Managing Director Graeme MacLeod delighted to have joined
The additional benefits afforded by the increasingly popular estate agency franchising model were too good to ignore, according to Graeme MacLeod, the Franchise Owner of the newly formed Hunters Cumbria and South West Scotland.
Macleod, who was at LSL before spending 13 years at Countrywide, heads up the newly formed Hunters operation following a management buyout of Cumberland Estate Agents, the agency arm of Cumberland Building Society Group. It has become part of 200+ branch Hunters and represents the AIM listed group’s first move into Scotland, bolstering its wide-ranging presence throughout England and Wales.Graeme MacLeod, Franchise Owner of Hunters Cumbria and South West Scotland comments:
“We have had a fantastic 27 years as part of the building society and will continue to harness our strong relationship with them. We felt becoming part of a strong national estate and lettings agency brand and having access to the benefits of a well-established franchising model was a crucial part of our growth as a company, and of huge benefit to our customer base. We had explored a couple of options but determined that Hunters was comfortably the best option for us as we are so closely aligned in terms of our philosophies, sharing an enthusiasm to respond to the needs and requirements of the modern consumer.
“Estate agency is and always will be about people first, but that’s no longer just about face to face contact. It is equally important to capitalise on digital innovation and technological advancements, which offer significant benefits to our staff and by extension our customers, allowing them to be better informed and at a faster pace too. We very much see it as a strengthening of the high street offering, rather than a dilution of it. Becoming part of an operation this vast is very important in this respect.”
What changes can customers expect?
Locally based valuers and viewers will operate in each location whilst full sales progression and property management will be handled by Graeme’s established team of experts from a central hub office with extended openings times for customers.
Hunters Cumbria and South West Scotland will continue to operate a commercial relationship with Cumberland Building Society in the form of automatic mortgage referrals. There will also be Hunters branding in the Building Society high street offices for a period of time.
Under the new Hunters banner, the Cumbria and South West Scotland group will cover a total of 9 locations and over 120 miles of geography, making it the region’s largest estate agency by listings. Hunters’ franchising model will see MacLeod’s team benefit from heavy investment in technological and marketing propositions, including 24 hour customer portals. Glynis Frew, CEO of Hunters, commented:
“We’re really excited to have Graeme and the team on board and delighted that they will help drive our first entrance into the Scottish market. This is an important strategic move for us – one that will take the Hunters name into households not only in South West Scotland, but also throughout Cumbria and Lancaster. The property market here is vast and varied and we’re excited about the future opportunities. The company continues to go from strength to strength in the face of a challenging marketplace, which is testament to our attractive and stable franchising model which fully embraces the changing nature of estate agency as we know it.”