Winkworth is pleased to welcome its first new franchisee of the year, James Hadley-Clift, to the network. James has recently purchased the sales side of the Winkworth Southbourne office in Bournemouth, which has been established there for almost a decade.
James joins Winkworth with 12 years’ experience in the property industry in Dorset, and is already very familiar with the brand. Having done his time climbing the ladder as an employee, his ambition drove him to seek to establish his own business that he and his young family could directly benefit from.
“Having worked for a market leading local independent agency for nearly 10 years, I was very cautious about who I was willing to work with in my new business venture,” explains James. “After having meetings with other franchisees in the network, it became very apparent that Winkworth was a traditional estate agency that shared the same visions and values as myself, with the knowledge and support I would need to grow my business further if I wanted.”
The new franchising team at Winkworth are very careful when it comes to matching new franchisees with existing offices in terms of resales, as it’s a long-term commitment and has to be the perfect fit for both the individual and the brand. James was a prime example of this. “James first contacted Winkworth towards the end of 2016 enquiring about opportunities but unfortunately at that time we couldn’t find a suitable or available location for either of us,” comments Winkworth’s operations manager, Gina Piper. “This was frustruating for us as James is a great agent and suits the brand perfectly, but we all had to be patient and hope the right opening presented itself in the future. When the Winkworth Southbourne opportunity arose, we jumped at the chance to introduce James.”
Southbourne remains an affordable place to live on the stunning Dorset coast with an average property price of £350,000. Due to continued low interest rates and decent levels of employment in the area, it benefits from a good local market that moves within its own borders, increasing repeat business opportunities for the Winkworth Southbourne office.
“Having joined Winkworth I am excited to show people that being a proper estate agent is something to be proud of,” comments James. “Having a place where not just my young family but all my clients feel comfortable is important. Buying a property is such a big decision I don’t want people to walk into the office with trepidation, I want it to be a friendly and warm place to discuss futures – which is what I think I can achieve with my staff, and the Winkworth name above the door.”