Winkworth currently has 100 offices in London and throughout the UK. Running those offices are a total of 87 franchisees. You may be surprised to know that out of the existing franchisees 31% of them own more than one office.
There are three ways the new franchising team at Winkworth seek to grow the network; opening cold start offices with potential franchisees, converting independent estate agencies to the brand, and encouraging current franchisees to expand their personal network of offices as and when the time is right.
Currently 20% of Winkworth franchisees own two offices, with 5% owning three offices and another 5% owning four offices. One existing franchisee owns five offices in London.
Howard Greenfield and Graham Gold own four offices in the capital together. They started with the Golders Green office in October 1993 and then opened Finchley in 1998. They spent time growing these businesses, especially focussing on building strong lettings management portfolios, before purchasing the existing Hendon office in 2015 and opening a small cold start in Colindale in 2016.
“The main benefits and why we have all of our offices in bordering areas is to be able to cross market all of our properties from all of our offices thus giving vendors/landlords more coverage than our competitors who are mostly independents,” comments Howard.
“Owning four offices does strip out back office costs as we share the price of office supplies, print, accountants, bookkeepers and the like across our network.”
Sohail Janjuha echoes this comment. Having purchased the Winkworth Ladbroke Grove office in 2015 he then quickly decided to purchase the two Winkworth offices in Fulham the following year when they came up for sale. Sohail purchased the existing Chiswick office at the beginning of 2018 and opened a cold start in Brentford at the same time. “I established all the client accounting, administration and bookkeeping when I first purchased Ladbroke Grove so I had everything I needed to simply plug the other offices I bought in to them. Owning four offices takes up a huge amount of time so I have spent the last 12 months hiring senior area Directors to roam around the offices and help me manage them. This works well as geographically all my offices are quite close together.”
Ian Fraser started as a sales manager in the Winkworth West End office before purchasing the Islington office in 2006 from an existing franchisee. He increased his presence in the area by opening a satellite office in Highbury in 2010. Ian added Shoreditch to his portfolio of offices in 2012 and in 2017 purchased the Winkworth Hackney office. “At the time I purchased Shoreditch my lettings teams were rapidly building management across my offices and I was running out of space to accommodate staff. I decided to take an office in Beaconsfield to house my administrators and property managers so that they could work together in one space for all my London offices. Utilising this space has meant that my offices are more joined up and they work well as a little network helping each other out.”
“My advice to any existing franchisees in the Winkworth network, and to potential franchisees coming in with a long-term goal of expansion, is to look at the areas they are currently operating in and the potential surrounding areas closely. Franchisees need to have a clear plan on how to manage several offices at one time. If you have offices in various parts of London how easy will it be to look after them and how will each office benefit from the other ones?” adds Howard. “It’s much easier and more valuable to have a network of offices in close proximity of each other.”