EweMove and Martin & Co parent firm sets up mortgage arm

January 22, 2020

The Property Franchise Group – which operates five High Street agency brands and the EweMove hybrid – has set up a financial services division.

 
It looks set to handle mortgages for the agency brands to offer clients.

TPFG has told its shareholders that it intends to pursue a “buy and build” strategy to develop this new division, targeting the acquisition of “quality financial services businesses which are relevant to the group’s core business.”

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

This division will operate as a subsidiary TPFG and will service its existing franchisees.

“This strategy seeks to enable the [new] division to capitalise on the significant volume of leads generated by the core business, whilst the property franchisees are able to generate further revenue without adding to fixed overheads” says the franchise giant.

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Financial services will be available as a new franchise opportunity, with TPFG holding the master franchise rights and delivering to its franchisees a separate financial services brand, back office systems, a supply of “whole of market” mortgage products and a compliance function.

To kick start the division, TPFG has acquired a 72.25 per cent stake in Auxilium Partnership Limited, a protection advisory business.

Related: EweMove Franchise

Auxilium Partnership was launched by Mark Graves in March 2019 with the aim to enfranchise, educate and encourage intermediaries, such as mortgage brokers, to develop their protection business.

It’s been announced that Graves, who has 30 years experience in life assurance, will now lead TPFG’s financial services division.

By Graham Norwood

Source: Estate Agent Today

Property Franchise Group launches financial services division with “buy and build” strategy

January 16, 2020

The Property Franchise Group has launched a financial services division with a pledge to “buy and build”, by acquiring financial services businesses with direct FCA authorisation.

Mark Graves, who is an income protection insurance expert, has been appointed as financial services director, a non-board position at the group.

 
The group has acquired a 72.25% stake in Auxilium Partnership for a “non material sum”, which is protection advisory business launched by Graves in March 2019.

Auxilium Partnership will now sit under a subsidiary, Aux Group.

Ian Wilson, chief executive of The Property Franchise Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mark to the Group as financial services director.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

“His industry credentials are top drawer, and he has both the contacts and commercial acumen to help us identify the winners as we scale our broker network.

“With the knowledge that protection assurance sales are key in bringing about improved operating margins for brokers, we are very pleased to have a protection advisory business joining us as our first financial services acquisition.”

The group has plans to make financial services available as a franchise opportunity, with the group holding the master franchise rights and delivering to its franchisees a separate financial services brand, back office systems, a supply of “whole of market” mortgage products and a compliance function.

The Property Franchise Group currently manages the following estate agency brands: CJ Hole; Ellis & Co; Ewemove; Martin & Co; Parkers; and Whitegates.

Mark Graves has 30 years’ experience at a senior level in the life assurance sector.

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

He has held roles as managing director at Sesame Bankhall Group, head of network at Pink Network and managing director at Linear Financial Services.

Graves has long been a proponent for income protection insurance, and therefore it’s likely the businesses within the group will be expected to embrace protection.

BY RYAN BEMBRIDGE

Source: Property Wire

Century 21 celebrates opening six new offices in the UK

December 25, 2019

The UK wing of American franchising group Century 21 has opened three new outlets in the last six weeks and has a further three due to open in the New Year.

 
Century 21 UK has opened in Hackney, London, and Leicester, while an existing franchisee in Cobham and Esher, Surrey, has acquired south-west London estate agency group Jezzards, converting the pipeline of business into two estate agents now rebranded as Century 21 Luxe Residential.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

The purchase of Jezzards by business owner Dylan Mollison-Coulsen of Century 21 Luxe Residential, pictured below, is the largest acquisition within the UK network .

Vikram Selvarajan is owner of the new Century 21 Hackney office while brothers Jason and Anthony Barana are joint owners in Leicester.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The three new openings scheduled for the New Year are all in London – Heathrow, Ealing and Hammersmith. The Hammersmith office will be called Century 21 Prestige.

The master franchise for Century 21 UK is held and operated by SDL Group.

Related: Century 21 Franchise

By ROSALIND RENSHAW

Source: Property Industry Eye

Jonathan and Elly Dawson buy EweMove York

December 19, 2019

A HUSBAND and wife team have bought the award-winning estate agency in York where they have worked for four years.

Jonathan and Elly Dawson have taken over the reins of EweMove York and say they are confident and excited about continuing to build the agency’s reputation.

 
Both have been working in the business together as it has grown. The agency has gone from strength to strength since being established in January 2014.

They say the impact on long-standing customers and landlords will be minimal, as the day-to-day operations will remain the same.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

Jonathan said: “Both Elly and I are delighted to have reached an agreement to buy EweMove York. With our help, it’s grown in recent years and is now a go-to estate agency brand in the York area.

“We couldn’t be more pleased and plan to continue the hard work and effort required to grow the business further. We will keep delivering the amazing and multi-award-winning service to even more people in and around York.”

