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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Top agency to train agents in other activities during virus crisis

LSL Property Services says one of its measures to “rightsize” the organisation during the Coronavirus crisis will be to put agents through ‘cross-functional training’.

The initiative is one of many announced by the company, which is the parent to Reeds Rains and Your Move. 

The LSL range of services extends well beyond estate and lettings agencies to surveys, financial services and other transaction-related activities. 

For agents specifically the company says: “To protect our employees, customers and suppliers, closure of all estate agency branches, in line with Government advice, with customer support provided remotely, and with estate agency branch staff working from home where required” and “Cross-functional training to enhance workforce flexibility.“

In addition, for the entire LSL group, the company says in a statement:

- Implemented business continuity plans across all our businesses, switching to remote working;

- Proactive measures across our Estate Agency, Financial Services and Surveying businesses;

- Rightsizing of team activity levels to market conditions, reflecting the drop in transaction volumes by business stream;

- Recruitment freeze and annual pay review suspended for the board and all staff;

- All discretionary expenditure halted, with all non-essential marketing activities cancelled;

- All group wide acquisition activity halted for the foreseeable future;

- Working closely with our business partners, with the intention of finding solutions to meet their needs in this rapidly changing environment.

There will also be no physical valuations for the foreseeable future, and LSL commits itself to “actively working with lender clients to move a higher proportion of valuations to non-physical (remote) valuations.”

In terms of LSL’s financial health, it says it has immediately available liquidity of circa £55m, through committed facilities and cash balances and it says it has “modelled a range of scenarios to stress test the group's liquidity position through to the end of 2020.”

Critically, it says of the tests: “These show that in very significant stress scenarios, with appropriate mitigating actions, the Board is comfortable that the business has adequate banking facilities in place for the foreseeable future. We also welcome the Government's support packages for workers and businesses impacted by the current situation, which we will utilise where appropriate.”

"We are facing unprecedented market conditions caused by COVID-19. We are taking prompt decisive self-help actions across the Group to preserve liquidity, reduce costs and optimise the business for the short and medium term. We are well positioned to deal with the disruption caused by COVID-19, with a strong balance sheet and a capable and experienced management team across the Group.

The welfare of our colleagues is an ongoing priority for us and the LSL Board would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues for their ongoing professionalism during this challenging time.

The LSL Board believes that in taking prompt, decisive and appropriate action to respond to market conditions in combination with its strong balance sheet, the business is well positioned to emerge strongly when market conditions improve. "

Company chairman Simon Emblem says: "The welfare of our colleagues is an ongoing priority for us and the LSL Board would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our colleagues for their ongoing professionalism during this challenging time. The LSL Board believes that in taking prompt, decisive and appropriate action to respond to market conditions in combination with its strong balance sheet, the business is well positioned to emerge strongly when market conditions improve.”

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    didn't someone try this once before ?

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    Owners of Your Move franchises are facing unprecedented issues in working through this crisis on their own as our branches are closed; most staff are furloughed and the Government will support this which is amazing and good that we can look after our team. As a business, we are asking for support from LSL to look at reducing rent, their commissions on the completions that are proceeding etc to enable us to get through the next 3 months. The brutal answer is to provide no support. I cannot express how callous and short sighted this approach is.

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