Winkworth had a steady year in 2018 unlike some of its competitors and the new franchising department remained busy, opening 6 new offices and selling a further 6 in the network. Winkworth predicts a similar year in 2019 in terms of new franchising growth. Could this be the year you join the network?
Winkworth welcomed eleven new franchisees to its network during last year – ten experienced estate agents and one ex-banker.
The new franchisees who had previously been estate agents had a different levels of experience. Some had been in the industry for decades, whereas some just a few years. All these experienced franchisees had worked for familiar corporate estate agencies in the past and felt they had ‘reached the glass ceiling’. They now saw the time was right to own their own agency with a recognised brand to help them. Ex-banker and local businessman Sunny Kooner, franchisee of the new Winkworth office in Northampton, joined the network due to the back-office support he would receive from head office.
Although there is a detailed due diligence process that is carried out on all incoming Winkworth franchisees which must be passed, the new franchising team carefully pick franchisees based on whether they would be the right fit, for the right area, at the right time, but they don’t necessarily have to have worked in the industry before.
"Not all franchisees have estate agency backgrounds," says New Franchising Manager, James Campbell. "When I first meet potential franchisees one of the most important things I think about is whether they have qualities that would fit the brand. Winkworth is a family business and the network are very good at supporting each other, so it's important that any new franchisees that come on board have that same open-minded way of thinking."
Becoming part of a franchised network creates an opportunity that is vastly different from opening an independent estate agency. Apart from the fact that the independents are being snapped up eagerly by large corporate firms and disappearing from the high street, it is extraordinarily difficult to compete. As well as a recognised brand, Winkworth offer all the back office support the franchisees need to run their businesses efficiently whilst allowing them to focus on the market. IT, training, marketing, PR and recruitment are just a few functions that Winkworth’s head office provide to the network of circa 100 offices throughout the UK.
“Supporting the franchisees is a main priority for the company,” comments Gina Piper, Operations Manager. “We try to make their working lives as smooth as possible so that they can concentrate on being in the top 3 agents in their territories. The support and economies of scale that Winkworth offers the franchisees is something an independent simply couldn’t compete with.”
As James highlighted, it isn’t wholly necessary to have estate agency experience to join the Winkworth network as a franchisee, although it does help. If you are a driven individual with an entrepreneurial spirit and feel like 2019 could be the year you make the decision to own and run your own business with full support from an experienced head office, then get in touch with the new franchising team today.