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Nick Neill, managing director of EweMove Sales & Lettings UK, started the York franchise before becoming MD for the brand, which is part of The Property Franchise Group PLC.

He said: “I am over the moon for Jon and Elly. They have been a vital part of the success of EweMove York in recent years and have been working towards buying a stake in the company for some time.

Related: EweMove Franchise

“Now they have been able to buy the entire business, it means I can concentrate exclusively on the UK business and all our other 120-plus franchises around the country, knowing that EweMove York and our brilliant customers will be in safe and reliable hands.”

By Nadia Jefferson-Brown

Source: York Press

Property Franchise Group performs better than expected after fees ban

November 26, 2019

UK-based property company, the Property Franchise Group, updated the market on its trading on Wednesday, reporting that the second half of the financial year to date had remained strong, with management said to be confident that the group remained in line to achieve market expectations for the full year.

The AIM-traded firm said it had set a new record for lettings revenue at a franchisee level in the trading month of October, with franchisees reported lettings income of £5.96m.

 
Its board said significantly, that was achieved despite the loss of tenant fee income, following the ban on charging tenant fees coming into effect in England and Wales on 1 June.

Tenant fees had previously represented 16% of franchisee lettings revenue in those two countries.

The company put the performance largely down to mitigating actions encouraged by the group as a franchisor, that its franchisees had managed to alleviate the impact of the tenant fee ban, alongside “some pent-up tenant demand” feeding through.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

It said that was a “clear demonstration” of the benefits of the franchise business model.

Growth in management commission – the recurring monthly fees which franchisees charge landlords for property management services – had increased 10% year-on-year from £3.88m in October 2018 to £4.28m this October.

The group said it believed it was the “high level of satisfaction” of its landlord clients that lay behind its better-than-expected progress in shifting the burden of cost from tenants to landlords, as clients of its franchisees would rather retain their services than do it themselves or instruct another agent.

It had previously advised investors that it could take until the end of 2020 to fully mitigate the lost revenue from the ban, but its management said it was now confident that the objective of full mitigation would be attained by June 2020 – one year after the introduction of the ban.

“We are delighted that the mitigating actions we’ve recommended to our franchisees have taken effect as hoped and at a good pace,” said chief executive officer Ian Wilson.

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We now expect to achieve full mitigation of the impact of the tenant fee ban a full six months earlier than originally hoped.”

Wilson said the firm’s ability to draw on its “wealth of industry experience” and act quickly to support its franchisee members provided it with an advantage in the market.

“At a challenging time for the industry, where many independent lettings agencies are considering leaving the sector, our group continues to show its strength.

“The sales market has softened further in the second half, however our lettings business is outperforming our budgeted expectations.

“Our franchise business model has proven to be remarkably resilient in these testing conditions and we expect this to continue.”

At 1423 GMT, shares in the Property Franchise Group were up 11.48% at 170p.

By Josh White

Source: ShareCast

Estate agents open new city office

November 20, 2019

A new office has been opened by a franchise estate agents.

Jason Barana and Anthony Barana opened the Allandale Road branch on Friday 8 November.

 
In a joint statement they said: “Century 21 UK is the right franchise to bring to Leicester and, by having the benefit of SDL Group behind us, we are in a strong position to stand out from other estate agents when it comes to selling and letting homes to new customers.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

“Having grown up in Leicester, the heart of our sales and lettings business will be based on the communities we have been brought up within, where people come first.

“You can count on a trustworthy, reliable, and honest service with us here at Century 21 Leicester.”

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Chris Summers, head of franchising for SDL Group, added: “Having met Jason and Anthony on a number of occasions, their determination to be a huge success locally has been evident and with the brothers having great local connections, I feel they will hit the ground running and be able to really stand out as a brilliant estate agency.”

Related: Century 21 Franchise

By Jon Robinson

Source: Insider Media

Franchise chain Belvoir announces sponsorship of landlords website

November 6, 2019

Franchise chain Belvoir has become the official lettings sponsor of property website Landlord Zone.

 
David Newton, Belvoir’s IT and marketing director, said: “Landlords are constantly faced with new and changing regulations and legislation – some of which can affect their profit lines, and also leave them vulnerable to ending up on the wrong side of the law.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

“Constant change can inevitably cause a great deal of confusion, especially to DIY landlords who may not always be in a position to devote the necessary time or resources to keep up to date.

“Thanks to this new partnership Belvoir will be in a position to provide much-needed clarification that will help landlords to remain compliant.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“Each month Belvoir will provide a range of content for the Landlord Zone website, which will cover a wide range of subjects that will be of great interest to new and experienced landlords, whether they have one property or a large portfolio.

Related: Belvoir Franchise

“We will also be looking at financing challenges and opportunities, providing access to Belvoir’s unique quarterly rental index, and looking at ways to help landlords and investors review their portfolios to ensure they continue to maximise the potential of their investments.”

