Winkworth offices are now open once more, with strict hygiene and safety rules in place. Buyers and sellers are back in force, with a very clear view of where they now want to live after over two months of working from home, schooling from home and generally staying put. Top of the list for many is a new place with more space, a garden or close to a park or the countryside, plus a desire to get on with the next stage of their lives.
At times like these, the power of Winkworth’s franchise network of 100 offices nationwide comes into its own. In London, there is a Winkworth franchise presence in most strategic locations reflecting the flight paths of people on the move – 60 offices in total. People can sell and buy their new home through Winkworth, with agents in different offices working together to ensure that the moving process is as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
Outside the capital, there are another 40 offices in popular locations nationwide, again mirroring the natural migration from London to other cities, towns and villages, such as Winchester, Salisbury, Bath, Exeter, Canterbury, Tunbridge Wells, Northampton, and Grantham. For others, coastal locations such as Brighton, Southwold and Poole will be the destination for a second home or the main residence, with a new era of home working making this possible.
With people considering major and lifechanging moves, Winkworth franchisees will provide a seamless service to handle customers’ requirements every step of the way – making it a very attractive solution for the customer.
For the agent, being part of a network with an established brand brings strength and support during these uncertain times. Some independent agents often find it can be a lonely place operating on their own, dealing with health and safety in the wake of Covid-19, and more complex compliance and regulatory requirements, as well as the business of selling and letting homes. There is a well-defined path at Winkworth for agents who have run their own businesses and have then realised that the power of a nationwide network and brand brings great benefits.
Ajay Bathija was an independent agent in Kingsbury, North-west London, for 25 years with a very strong lettings and management portfolio, before joining Winkworth. He wanted to expand the sales offering and made the move to become a franchisee in 2017. Ajay, who runs the business with his wife, Shilpa, says: “The brand worked straight away in Kingsbury. We have seen a 340 per cent increase in sales alone since 2017, joining Winkworth was a real game changer. Overnight, you go from sole business owner, to part of a family-run network. If ever I feel I’m struggling with anything, there is always someone I can call, and head office support is quick and efficient.”
Jon Hallett, Michael Foldvari and James Hathaway opened Winkworth Reading in late 2014 and have benefited hugely from the well-known brand, combined with their 50 years’ experience in estate agency in the Reading area. Jon Hallett says: “With many Reading residents regularly commuting to the capital for work and more moving out into the Thames Valley, we have leant on Winkworth’s strong London to country connection. There was no other agency like Winkworth in the town, which gave us the opportunity to break into the middle to high end markets.”
Jamie Moore opened Winkworth Poringland and then Winkworth Southwold within 18 months after working for a national agency in Norfolk for 12 years. Jamie, who is Winkworth’s youngest franchisee, says: “There are a considerable number of people who relocate from London to Norfolk and I wanted to have direct contact with them, something I don’t think I could have achieved as a fledgling independent. With Winkworth being such an established and respected brand in the capital, joining them as a franchisee allowed me to have this contact from day one.”