The New Franchising team at Winkworth doesn't have a 'one box ticks all' approach when in discussions with potential franchisees.
Winkworth grew its network of offices by seven in 2017. The franchisees of these offices all had their differences, whether in background, age or experience within their local market.
One of the first offices opened last year was in Cheltenham. Franchisee Tom Mayfield both owned property in nearby Cirencester and went to the Royal Agricultural University there. He trained to be an estate agent with a prime central London Winkworth office for six years before deciding to return to Gloucestershire to open his own office.
New franchisees and husband and wife team Claire and Jon McGrath had recently relocated their young family from Australia to South West London and were looking for a new challenge. Although Claire had owned her own lettings franchise business in Brisbane for seven years, Jon's background is in travel agency, and neither had worked in the London property market before. The couple took the plunge in the UK, opening their Winkworth office in Surbiton and engraining themselves into the local community â€“ partly as an effective way of self-promotion, partly so they could quickly learn about their area.
Our Dartmouth and Torbay office franchisees, Richard and Trevor, converted their two-office independent agency to Winkworth around the same time that Ajay Bathija of Winkworth Kingsbury in North London did the same. All three of these offices were already established and all three gentlemen had been operating in their respective areas for a substantial period of time before converting to the Winkworth brand.
"Not all franchisees have estate agency backgrounds," says New Franchising Manager, James Campbell. "We sold our New Cross office in South East London to Sean Doyle in July last year. Although Sean had done some development work in central London, his background really lay in banking. He had, however, grown up in the New Cross area."
"When I first meet potential franchisees one of the most important things I think about is whether they would fit the brand," James explains. "Winkworth is a family business and the network are very good at supporting each other, so it's important any new franchisees that come on board have that same open-minded way of thinking."
Other important things the New Franchising team look for are how well potential franchisees know the area they are looking to open a Winkworth office, and whether they have the knowledge to run a business.
"Starting or indeed purchasing any business takes time and requires a lot of hard work" states James. "We will help any franchisee that comes on board who doesn't have estate agency experience to hire the key sales and lettings staff they will need from day one to help drive the businesses forward."
"If the franchisee isn't familiar with their preferred exclusive territory, I suggest that extensive market research and mystery shopping of other agents is carried out (something that we at Franchising can help with), so that the individuals are as knowledgeable as they can be prior to opening their office doors for business," concludes James.
No matter what your background or experience, if you are serious about owning a successful business, are passionate about what you do and like all that the Winkworth brand represents - we would love to hear from you.