Winkworth grows sustainably via three avenues: individuals opening 'cold start' offices, existing franchisees opening further offices, and independent estate agents converting their existing businesses to Winkworth.
The new franchising team are approached by estate agency business owners for a multitude of reasons. The recurring theme however is that these agencies simply can't compete with the corporates in their areas.
"In a difficult climate, we are seeing a large increase in interest from existing agencies looking to grow their market share and average selling price, and who see joining the Winkworth brand as a means of achieving this" explains Dominic Agace, CEO.
Ajay Bathija converted his predominantly lettings agency in North London to Winkworth last year. "I had known the Winkworth brand for years and actually knew the nearby Harrow franchisee quite well. I had been operating my lettings business for 30 years and although it was successful and financially very stable, the team and I struggled to be invited out on sales valuations.
Having an established lettings business, the locals just didn't know that we also did sales. I approached Winkworth to help grow this side of the business as everyone in London knows that Winkworth offer both sales and lettings and are very good at it."
Ajay and his team used to have three sales properties on average whilst trading as an independent â€“ since converting however, they now regularly list twelve to fifteen at a time.
Richard Blake had been operating his estate agency under his own name in Devon since 2009. He and his business partner Trevor Branton converted this office and opened a second one nearby simultaneously at the end of 2017. "I decided to convert the existing office as although established I was competing with some very strong agents in a saturated area. I had spoken to Winkworth a few years ago but for personal reasons the timing simply wasn't quite right. I decided to contact the team again last year and convert my business to obtain a larger market share and higher value properties.
"The brand is fantastic, and it has delivered on helping the business instruct properties at a much higher value than previously."
Trevor adds, "the reasons I wanted to join the Winkworth network were, as Richard says, to achieve higher exposure to quality business, but also to benefit from the marketing support and national branding that Winkworth offers and holds. We're very happy with the ongoing support and early progress thus far."
Ian and Sandra Haines converted their independent agency based in Newbury to Winkworth almost ten years ago. The pair were up against some strong names in the industry who all had a robust presence in London. Without that link to the capital Ian and Sandra were struggling to compete, which is why they decided to convert. The opportunity to draw on the Winkworth back office support services including training, marketing, PR, IT and the country house department meant they weren't on their own any more.
Average sale price of stock increased by 165% after adding Winkworth above the door and their continued success meant that in 2015 they moved the Newbury office 30 metres down the road to a new premises triple the size of the original.
The benefits of converting an existing independent agency to the Winkworth brand are many. Winkworth's head office in London has the ability, departments and resource to help remove the stress of running the business, and with support including marketing and IT amongst many others, individuals can concentrate on what they do best â€“ selling and lettings properties.