Franchisee of Winkworth Kingsbury, Ajay Bathija, joined the network by converting his independent estate agency to the brand in February 2017. Below we hear what prompted his decision to join Winkworth and how he has found the journey so far.
“I set up my independent lettings and management agency in Kingsbury over 25 years ago. The business did really well for a very long time, but I started to have the feeling that we could do better. We had made the foray into sales but as we were known as a letting agent we simply weren’t being called out on valuations. Over the years I monitored the arrival of bigger agents in the area and this was making our sales predicament worse. After speaking to my wife about the future of the business we decided to investigate franchising, and after meeting with a few different franchise companies – decided to go with Winkworth.
We signed the franchise agreements in February 2017 and began the process of converting the office. Initially I thought the transition from my agency to Winkworth Kingsbury might be difficult but in fact it was incredibly smooth – although the fit out did take longer than expected because as soon as the work started, I realised we could do more, and in owning the building had the autonomy to do so. Six weeks later and the office was transformed.
The brand worked straight away in Kingsbury as it’s well known in the surrounding areas from other established Winkworth offices and stood out on the high street with the fantastic new refurb. Coupled with the fact that the staff and I were also well known in the area – the sales started to come in. It’s been three years now since we converted to Winkworth and we’ve gone from marketing three or four sales properties at a time to consistently now having around 20. This has also been reflected in our revenue where we have seen a 340% increase in sales alone since 2017.
18 months into trading my wife joined the office and although I wouldn’t necessarily encourage husbands and wives to work together, she has been instrumental in the success of the office and especially in the sales department. We are now in a strong position in Kingsbury so on her prompt we are currently looking at sites for a second Winkworth office.
Joining Winkworth was a real game-changer for me. Overnight you go from sole business owner, to part of a family-run network. If ever I feel I’m struggling with anything there’s always someone I can call, and the head office support is quick and efficient. Probably the biggest thing for me is I’m not sure how we would have handled things like GDPR if it wasn’t for Winkworth. Winkworth almost walked us through the entire process and continue to support us through the constant challenges and differing legislation in the industry.
Converting to the brand was one of my best decisions as it’s meant that I’m more free to be an agent whilst also spend more time with my family. I no longer have to think about the website or software, or which training is best or designing leaflets for a campaign, as Winkworth do it all for you. If I had one piece of advice for independent estate agency owners interested in converting to Winkworth I’d simply say – do it. “
See Ajay speak about his experiences here too in our Winkworth New Franchising – Why Winkworth video.
If you would like to learn more about how Winkworth could help your business or about any of the other opportunities they currently have on offer, get in contact with the new franchising team today.