The Century 21 UK estate and lettings agency franchise has a global reputation for excellence
Deciding what type of franchise is right for you is dependent on a whole host of factors, but one of the most important can be timing. No one wants to buy into an organisation that is on the wane and within a sector that is struggling, so doing one’s homework on both of these points is imperative.
Fortunately for Century 21 UK, neither of these are issues and potential franchisees can be reassured it’s a company on the up and operating in industries that are thriving.
Strength to strength
The mortgage and property market’s travails were well documented during the global financial crisis, but the recovery is fully underway and home loan lending is increasing, property transaction numbers are rising steadily and the lettings industry continues to go from strength to strength. You only have to witness headlines such as ‘First-time buyer activity hitting six-year highs’ or the various column inches devoted to strong rental demand to realise that estate agents and lettings agents are onto a winner at present.
These are exciting times for Century 21 UK too. The company has long dominated the global estate and lettings agency scene, with more than 7,100 brokers and 100,000 agents spread across 74 countries - and it’s now looking to strengthen its UK proposition.
In April 2013 Century 21 UK became part of Shepherd Direct, a specialist group incorporating businesses handling different parts of the mortgage and property process that provides ample reciprocal opportunities for the franchise.
As a result, new franchisees are able to enjoy the best of both worlds - the opportunity to become an estate agency and letting agency professional supported by a model with worldwide success, as well as the chance to join Century 21 UK at the start of an interesting new phase in its development. Estate and lettings agents thrive on ancillary services such as mortgage and survey referrals and having these partnerships arranged before you even get your feet under the desk removes one of the main difficulties in getting started in this field.
Century 21 UK prides itself on the training and support it provides franchisees, both before they get started and on an ongoing basis once their doors are open for business. The company helps new recruits decide on everything from the location of their businesses to how to lay out their offices to maximise their potential.
Century 21 UK has even created a ‘model office’ that franchisees can visit to learn how to configure their premises correctly. It may sound like splitting hairs, but Century 21 UK believes that helping franchisees with every little detail gives them an increased chance of running a successful business going forward. It may not seem important in the scheme of things, but creating the right first impression with potential customers has a significant effect on the decisions they subsequently make.
The company also assists new franchisees in recruiting sales associates and setting up their property management software and company websites. All new franchisees and their sales associates are invited to attend Century 21 UK’s comprehensive induction courses at its dedicated training academy in Nottingham. The programme covers everything recruits need to know about issues as varied as legislation, sales strategies, launch planning, recruitment and activity management.
Office owners are then invited to attend a further training course designed to ensure they are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to launch their businesses. In an unregulated industry that doesn’t require individuals to be qualified, Century 21 UK tries to ensure franchisees and their sales associates adhere to the highest standards possible to help them differentiate themselves from the competition.
The courses are delivered by Century 21 UK’s newly appointed professional development manager, Rachel Griffiths, whose role is to identify development opportunities through analysis and consultation with the company’s directors and franchisees. This involves collating findings, designing quality industry compliant material and evaluating franchisee success through training reaction, individual implementation and associate and office owner performance.
As well as this wealth of preparation before franchisees launch their businesses, Century 21 UK believes continuing support and development are just as important. The company’s franchise development directors help office owners get the best out of their businesses and schedule regular meetings to discuss business progression and direction. Franchisees are also invited to attend additional training seminars that address a variety of different topics, including how to win instructions, enhance fees and retain customers.
Full marketing support is also available, covering everything from how to secure local press coverage and order branded stationery and promotional material, through to helping franchisees get noticed online and list their properties on Rightmove and Zoopla at competitive rates.
Central letting service
Another jewel in Century 21 UK’s crown is its central letting service, a property management solution that’s been designed exclusively for the company. This service enables franchisees to spend more time winning new business by handling the time consuming administrative tasks involved with letting and property management, such as rent collection, landlord payments, deposit returns, tenancy agreements and inspection reports.
All the above shows how committed Century 21 UK is to helping its franchisees make a success of their businesses and the company’s franchise development directors are constantly on call to help with any enquiries that may emerge along the way.
Individuals deciding on what type of franchise is right for them have a whole host of information to process and digest, but with estate and lettings agencies they know they are entering a profession that isn’t influenced by fads and fashion and will always be subject to strong consumer demand. By selecting Century 21 UK as their franchisor, they can make the decision safe in the knowledge they have chosen a group with a global reputation for excellence that has the resources to support them every step of the way on a local level.