By ROSALIND RENSHAW

Source: Property Industry Eye

Belvoir founder to sell second tranche of shares for £2.1 million

September 29, 2019

Belvoir founder Mike Goddard also sold £1m worth of shares in December but still holds stock worth at least £2.5 million at today’s share price.

Mike Goddard, the founder and former chairman of franchising giant Belvoir has applied to sell two million of the 4.39 million shares he still holds in the company.

 
His sale of the shares will be at ‘no less’ than £1.05p per share but at the moment the company’s stock is being traded at £1.12p.

Therefore the 70-year-old will realise cash from the sale of between approximately £2.1 million and £2.24 million, reducing his shareholding in the company from 12.6% to 5.7% of its issued share capital.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

Back in May Goddard, who is also a director of The Property Ombudsman and a former chairman of the British Franchising Association, stepped down as chairman of Belvoir after nearly 25 years, and was replaced by Michael Stoop (left).

In December last year Goddard gave himself a well-earned Christmas present after he sold shares worth £989,700.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Both today’s news and the December share sale are part of a complicated deal struck following the purchase of Northwood which required the directors involved to wait two years before realising any shares.

Belvoir was set up by Goddard and his wife in 1995 after he left the RAF as a Wing Commander and it initially grew through franchising using its own brand, but later also through acquisition. As well as its own 174 offices it also operates 90 Northwood and 36 Newton Fallowell branches.

Related: Belvoir Franchise

By Nigel Lewis

Source: The Negotiator

Family-run property agency has built up its portfolio with continued success

September 24, 2019

Martin & Co Tunbridge Wells has boosted its managed portfolio by 43 per cent thanks to its latest independent agency acquisition.

Managing Director David Rogers has owned the Tunbridge Wells branch since 2009, with McAuley Miller his third but also largest acquisition to date.

 
David said: “We’re delighted to have completed on this acquisition and certainly hope there will be many more to come as we look to grow the business further.

“As a branch, we’re very much looking forward to helping our new landlords get the best out of their properties, while also ensuring the tenants are well looked after and benefit from our strong customer service ethos.”

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

A family-run branch, Martin & Co Tunbridge Wells’ staff include David’s wife Jackie (Property Manager), eldest daughter Vicky (Lettings Manager) and her husband Scott (Sales and Valuation Manager).

Ian Wilson, Chief Executive of The Property Franchise Group, added: “I met David and his daughter at a franchise show in 2009.

“He was an experienced agent looking to use our brand to develop a new venture.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“I’m sure that he and his family are delighted with the progress he has made since.

“His clients speak very highly of the service they receive, and the seller’s clients will be welcomed warmly onboard.”

Martin & Co cover your local areas including Tunbridge Wells, Southborough, Rusthall, High Brooms, Langton Green, Pembury, Wadhurst, Hawkenbury, Eridge.

Written by David Rogers

Source: In Your Area

Belvoir profits jump as it outperforms across key markets in first half

September 3, 2019

Belvoir Group PLC (LON:BLV) reported a jump in profits for the first half of the year as its three business lines continued to outperform their respective markets.

For the six months to 30 June, the property franchise group generated a 23% rise in adjusted pre-tax profits to around £3mln, while revenues were up 48% at £9mln.

 
Financial services revenues tripled to £3.9mln, boosted by the acquisition of mortgage broker MAB (Gloucester) in November last year.

The core property franchise division lifted management service fees 5% to £4.2mln.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

The firm’s interim dividend was maintained at 3.4p per share.

On target for full year
Looking ahead, chief executive Dorian Gonsalves said the group had made a “promising start” to its second half and was trading in line with management expectations for the full year.

“Trading across lettings, sales and financial services continue to outperform their respective markets and deliver strong results”, he added.

Gonsalves told Proactive that the growth in the group’s results showed that its franchisees were “not only surviving but thriving” despite fears of a downturn in the property market.

Related: Property & Estate Agency Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The CEO said that if the property sales market began to shrink, rental activity among its lettings agents was likely to increase due to a reduced number of buyers and higher numbers of “accidental landlords”, property owners that hold off and selling and decide to rent while waiting for prices to improve.

“We’re holding all the cards in terms of the rental stock”, Gonsalves said, with the company having around 64,500 properties under management.

Related: Belvoir Franchise

Franchise model “maximises potential”
In a note, analysts at Belvoir’s house broker finnCap reiterated their 190p target price on the firm, saying its franchise model “maximises entrepreneurial potential, flexibility and cash flow while minimising risk”.

The broker added that with the UK residential property market undergoing structural change alongside ongoing economic uncertainty, Belvoir had “significant potential” to gain market share, evidenced by the results.

Investors appeared to agree, with the shares jumping 6% to 117p in early trading on Tuesday.

Source: Proactive Investors