Martin & Co parent company The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has admitted that its new five-year deal with rival LSL’s PRIMIS mortgage broking network is a ‘change in direction’ as the company buys time to grow its own in-house financial services capability.
TPFG, which is now the second largest estate agency network by branch numbers following the Connells/Countrywide merger, has made the surprise announcement as it reports a 13% jump in turnover for the first quarter of the year compared to 2020 at its high street branches.
These turned over £23 million and also report a 45% increase in sales agreed pipeline and a nearly 50% jump in exchanges, all figures the precede its recent acquisition of Hunters.
Like the rest of the industry the agency has seen one of its busiest few months of trading in its history as the nation slowly emerged from lockdown at the start of the Spring market.
TPFG boss Gareth Samples tells The Negotiator that the new mortgage tie up with rival LSL’s recently-enhanced PRIMIS financial services is a change of strategy for the company.
“We are still committed to our recent acquisition of the Auxilium Partnership, which is more focussed on insurance than mortgages, and founder Mark Graves, who was made TPFG financial services director in January last year, is to continue in that role,” says Samples.
“We are still seeking to acquire more financial services companies to add to our own stable.”
Nevertheless, TPFG has signed up to a five year deal with PRIMIS, which Samples he is comfortable joining even though its run by a rival.
“We have publicly committed to growing the financial services capability available to our network and LSL has emerged quickly as the best option for our franchisees,” he says.
“Our strategy has changed but the focus is very similar – but nevertheless the PRIMIS is the fastest-growing mortgage network in the UK adding 400 consultants last year and another 400 due to join this year, and we’re very happy that it can help us grow a very successful mortgage service business.”