A Cumbrian estate agency is looking forward to a new chapter, following a management buyout and backing from a renowned national agency.
Cumberland Estate Agents, formerly part of the Cumberland Building Society Group, has been bought by Graeme Macleod, the agency’s managing director for the past three years.
The estate agency had been part of The Cumberland family since 1989 and has a long standing reputation throughout the region. The new agency will become a franchise of national brand Hunters, one of the UK’s top five estate agencies.
The newly branded Hunters business will continue to cover all of Cumbria, South West Scotland and Lancaster and plans to open a large central hub office located in Carlisle.
Hunters, which opened its first office in York in 1992 and its first franchising branch in 2006, now has a network of over 200 branches nationwide.
Its services cover residential sales, lettings, buy-to-let and investment, residential block management, land and new homes, franchising and other property related services.
Estate agency customers, suppliers and partners have been contacted, and it is very much business as usual for those looking to buy, sell or let property through Cumberland Estate Agents. The same award winning team will continue to serve customers, with the added benefit of the support from Hunters.
It will continue to have a close relationship with The Cumberland, the region’s leading provider of mortgages and savings. The Cumberland will also provide support to the agency during an agreed post-transfer transitional period, and all estate agency colleagues will transfer to the new company.
Graeme Macleod was Cumberland Estate Agents MD, and will take up the role of Franchise Owner at Hunters Cumbria, South West Scotland, and Lancaster.
He said: “This is a really positive development for this business and the region.
“The last three years has seen some fabulous achievements by the team, cementing our place at the heart of the North West’s property community, and seeing us named as one of the top 3% estate agents in the country in the 2019 Best Estate Agent Guide, supported by Rightmove.
“Becoming part of a respected national brand will enable us to deliver an even better service to our customers through being able to access better technology and best practice – such as training and marketing support - from a larger estate agency group.
“It’s exciting to see a nationally renowned business willing to invest in the region, and that’s something that the team here can be proud of.”
Glynis Frew, CEO of Hunters commented: “We are delighted to welcome Graeme and his fantastic team to Hunters. We share a common ambition to grow our businesses by delivering first class customer service and our primary objective of becoming the nation’s favourite estate agent.
“Cumbria and South West Scotland and Lancaster are new territories for Hunters who will now be the region’s largest estate agent by measure of listed properties; it’s a very exciting time with huge potential for further growth.”
For the Cumberland, this development is part of a new strategy focusing investment on developing its core mortgages and savings business in order to meet the evolving demands of customers, particularly for digital services.
Cumberland Building Society CEO, Des Moore, said: “This development benefits the building society, our customers, and the estate agency, and is an important part of our strategy towards building a sustainable Cumberland that is able to meet the needs of our customers today and tomorrow.
“For the Building Society, this allows us to focus more on serving the people and businesses of our region in our main areas of mortgages, savings and current accounts.
“It gives the estate agency the opportunity to benefit from the resource and expertise offered by the Hunters group, which is one of the top five estate agencies in the country, with a wealth of experience.
“We would like to thank Graeme and his team for all of their hard work as part of The Cumberland group, and wish them well for the future.”