Over 1100 franchisees and staff from Belvoir, Northwood and Newton Fallowell attended a bespoke series of free digital training webinars to help ensure that businesses remained operational during lockdown and were prepared for a post lockdown rebound, reports CEO Dorian Gonsalves.
“Franchisees from across the network have been able to benefit from a range of free training courses delivered by high quality industry experts”, says Dorian “As a result of this, and thanks to the hard work and commitment of everyone involved, I am pleased to report that all things considered, the Belvoir Group is in good shape. I am immensely proud of all of our franchisees and their teams, as well as the franchise support team, who have worked tirelessly to help offices throughout the Group operate and survive during lockdown. Lettings account for around 80% of our business, which has continued to successfully operate throughout lockdown, with teams working from home. Now that lockdown restrictions have eased, our franchisees are actively completing on the many move-ins and house sales that have built up during this period.
“We made a conscious decision not to furlough any members of our franchise support team throughout the period of lockdown, and concerted efforts were made to increase communication between ourselves and offices across all brands within the Group. Our Senior Management Team has met online every day and a number of innovative strategies were developed, with franchisees and team members from Belvoir, Newton Fallowell and Northwood offered free daily training webinars from industry professionals such as Stephen Brown, Tony Morris, Andy Halstead and many others. Lockdown training and support focused on a wide range of issues including finance, grant applications, smart viewings, marketing, IT, and of course compliance to ensure that all the Government’s regulations regarding health and safety are followed. We have also offered free webinars to help franchisees and staff, including those who are furloughed, to deal with stress and mental health issues. These training webinars have been very well received, and more webinars are scheduled, including one by inspirational marketing guru Geoff Ramm.
“Franchising is a mutually beneficial business model, and it is in the best interests of the franchisor to ensure that franchisees survive and thrive, which is why Belvoir’s continued investment in training has been a priority.
“I have received positive feedback from Belvoir, Northwood and Newton Fallowell franchisees who have benefited from regular online regional network meetings, as they provide a non-competitive platform for sharing information, ideas and of course, much-needed moral support. Being part of a franchise has put all of our business owners, whether they are operating a Belvoir, Northwood or Newton Fallowell franchise, in a much stronger position than an independent trader, particularly during a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The feedback I have been receiving from franchisees in recent days has been very positive. I am very hopeful that the Belvoir Group will ultimately emerge from the lockdown in a far stronger position across the whole business.”