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What makes a home-based estate agency franchise a good investment?
Mark Meyer writes:
The property market is experiencing some of the busiest times in living memory.
According to the Office for National Statistics, UK average house prices increased by 8.5 per cent over the year to December 2020, up from 7.1 per cent in November 2020, to stand at a record high of £252,000. This is the highest annual growth rate the UK has seen since October 2014.
The transient nature of online living now means people can work from anywhere. The pandemic has given people time to re-imagine their lives. This is not set to be short-lived, with many employers being prepared to accept staff working remotely long-term.
The homeworking phenomenon has enabled people to consider a move to a new area or home with a larger garden or home office - and many are doing just that.
At the other end of the scale, those less fortunate are being driven by debt or divorce to look at downsizing.
Whatever the long-term outlook for the economy, people are moving. The good news is that prospects for the property market remain excellent, as regardless of their situation everyone moves at some point and needs to live somewhere.
The property sector has also been well protected from COVID.
The stamp duty holiday and introduction of 95 per cent mortgages being made more widely available for first-time buyers has further fuelled the market. Other sectors by comparison may not look like such good investments.
As a result, 2021 could be a good time to become a franchised estate agent for a home-based agency and set up a great business for you and your family.
The cost of investing and the overheads of a home-based estate agency franchise is low.
Because agents work from home, there’s no need for premises. Unlike other start-up franchises, there’s no stock or van needed either. It’s a simple work from home model that could suit anyone with the right skill set.
10 years ago, we set up Meyers Estate Agents away from the high street. People accepted that we didn’t need a shopfront presence, as we could provide such a great service to our clients regardless of where we were based.
A home-based estate agency business begins without a high street location, but gains traction and local presence through connections and targeted local reputation marketing.
Franchisees don’t need many months of training and with the proper systems and support can list their first property instructions within two-three months.
However, key skills include the ability to communicate effectively and build relationships with customers. Energy, attention to detail, plus a bit of drive and determination, go a long way too.
It’s also a highly profitable business, where you can earn a good income. One of our most recent new franchisees earned her franchise investment fee back within just four months of joining.
A home-based agency can easily expand by taking on more self-employed agents as it grows within its territory or by building the business into a local hub office. Alternatively, agents can continue to work from home. It provides a flexible approach to suit the franchisee’s lifestyle.
Buying into a home-based estate agency franchise also offers a great work-life balance. The role can easily fit around family commitments.
For many industries, through no fault of their own, the next few years will continue to be tough. However, historically, the property market has been able to weather heavy storms and remain strong.
For those with the right skills, becoming a home-based estate agent could offer a brilliant opportunity to join a quality, lucrative franchised business, working from home, anywhere in the UK and 2021 could be the perfect year to make that move.
Mark Meyer is principal of Meyers Estate Agents.
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