More agents announce expansion as industry goes for unprecedented growth

In a rush to consolidate, acquire and expand not seen for years, more agencies have announced growth.

Unlisted but rapidly growing Leaders has made further acquisitions, adding two companies and five branches to its network. The sums paid have not been disclosed.

The firm, which started off as a single-branch lettings agency in Brighton, has bought Lloyds Property Agents in Wigan, Greater Manchester; and midlands firm Town & Country, which trades from premises in Droitwich, Evesham, Redditch and Worcester.

The acquisitions take Leaders’ network to 111. Leaders, which expands by acquisition and not by franchising, now handles both sales and lettings.

In London, former Apprentice finalist Jamie Lester has demonstrated organic growth by opening his fourth office in four years.

His livewire-looking company, Haus Properties, has opened its latest office in Munster Village, south-west London. Haus launched in 2011 and has unusual home-styled offices, styled around kitchen tables where visitors can enjoy coffee.

Lester reckons to have served up over 10,000 coffees in the last four years.

Meanwhile, fast-expanding north-based Hunters, which is now listed on AIM, has added Kent firm Black & White Estates to its franchise network.

The branches build on York-headquartered Hunters’ planned expansion in the south-east. Hunters’ expansion strategy is via franchising, not acquisition – the exact reverse of Leaders.

The conversion of Black & White Estates to the Hunters brand brings the number of independently owned Hunters’ branches to over 165 nationwide.

Hunters, which floated on AIM earlier this year, plans to have 500 offices within five years. Sales director Andy Bushell said he expects there to be 170 outlets by the end of this year.

Hunters chairman is co-founder and now Tory MP Kevin Hollinrake.

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