Jobs at risk as 124 Your Move and Reeds Rains estate agent branches set to close

More than 120 estate agent branches are to disappear from the high street as part of a shakeup by Your Move owner LSL Property Services, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

The company has announced plans to close branches of Your Move and Reeds Rains, slashing 124 branches to reduce the total number from 404 to 280.

The plans will refocus the company on 144 larger “keystone branches” in crucial locations, with neighbouring sites being shut down.

The operations of 81 branches will be merged into the core network, while 43 will close outright. Another 40 are set to be converted into franchises.

LSL said job losses are expected as a result of the move, but it would minimise this wherever possible.

The company said its fresh strategy will allow it to achieve goals including bringing in at least £80,000 profit per branch and expanding the Marsh & Parsons brand outside of central London.

The programme is expected to boost the profitability of both the Your Move and Reeds Rains brands, with benefits fully achieved by the second half of next year.

Estate agents have faced a myriad of challenges in recent years including the rise of online alternatives.

Research conducted by the Local Data Company released in November indicated that estate agents were the second fastest declining retail high street category after pubs during the first half of 2018.

In a statement, LSL said bricks-and-mortar branches still had a place in the industry.

“We continue to believe that traditional estate agents will represent the substantial majority of the residential sales and lettings markets for the foreseeable future and that our estate agency branches will continue to remain core to providing the service our customers expect.

“The changes we are announcing today will better position Your Move and Reeds Rains as two leading estate agency brands in the UK. We will continue to support these branches and our people to maintain their brand presence and well established local market positions in the future.”