Deciding to take on a franchise is often one of the biggest decisions you will take, professionally and financially, so you’d want to take that decision in the knowledge that your best interests are at the heart of the franchise company you’re dealing with and the process will run smoothly.
At Belvoir, that’s the job of Special Projects Manager, Gillian Mills.
Gillian has 30 years experience in the property industry starting at the ground level with basic operations and building to branch management, eventually becoming Head or Training & Development nationally for both franchise owners and corporate staff.
In 2012, Gillian established her own training and development consultancy.
It was during this time that Gillian was engaged by Belvoir and began delivering their sales training. As a result, they offered her the full-time role in June 2017 and she hasn’t looked back since.
Of Belvoir, Gillian says. “I had identified that Belvoir were a professional organisation with standout ethics and knowledge of the industry. They have excellent values as both an employer and a franchisor. They fully understand the business and how to support their franchisees.”
As Special Projects Manager, Gillian’s remit is to react to market trends and offer alternative methods of entry to join the Belvoir network for potential franchisees.
She says, “I look at ways to engage with Belvoir’s new potential new recruits, giving them an overview of the different options they have if they want to become a Belvoir franchisee. We also meet with them at central office for a one to one ‘Discovery Day’, where we explain what’s involved in franchising and introduce them to our support teams. We also encourage them to contact existing franchisees to find out first-hand what it’s like to be part of the Belvoir network.
“This is an important time to explain everything about being a franchisee, as well as enabling us to get to know them and match their experience and skills to the various models we have available.”
As a business, Belvoir are heavily engaged in acquiring existing independent sales and lettings agencies. She explains, “If an independent agent is considering selling, I take them through the process of acquisition. I walk them through the steps and then introduce them to a potential franchisee and go to meetings with both parties to facilitate negotiations, as well as the legal process.”
Gillian enjoys working with these small business owners and cites this as one of the things that attracted her to move to Belvoir permanently.
She says, “Having worked alongside small independents I’d seen their struggles to keep up with legislation and compliance, all whilst trying to find new ways to grow their business. Each Belvoir franchise is an independent entity, but without the challenges which many independent agencies face, such as increased regulation and brand recognition. We provide the perfect solution to help them meet these challenges, so they can focus on the important part, which is growing their business to become market leaders.
Belvoir attracts a diverse range of business owners, so Gillian and her team have to be able to meet all of their specific requirements to support their growth. “I’ve been in the property business for a long time and I like working with anyone who wants to join the industry, as I get to share my knowledge and expertise.”
In conclusion Gillian says, “I find it personally satisfying to see somebody complete the training and become a successful business owner.”