Franchise group expands 17pc in three months

Laing & Simmons is in the process of expanding from 35 to 41 offices, with further openings planned for later this year.

Three offices have recently opened in Ropes Crossing, Penrith and Bondi Beach, with another three about to open in Dee Why, Camden and St George.

That will see Laing & Simmons expand from 35 to 41 offices between December and March.

General manager Leanne Pilkington said the Sydney-based group expected to expand further in 2015, although where and when had yet to be finalised.

“I’m having some fairly serious conversations with people in a couple of different areas right now,” she told Real Estate Business.

Ms Pilkington said that with so many groups in expansion mode, the key to retaining market share would be to recruit growth-focused agents.

“A lot of real estate agents are really good salespeople, but when they go out and do it for themselves, they’re still the person who is actively listing and selling real estate,” she said.

“We need to focus on these recruits becoming professional business owners and looking at how they can grow their businesses and support their teams.”

Ms Pilkington said Laing & Simmons has the advantage of being based in Sydney, which gives it intimate knowledge of Australia’s strongest market.

“We’re going to focus on NSW for the moment, but that’s not to say if something exciting came to us in, for example, Queensland that we wouldn’t consider it,” she said.

“We would, but that’s not our focus, so we’re not actively going out and looking for that right now.”

Of the six new offices, three belong to existing Laing & Simmons principals, two are independents coming across and one is owned by an agent who has stepped up.

[Related: Agent reveals how he made client cry tears of joy]

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