Franchises giant Belvoir says there are over 10,000 potential acquisition targets which could be wanting a way out of the lettings and sales sectors because of increased regulation.
In a statement accompanying its 2017 trading figures, Belvoir says these 10,000 comprise small to medium-sized independent lettings and sales agents - the latter being deterred by increasing regulation over the sales sector, and the former worried about the lettings fees ban being introduced next year.
So far Belvoir’s in-house acquisitions team has 73 of its franchisees registered with its assisted acquisitions programme plus 17 “opportunities under consideration.”
The firm says that in 2017 it saw a record number of portfolio acquisitions at a franchisee level under the programme.
“The board's target of doubling the number of transactions under this programme was significantly exceeded with 23 independent agencies being acquired [compared to nine in 2016]” the company says.
In addition, Belvoir says it’s key to the firm’s financial well-being that its lettings agency franchisees can handle sales as well.
In its report to the City yesterday - we carried the story here - it revealed that its main estate agency network, Newton Fallowell, achieved a 10 per cent growth in revenue from property sales whilst the lettings-biased networks, Belvoir and Northwood-branded offices, saw property sales increase by 47 per cent and seven per cent respectively.
“The ability of our traditional lettings agents to be able to process property sales is critical to retaining the ongoing portfolio of managed properties, with most landlords looking first to sell through their lettings agent. Where the new owner is a landlord buyer, there is a strong probability of retaining the vast majority of their properties under management” the report says.