customers – it’s never easy having to make structural changes of the sort we made a year ago but we are confident that our larger branches are well positioned to thrive in UK housing market”.
In a separate statement released to the industry media, LSL claims the branch closure programme was a success and “the change programme has been delivered.”
The restructuring - which we reported at the time here - involved leaving 144 so-called ‘keystone branches’ following the closure and merging of 80 neighbouring branches.
Some 39 branches were transferred to a new franchise business called National Home Move, led by former LSL director David Newnes; ultimately this business will have 130 franchised offices across the Your Move and Reeds Rains branches.
The keystone branches now cover 20 per cent more households than before.
Before the change the average branch employed 5.5 full time people, which has subsequently risen to over 7.0. The agency also claims that over 96 per cent of branches now have dedicated lettings staff.
The closure programme was complemented by a significant investment in PropTech according to the statement, with the agency brands trialling virtual viewings and video inventories, and the installation of what LSL calls “a state of the art telephony system” and there has been a row out of a bespoke financial services tech platform to the financial consultants working in branches.
To evidence the success of the PropTech initiatives and closure programmes, LSL says website visitors to local branch pages have increased 30 per cent in the past year, and it claims keystone branches’ market share has risen - although it gives no figures to support this.