New residential agency aims to ‘shake things up’ in Scotland

Alex McKie, Judy Shields and Stuart Drysdale

THE Fusion Group of Companies is branching out into residential property sales in Scotland.

The group’s commercial property agency, Drysdale & Company, already operates within the hospitality sector and is said to be making a name for itself in hotel sales.

Fusion has now teamed up with property professional Judy Shields to jointly launch Rio Residential. As with Drysdale & Company, which is headed up by Stuart Drysdale, Rio Residential will be a standalone company within the Fusion umbrella.

Judy Shields, from Dunblane, has been working in the residential property sector at a senior level for the last eight years. Latterly she was senior associate director with Strutt & Parker in Edinburgh, having also spent time with McEwan Fraser as a residential and commercial property surveyor. Her career has also seen her fulfil the role of client relationship manager (restructuring) with KPMG, and area director for Clyde Property in Stirling.

Rio Residential will cover all aspects of residential sales, including redevelopment projects, property sourcing and off market.

Judy is keen to bring a new approach to the property industry with a complete one point of contact service, adopting the way brokerages operate in the US, Australia and Dubai.

Whilst a standalone brand within Fusion, Judy will collaborate with Fusion director Alex McKie, who will promote and support Rio Residential within his portfolio of owned hospitality businesses including The Isle of Skye Guest House and Old Churches House, Dunblane.

Another Fusion sub brand, Accommodation Services, looks after reservations and marketing for a number of hotels, self catering parks, B&Bs and serviced apartments across Scotland. With Accommodation Services having experienced a 20-fold growth during the pandemic, Fusion now owns, operates, manager or supports over 2,000 rooms across Scotland.

Establishing a residential property brand is the next step for the business. Many of its hospitality brands have been developed from old, disused or run down buildings.

Judy Shields said, “I’m delighted to launch Rio Residential in partnership with Alex and The Fusion Group. We both share a desire to shake things up for the benefit of the customer.

“Starting my own agency is something I’ve wanted to do for a while now. I feel that with Alex’s backing as a proven entrepreneur, the time is right to exploit the many opportunities I see now in residential property which is experiencing a real boom.”