Over the last few years the new franchising team at Winkworth have seen an influx in enquiries from the millennial generation about joining the network.
“There has been a noticeable shift in potential franchisee enquiries with a considerable amount coming from younger people,” comments new franchising manager James Campbell. “We moved our advertising focus from print to digital two years ago and I think this has really helped to target these franchisees.”
Winkworth recognised the difficulties in raising the initial capital needed to invest in the offices and in order to make owning one more achievable, worked to reduce the start-up costs without compromising on quality. “We’ve stripped back the refurbishment needs of the offices and relaxed the guidelines, offering the franchisees more choice and freedom in terms of vision,” explains Head of brand James Peacock.
Business funding has also become more accessible. If the potential franchisees have some sort of asset and a good credit score major banks such as HSBC; which Winkworth recommend using, are more willing to lend to the younger generation.
Tom Mayfield is in his late twenties and became Winkworth’s youngest franchisee in the network when he opened in Cheltenham in February 2017. He had been working for a successful East London Winkworth office before deciding to open his own in the West Country. “I was lucky that I owned a few buy-to-let properties and sold one of them to release enough capital to start the business. I wanted the independence of owning my own estate agency and although the beginning was a great deal of hard work I am starting to see the business turn a corner and become a success.”
A similar age to Tom, Jamie Moore opened his Winkworth franchise earlier this year in Poringland, Norwich. “I’d been working in the area as an estate agent for over 10 years and having worked my way up from trainee to area manager this route felt like the natural next step for me. We’re really happy with our achievements since we’ve opened the doors and are looking forward to continued success and hopefully opening multiple Winkworth offices in the future.”
Charles Mitchell runs the Winkworth Tooting office and has high aspirations of taking over further offices. “I left school and went straight into estate agency - 15 years later I have a small family and wanted to futureproof our lives by becoming a shareholder in a business. I’m still young and felt I had hit a glass ceiling in my previous employment but then Winkworth offered me this opportunity and I simply couldn’t turn it down. There are risks with owning any business but Winkworth is a respected and well-known brand and support both my team and I fully along the way.”
CEO Dominic Agace comments, “It’s encouraging to see the millennial generation stepping up to own their own businesses. These franchisees are highly driven and have the energy to want to be successful both financially and competitively amongst their peers. They are quick to adapt to the changing market and open to the digital developments Winkworth have been bringing in. The departments at Winkworth Franchising have been working to make the Winkworth proposition more accessible to the younger franchisees and I look forward to welcoming additional young people to the network.”