We broke even after 5 months from a cold start with Belvoir
The biggest concern for anyone considering opening a lettings agency is breaking even and making money in a market that is entrenched with competition. Simon and Sally Bell of Belvoir Telford who were recently awarded New Franchise of the Year tell us how they managed to break even after only 5 months of trading...
Since opening Belvoir Telford in January 2011, their lettings business has grown rapidly and now Simon and Sally Bell have established a successful brand in their local area and manage a very strong portfolio of properties consisting of over 75 fully managed properties and in excess of 75 tenant find only properties.”
We asked what their success was due to and Simon said, “We have received tremendous support from Belvoir and the help and experience of other franchise owners quickly enabled us to establish a major foothold in this area.
“When we were considering opening an office, our initial thoughts were that the market was saturated with lettings agents, with over 33 sales and lettings agents in Telford already. However, when Sally and I were doing our homework into which franchise to choose, we soon realised after speaking with other existing Belvoir franchisees in the Network together with the Support and Recruitment teams at Belvoir Central office, that being a Belvoir franchisee, wasn’t just about being ‘another letting agent’. Belvoir show you how to attract landlords who want to deal with you instead of just trying to hunt them like others.
“Whilst carrying out our research, we soon realised that there was most certainly a market for us in Telford by helping and guiding landlords in the growing buy to let market. Remember, most of the competition are letting agents who do property management, where as Belvoir, train you to be a letting agent that gives great buy to let advice to landlords. According to the Government, the private rented sector will grow by an additional 1.3 million houses between now and 2020. That means for an average sized town or suburb, an additional 2,000 to 3,000 properties entering the rented market.
“The three business mentors at Belvoir Central Office together with Kate Faulkner, author of the Which Property Guides and property consultant teach you how to become Buy to Let experts in your town and this is what has given us the edge over all of our competition and makes us different.”
Christopher Watkin, Head of Franchise Recruitment for Belvoir said, “Simon and Sally’s simple marketing strategy, backed up by honest customer service has ensured that both landlords and tenants are now switching to Belvoir in Telford. I believe their secret of their success is their belief in the brand and their ability to provide open, honest advice to all clients. The support and guidance of all Simon and Sally’s fellow franchisees in the network has helped them immensely, they take advantage of all networking group meetings, learning from franchisees with more experience. Every franchise has a clearly defined territory which means there’s no competition within the network and each of our franchise owners is always willing to offer advice and with over 15 years of experience within the network, all franchise owners – new or existing can learn new techniques that will help them get more business”.
Simon said, “Sally and I were looking for a potential business, and whilst we didn’t know anything about lettings or Belvoir, what we were looking for was a profit opportunity, with a strong brand. There were four criteria that our business needed to have. One, it had to heavily branded; two, it had to be a growth market; three, it had to be cash generative and fourth, it had to be something we believed in. Belvoir ticks all those boxes”