Specialist estate agent expecting to double sales as crisis provides opportunity

A firm that claims to be Scotland’s only estate agency for landlords is aiming to double its property sales, saying that the legacy of the Covid-19 pandemic could prove a “positive game-changer” for the industry.

Founders Chris Wood (left) and Ross MacDonald aim to negotiate 60 sales for clients in 2021 - up from 30 sold in the past year. Picture: contributed.

Edinburgh-based Portolio, which specialises in selling homes with tenants remaining in situ, has recently completed its third year of trading and said it has enjoyed a “record-breaking” past 12 months – with total revenue up by 153 per cent on the previous year.

The firm, which operates across Scotland, also recorded a sharp rise in the number of properties listed, while the seller leads it fielded were two and half times higher on the year.

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Founders Chris Wood and Ross MacDonald aim to negotiate 60 sales for clients in 2021, up from 30 sold in the past year, and they hail a strong start to the new year. They also hope to build on their progress achieved in selling tenanted property portfolios with a value above £1 million.

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The duo believes that the legacy of emergency coronavirus rules brought into play to help avoid property evictions during the coronavirus crisis could prove a game-changer for the “unique” place their agency holds in the Scottish property market.

The firm said the significance of its model “has been thrown into sharp focus by emergency legislation introduced by the Scottish Government shortly after the Covid-19 outbreak began, which increased the notice period that landlords must give tenants from between one and three months to six months”.

It comes as Portolio’s goal is to support landlords in the private rented sector “to mitigate what most consider to be unfair legislation generally in how it impacts on their businesses – and to act as a positive voice for landlords and the issues they face”.

Mr Wood, Portolio’s MD, said: “One of the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic has been that it has created greater interest and a wider realisation in the financial and logistical advantages that selling and buying properties with tenants in situ brings.

“However, even before that, we were seeing measurable increased recognition of these benefits – particularly the fact that this means no break in rental income for either party. Certainly though, circumstances have undoubtedly accelerated this awakening.”

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