The UK’s fourth largest estate agency group LSL has revealed that nearly half of its furloughed staff have returned to work.
Following the lockdown, 73% of its 4,000 staff were furloughed and its eight-strong board cut their salaries by a third. This includes key executives such as Group CEO David Stewart, Chairman Simon Embley, finance chief Adam Castleton and Estate Agency Director Helen Buck, all of whom also agreed to halt any pay reviews until further notice.
Since the housing market restart some 1,300 or 43% of the firm’s furloughed staff have returned to work.
And as of 31st May just over 200 of its Reeds Rains, Your Move and Marsh & Parsons branches out of a total of 231 have re-opened and are available for meetings via a pre-booked appointment.
During the seven-week lockdown its residential sales income reduced by 63% while new lettings and renewals reduced by 24%.
But its cost-cutting and the effective moth-balling of its ‘essential only’ sales operation during the lockdown worked and LSL says it made a £1.6 million profit during April, albeit down from a £2.9 million profit in the same month last year.
“Our ability to respond rapidly and in detail to changing market conditions has meant that our response to the outbreak was decisive and effective,” says David Stewart (left).
“This could not have been achieved without a tremendous effort from colleagues working in all parts of the Group.
“Their commitment, flexibility and positivity highlights how they remain our greatest asset, and I would like to thank them for their support. “Their health and well-being, and that of our customers, will remain my highest priority.”