Belvoir says it is on the lookout for agencies wanting to sell or join a franchise operation as they come out of lockdown and owners re-assess finances and priorities.
“There is absolutely no doubt that this pandemic has been a huge challenge for everyone, but I am incredibly proud that Belvoir has come out of lockdown stronger and better placed than before lockdown commenced” says Belvoir CEO Dorian Gonsalves.
“Fifteen ago franchising was viewed very much as a poor relation to other business models, with big corporates looking down on us, and independents asking why anyone would want to do it. Franchising has now proved itself to be the most successful and resilient style of operating in the business sector and the number of enquiries from other agents looking to franchise their business has increased dramatically.”
He says that with Belvoir and Belvoir-owned Northwood franchisees retaining 90 per cent of their lettings income during the Coronavirus pandemic, many may wish to join the brand.
Belvoir cites an example in the shape of Dave Roberts from Belvoir St. Helens, who completed on the acquisition of shares of JB & B Leach Ltd on March 19, a few days before lockdown.
“This is the third, and largest acquisition I have completed in the past few years” says Roberts.
“It is a sales and lettings agency, but mainly sales, and is located next to my other office, making it a perfect fit. The business was founded in 1856 and is regarded as the largest estate agency in St. Helens. For the time being it will be operational under its own name, so as far as the public and staff are concerned there have been no changes. One of the previous partners has now retired, but the other one has a Mortgage Advice Bureau franchise that is physically located within the office so he is still based there. In addition we inherited 12 new staff members.
“The acquisition provided a pipeline of approximately 148 sales properties, of which 80 were sold subject to contract and there were also 153 managed properties on the lettings side. The lettings portfolio was large enough to be of interest in its own right, but the huge sales potential made this acquisition very exciting.”