Agency eyeing acquisitions
Coulters unveils first step in ambitious growth plan
Margaret McPherson and Ben Di Rollo: exciting moves (pic: Terry Murden)
Coulters, the independent residential estate agency and conveyancing firm, is embarking on an expansion beyond its traditional Edinburgh base to drive growth and capture more of the East Lothian market.
The agency has opened an office in North Berwick to build on its already thriving business in the area and is looking at expanding further afield with potential opportunities in the Borders, Glasgow, Fife and Perthshire.
Coulters, which has two Edinburgh branches in Stockbridge and Marchmont and a legal hub at Edinburgh Park, has taken space in The Lighthouse Unit, in North Berwick as the first step towards rapid expansion of the business over the next three to four years.
An increasing number of enquiries are being received from overseas clients as well as those who have bought or sold a property in Edinburgh and may be relocating to East Lothian and other locations outside of the City.
A key focus of Coulters’ growth plan will be to optimise its strengths as a full service estate agency and conveyancing firm with customer service firmly at its core. Coulters service offering was acknowledged with the Residential Team of the Year award at the recent Scottish legal awards.
Ben Di Rollo, director of Coulters, said: “The new office in North Berwick is an exciting move for us. Our team has an in-depth knowledge of the area and we already have an impressive track record, so the time is right for us to have a presence on the ground to help grow our client base further.
“The business is developing. Coulters’ management team is focused on growth and enhancing customer service. We are investing further in technology and client interaction throughout the selling process.
“We take the stress out of buying and selling by offering the associated legal services under one roof and ensure that the process is seamless for our clients.’
Responding to trends showing growth in online buying and selling, Mr Di Rollo said: “There is a place for virtual, office and shop front locations.
Sophie Duns: special place
“We are accessible seven days a week and are often dealing with international clients so work through time differences using Skype and other technologies. We go the extra mile for our clients and will arrange additional services to help make the transaction process as smooth as possible.”
Margaret McPherson, who recently took over as executive chairman to help accelerate Coulter’s development, expects to see 35% organic growth this year and said the board would consider acquiring other businesses.
“We are open to opportunities for mergers and acquisitions and are actively looking for the right businesses,” she said. “We have ambitious plans for growth and with the new management team in place we are in a great place to achieve it.
She said the expansion would mean adding to Coulters’ current complement of 21 employees.
“We expect to take on three or four staff in the next few months, some in newly created roles including a focused customer experience manager.”
The new Coulters office in North Berwick will be run under the management of associate director Sophie Duns who returns to Coulters after a stint at Savills.
Ms Duns said: “I am delighted to be back at Coulters and excited about working in East Lothian, I grew up here so it’s home to me. It is such a special place for people at all stages in life and has so much to offer.”