Reeds Rains and Your Move will lose 124 branches under a restructure by parent company LSL Property Services.
The letting and estate agents will see owned branch numbers slashed in a move which LSL says has come about as a response to ‘the changing landscape and customer demands.’
A spokesperson for LSL says landlords whose portfolios are managed by the firm should have been informed of the plans, and that the firm will work to ‘minimise the impact on landlords’ – although it did not elaborate on what that might be.
It also said the planned closures had not come about as a result of the upcoming tenant fees ban, which will have a significant impact on fees charged by landlords and agents.
A spokeswoman said: “Every effort is being made to minimise the impact on Your Move and Reeds Rains landlords and any affected by the announcement should have received a communication from the agency concerned.
“In the second half of 2017 we launched a ways of working programme across some of our Estate Agency businesses to respond to the changing landscape and customer demands.
“As highlighted in the 2018 LSL Interim Results announcement, we continued to progress the ways of working programme during 2018. It therefore bears no relation to the forthcoming tenant fee ban”.
The company has announced:
- The closure and merging of the operations of approximately 81 neighbouring branches into the new keystone branch network, which will be branded as either Your Move or Reeds Rains, to deliver improved scale.
- Franchising approximately 40 existing branches in locations which do not geographically align with the proposed network of keystone branches within Reeds Rains and Your Move but which offer positive business opportunities to existing successful LSL franchisees within both brands.
- The closure of approximately 43 branches which are not planned to be combined with the keystone branches or converted into a franchised branch.
The planned changes, which will begin with immediate effect are expected to reduce the total number of Your Move and Reeds Rains branches from 404 to 280 of which approximately 144 will be owned keystone branches and approximately 136 will be franchised.
Helen Buck, LSL’s Executive Director for Estate Agency, said: “The strategic changes announced today follow the completion of our ways of working programme and continues to support our long standing view that traditional estate agents will represent the substantial majority of the Residential Sales and Lettings market for the foreseeable future and that our Estate Agency branches will continue to remain core to providing the service our customers expect.”
The planned changes apply only to the Your Move and Reeds Rains branch networks and there are no planned changes to Marsh & Parsons and the LSLi Estate Agency subsidiaries.
The company has confirmed there will be job losses – referred to in the statement as a ‘headcount reduction’.
The company said it is ‘cautious’ on the market outlook with Brexit just around the corner, citing ‘the continued uncertainty over the UK and global political environment and the potential impact on UK consumer confidence.’
The RLA has approached LSL for more detail on the branches set to close the impact on landlords whose lettings are managed by the company.
We will update this article once we have received a response.