Steven Cross and Simon Parker
Laing+Simmons, a NSW-based franchise group with 47 offices, has been acquired by Canberra’s largest real estate company, Independent Property Group.
Independent Property Group chief executive John Runko told Real Estate Business the deal, which was announced today, would allow his company to continue its expansion, which recently included a new office in Queanbeyan, NSW, and a strata management business in Sydney.
"I thought [Laing+Simmons] was a good cultural fit," he said, and that it would help bolster his company's "geographic reach".
Mr Runko confirmed that, for franchisees and employees of Laing+Simmons, it would be "business as usual".
Yet more growth was planned for Laing+Simmons, he said, although his focus remained on finding the right people rather than growth for growth's sake.
Leanne Pilkington, general manager at Laing+Simmons, told Real Estate Business that the deal originally started as a conversation around sharing resources.
“We’ve been discussing the possibility of shared services and then we looked at doing a joint venture, but that got very complicated for a number of reasons and ended up morphing into the deal we have now," she said.
“We will now have access to all the services and product line that the Independent Property Group currently has," she continued.
"Improved training, more focus on project marketing, strata management and the kinds of things we haven’t really been involved in before.
“I spoke to our principals yesterday and they’re meeting some of the directors of Independent Property Group today."
Independent Property Group, which has around 250 staff, offers a large array of services which extend well beyond just residential sales and property management, to include project marketing, strata management, commercial, mortgage broking, software development and more.
The company recently won the Real Estate of Australia’s 2012 Innovation Award, and was inducted into the industry body’s Hall of Fame.
Mr Runko said he expected the deal to officially settle in a few months' time.