3rd January 2018
So Ben, after having been launching in Portsmouth for the last 5 weeks you have successfully won our Best Newcomer of the Year for 2017 based upon the income you have achieved so far in your short time as a franchisee with us.
Our Franchise Team has been with you in Portsmouth for the first month of your launch but what training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
"As part of my prelaunch training I spent four weeks in class room training combined with practical training in a busy high street office. During the launch of the business, I was provided with infield support for the initial four weeks. Support and guidance was given on a wide range of activities that were very helpful in ensuring a successful launch.I am currently being supported remotely by the franchise time two days a week.If I have any questions, the franchise team are always on hand to provide advice and support. The newly launched 24/7 legal helpline is also very useful."
With earnings of over £2800 in your first month of launching we are certainly pleased with your progress, how have you found the launch of your franchise?
"The launch has far exceeded my own expectations! We have secured a number of tenancies for the 18/19 academic year and have also been able to help landlords fill empty rooms in the short term. There have been elements of the launch that have been challenging, but having the support of the other franchisees and the franchise team has been very useful."
"There is no typical day! I try to structure the day around some core tasks which relate to chasing previous tenant enquiries, chasing applicants for documentation and completing pre tenancy admin work, contacting new landlords to generate business, reviewing my current listings to ensure that they remain competitive, conducting viewings and spending time in my territory to ensure that I continue to improve my knowledge of the marketplace."
We know that launching a new business certainly has its ups and downs, what challenges have you faced so far?
"The most challenging aspect of my launch has been keeping up with its pace. My initial week was spent generating business and the weeks that followed have involved juggling a variety of tasks whilst trying to ensure that I give my landlords, tenants and applicants the best service that I can. The support provided by Nicholas Humphreys in the launch period has been very useful in helping me to manage my workload and to ensure that I am able to remain competitive on service. Being away from family and working all day, every day can be challenging at times, but the reward of securing a tenancy for a landlord is very motivational and helps to keep me focussed."
After looking at many franchises on offer in the property sector and also looking at setting up an estate and letting agency business on your own, what is the most invaluable piece of advice you could give someone looking to buy their first franchise?
"Ensure that you thoroughly look into the franchisor’s offering. Make sure that you ask about the support that is provided during the initial stages of the franchise. Ask the franchisor every question that you can think of, they have heard them all before and asking the question avoids any nasty surprises further down the line. Speak to other franchisees about their highs, lows and thoughts on the franchise, and how being part of a franchise network has helped their business."
What are your goals and what is your vision for your franchise in Portsmouth?
"I would like to recruit a member of staff within the next 6 months. My goal is to ensure that I continue to grow the business without compromising on service. I’d like to see Nicholas Humphreys boards lining every popular student road in Portsmouth! I would also like to expand into residential lettings and sales in the future."
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life so far, if so how?
"Yes – I’ve had to manage my time a lot more effectively in order to manage the requirement of the business and time with family etc. I’m also much more confident in my abilities now than I was before launching the business."
Have you any advice to prospective franchisees looking to choose a franchise?
"My advice would be to ensure that there is sufficient support in the initial stages of the business to ensure its success. Speak to the existing franchisees about their experiences, particularly those who have just launched and those who have been running their business for a longer period of time."
Would you do it again based on your experience so far?
"Yes I would."
Thanks Ben, we will see you next week for your 6th week of launch moving into that very business post-Christmas rush in the student market in Portsmouth.