Group History

SDL Property Services Group Ltd is a large, diverse property services business established in 1989 as Direct Valuations, and through additions and acquisitions has evolved into a £100m turnover business employing 600 staff from Glasgow to Southampton. SDL Group offer national coverage in risk management, surveying, lettings, property management, estate agency, mortgages and insurance broking.

The Group began in 1989 as Direct Valuations, operating as a national property valuation solution via First Direct, and we soon became known as Shepherd Direct after partnering with J & E Shepherd, a market leading Scottish surveying practice. Today SDL Surveying is one of the UK’s largest provider of valuations. We work with the likes of Nationwide and Lloyds Banking Group, as well as maintaining our relationship with First Direct and HSBC almost 30 years on.

In 2011, we built on the existing surveying business and formed Direct Lettings, which provided back-office lettings support to landlords. This now supports our work in PRS, managing new-build rental housing developments, all the way from initial investment to tenant management, through SDL Property Management.

2013 saw the acquisition of the licence to franchise CENTURY 21 UK, and we became a part of one of the world’s largest estate agency organisations. There are now more than 60 branches across the UK, making us the UK’s fastest organically growing estate agency franchise.

We now also own part of Stonebridge Mortgage Solutions, which is one of the UK’s largest independent mortgage brokers and was named Best Mortgage Network at the 2017 Mortgage Strategy Awards. In addition, the Group own Glasgow-based mortgage broker, moneyQuest, as well as insurance broker Pure Protect, who specialise in advising consumers on life insurance, critical illness cover and more.

Following our acquisition of the West Midland’s auction business, CP Bigwood in 2015, the East Midland’s most successful auction house Graham Penny in 2016, and the auction operation of Humphreys of Chester, SDL Auctions was founded.

Bringing these businesses together under our shared, revolutionary approach to customer experience in property services led to us ranked 58th in the Sunday Times Profit Track 100, the independent listing of the UK’s fastest-growing private companies, and our CEO Paul Gratton was shortlisted for Entrepreneur of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

More information on our businesses can be found on our Brands page.

Passionate people

Pursuit of a better way

Partnerships that add value