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Beyond the resume: do you have what it takes to be successful in franchising?

Head of Business Affairs at leading estate agency Winkworth reveals the tell-tale signs of how to spot a successful franchisee.

Meet Gina Piper. Working in the Winkworth franchising team as Head of Business Affairs, she looks after existing franchisees and works on developing new relationships. Over her time in the business, Gina has gained a good insight into what it takes to be a successful franchisee.

Many of the applicants tend to be estate agents who realise the benefit of an established brand, but not exclusively. However adds Gina, “one of our most successful franchisees used to be a lawyer who has since gone from to strength to strength in property.” Gina can spot the right candidate almost immediately. “I can literally tell within five seconds of meeting them. They have unique characteristics that make them stand out from the crowd.”

So, what are the top tell-tale signs?

  • A firm handshake and good eye contact
  • They ask the right questions
  • A passion for property
  •  A confident stance
  • A friendly and business-like manner

Winkworth was established in 1835 by two brothers who set up in Mayfair, London W1. Then, forty years ago the family business was bought by Simon Agace, father of the current CEO, Dominic Agace. He had seen the franchising model first-hand in the USA, and believed it could work here, too.

It did. There are now more than 90 Winkworth offices across the UK and overseas. Owning a franchise brings obvious advantages for the franchisee. From the day you open your doors, you are part of a recognised and trusted brand. You have all the back office support you need, from marketing and IT development to public relations.

Gina’s background is in events and project management and she’s also a freelance blogger. “My experience with social media and website development really helps my role. “I’m very hands-on with our IT strategy helping franchisees as much or as little as they require.”

The most important element when setting up an estate agency franchise is sourcing the perfect location. “Once the location has been identified, it only takes approximately three months to be up-and-running. It’s important to get the location just right. We advise on footfall, demographics and competitors in the local area,” she says.

Why choose Winkworth? “We are still essentially a family firm, and the franchisees are now part of the bigger family. We are always at the end of the phone to help and support our global network.

“It saves a lot of time when somebody else deals with the marketing and website development. This frees up around 40% of time, so the franchisee can spend time generating new business.”

You can be sure that another franchise won’t step on your toes, either. “We work it out by the number of chimney pots – not literally now, of course!” Gina says. “The territory will be smaller in London, where the housing density is greater, and larger outside the cities.”

Some franchisees have built up multiple offices. “We are there to fully-support them. All of our training is in-house with more than 90 courses a year.”

“I would say that our big advantage to franchisees is that we are approachable. Everybody, including CEO, Dominic Agace, is available for advice, guidance and best practice. There’s always somebody available to help with marketing, social media or important changes in legislation; all to help grow your business.”

The beauty of franchising is that you don’t stand alone. All the support you need is provided and you can concentrate on selling and letting homes.

Have you been thinking of starting a franchise? Winkworth is looking for new franchisees to continue their successful growth.  

Contact Gina Piper on 020 7355 0200 or via email at to find out more about starting your own Winkworth franchise. All conversations will be strictly private and confidential.

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