The fast-growing Lomond Group of agencies has acquired a major online lettings service.
But it's going to manage the properties through physical branches, not via the internet.
The Lomond Group has snapped up the Manchester-based Property Hub Lets, which specialises in the rental and management of properties owned by portfolio investors.
Over 700 properties across Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham will transfer to the Lomond Group as part of the deal, in addition to three staff members.
The most fascinating aspect is that the landlords’ properties will no longer be managed online and will instead be integrated within the existing High Street branches of three of Lomond’s major brands – Thornley Groves in Manchester and the North West; Linley & Simpson in Yorkshire; and John Shepherd in the Midlands.
Lomond managing director Will Linley says: “This is the first time we have acquired an agency that operated exclusively online, and are thrilled with the high-quality portfolio we have inherited. It represents a perfect synergy for us as we already have a strong presence across the majority of major cities that Property Hub Lets covers. We now look forward to transferring all these properties smoothly and speedily into a number of our local branches.”
The Lomond Group was launched at the end of 2020 when Yorkshire-based Linley & Simpson joined forces with Edinburgh-based Lomond Capital to create what it describes as a “new national lettings and sales business.”
The group now has a combined portfolio of over 35,000 properties, worth around £8 billion, under management; and operates major hubs in private rental hotspots including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Brighton, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Hull, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and York.
It has brought together strong High Street lettings brands including Linley & Simpson across Yorkshire and the Humber; Thornley Groves in Greater Manchester and Cheshire; John Shepherd in its Birmingham and Midlands hub; Brand Vaughan plus Michael Jones and Company in the South East; as well as DJ Alexander and Stonehouse in its Scottish heartlands
Will Linley continues: “This deal is our first multi-regional one in England – and a model we are looking to mirror in future acquisitions. It underlines the unique proposition of Lomond Group and the strength of our network of regional brands, where they are able to link together across huge swathes of the country to accommodate a diverse geographical portfolio.”
Property Hub Lets is part of the London-headquartered Property Hub, founded by Rob Bence and Rob Dix, which has an online community of more than 60,000 property investors. It’s best-known for producing The Property Podcast, which tops 300,000 downloads a month.
Bence says: “When we started Property Hub Lets in 2014, we had the vision of creating the letting agency that we wanted as investors ourselves. It’s been an incredible journey with lots of ups and downs and plenty of learnings along the way. We now believe that the best way to fully realise that vision is for Property Hub Lets to become part of Lomond Group.
“The Property Hub Lets team will immediately benefit from Lomond Group’s established infrastructure and greater resources, and we’re confident that our clients will immediately experience and enhanced level of service. We will partner closely with Lomond Group to ensure that our Property Hub Invest clients continue to benefit from a seamless experience from purchase through to property management.”