Agency Express provides specialist board maintenance services to over 60% of all UK estate agencies via a nationwide network of over 117 franchise operators. Each operator erects, maintains and removes hundreds of ‘For Sale’ and ‘To Let’ boards each working week.
The Agency Express franchise is a van-based, owner-operated opportunity that benefits from both low start-up costs and ongoing low overheads, yet provides the opportunity of expanding the business into a multi-van management franchise as the business grows.
Agency Express was formed in 1998 specifically as a franchise operation to provide a daily nationwide service to both corporate and independent estate and lettings agencies. The head office and support team is based in Norwich and Norwich/Norfolk is a company-owned territory, for the last 20 years, and acts as the training territory for new franchisees.
Agency Express have limited greenfield territories, although some re-sale opportunities of existing territories are becoming available.
Our eight-day training programme covers all aspects of the business, from servicing boards to marketing and business administration. Each franchisee attends two days at head office to cover the theory needed to operate a successful franchise, followed by three days practical training in the established company-owned territory, providing the opportunity to work under supervision. The course completes with three days of marketing training and a business launch within the franchisee’s territory.
A franchisee’s time is predominantly spent erecting and maintaining estate agents’ daily board requests, provided via our unique online board ordering and management system, SignMaster3. SignMaster3 reduces daily admin and planning to a minimum, and produces daily route plans and loading lists, and business management tools. All invoicing and payment is conducted by the company on the franchisee’s behalf, allowing the franchisee more time to operate and grow the business.
Alex Sunjich launched his Agency Express franchise in August 2015. Moving from a career in the petrochemical industry, Alex decided to take control of his future and fixed his sights on owning a franchise business.
Prepared with a list of prerequisites Alex set upon the journey of becoming his own boss. After extensive online investigation and attending The Great Northern Franchise Exhibition he decided that the Agency Express franchise opportunity met his requirements.
I wanted a van based business where I could work on my own. Something that was simple to operate with minimal paperwork but ultimately has a good turnover.
After successfully completing the Agency Express comprehensive 5-day training course, Alex was assisted in the launch of his new business. This included a detailed 3-day programme of visits to estate agencies in his local area, enabling him to make the first contact with customers. During this time Alex exceeded expectations and was on target to accomplish his goal of running a successful franchise business.
I really enjoyed the Agency Express training programme, it was very helpful and transparent. Everyone at Agency Express was friendly and I felt part of the team from day one.
Within the first-year Alex’s business grew from strength to strength. His patient approach in acquiring business and high standards of work played a fundamental part in his success. He established a solid base of customers and today continues to grow the business further.
Starting your own business is hard work but rewarding. How much effort you put in will determine what you get out. I’ve learnt that the key is keeping communications open and to not afraid to ask questions or ask for help. That is the benefit of buying a franchise business, you have ongoing support when you need it. The part I enjoy most about having my own business is I control my own hours and I work for myself. There is no limit on how far I can take the business.
The key to Alex’s success has been consistency and drive. His second to none approach and can-do attitude helped him a achieve a thriving business with increasing demand 4 years on from inception.
Bert Bigaignon launched his Agency Express franchise in September 2018. Following a 15-year career in the supply and maintenance of fitness equipment, Bert decided that it was time for a new challenge and a change in his work-life balance.
After researching available franchise opportunities via a range of specialist websites, Bert made the decision to pursue a career in franchising and found that the Agency Express was most suited to his mixed managerial and manual skill set. So, when an established Agency Express franchise became available within Bert’s area he seized the opportunity of becoming a franchisee.
The simplicity of the work and the ongoing support is what first and foremost attracted me to the franchise. It was something I could easily apply my skills and experience to. From the very beginning Agency Express were open and forthcoming with information regarding the business that was for sale, and to this day they continue to be supportive and helpful. I would recommend Agency Express to any interested parties.
After successfully completing a comprehensive five-day training course at Agency Express Head Office, Bert was provided guidance and support throughout the handover of his new business. This included a three-day programme of visits to estate agencies in his local area enabling him to introduce himself to new and existing customers.
I found the Agency Express training program well-structured and the hand over from the existing franchisee was very helpful. He assisted me in completing instructions in the first week and was always at the end of the phone if I needed help for several weeks later. This was extremely helpful.
Throughout the first 6 months, Bert’s business and service delivery continued to grow from strength to strength. His professional, approachable manner enabled him to win new business and his high standard of work has safeguarded him a busy first year.
It was scary at the start because running a business was completely new to me, although some of my experiences helped. Working for myself and having a better work life balance has been one of the biggest rewards so far. On a daily basis, I like to leave home at about 7.00 am to begin my rounds. During the day I check to see if any new jobs have come in via the SignMaster App and I add them to my job list if it’s practical to carry them out. Throughout the day I periodically check emails and deal with any incoming calls. I generally get back around 3 pm to do admin and prepare for next day’s work. I have really enjoyed the experience so far and I enjoy keeping my customers happy.
Gemma Vettraino launched her Agency Express franchise in November 2017. Previously a Human Resources Manager of 15 years Gemma felt it was time for a complete change of direction. She was drawn to the idea of owning a business and to the unique benefits that came with being her own boss but having a young family security and flexibility were high on her list of prerequisites.
After much consideration, Gemma made the decision to pursue a career in franchising due to the security and success rates they offer, and it was the Agency Express franchise opportunity that met her requirements. So, when an established territory came up for resale within Gemma’s area she seized the opportunity of becoming a franchisee.
One of the reasons Agency Express appealed to me was due to the flexibility that the franchise provided. I have three young children, so the ability to work hours that fit in with family life is important to me. Security also played a huge part in my selection. I wanted a franchise with a strong brand name and reputation and Agency Express are the leaders in their marketplace. Knowing that I have the opportunity to expand the business gave me the confidence I needed to proceed.
After successfully completing a comprehensive training course Gemma was assisted in the launch of her new business. This included a combination of hands on training and a programme of visits to new and existing customers, enabling her to connect and build relationships with the people she was going to be working with.
I found the training process really useful. It was invaluable spending time out on the road with different people to see how they tackled different challenges. This also provided an insight into the physicality of the job.
Within her first few months, Gemma had built strong relationships with her customers and her high standard of work has helped her secure further business.
I am so pleased that I have joined Agency Express, I have even referred a friend to do the same. For me I no longer sit behind a desk all day, I manage my own time, I’m active and I feel healthier for being active. Every day is different, which I enjoy. One day I could be erecting large commercial board and the next I could be erecting boards for an event. Needless to say, there are always a number of residential boards to take care of. You have to work hard but it is well worth it if you are looking to run your own business.
James Tipton launched his Agency Express franchise in August 2016. Previously an experienced Retail Manager of 25 years for a leading supermarket chain, James wanted a change in career and was drawn to the idea of owning a business.
“I wanted to work for myself so I started researching the different options via a number of franchising web sites. I knew what my strengths were so that gave me a good place to start my investigation. After that, I kept an open mind looked into areas that sparked my interest. “
After much consideration, James found the Agency Express van based franchise to be the most attractive as it provided a clear and proven framework that he could easily adapt too.
“After meeting everyone at the head office it was obvious that Agency Express was well organised and highly focused business, with the interest of customers high on the agenda. I felt that my knowledge, experience and skill set would adapt well to the franchise.”
An advantageous business opportunity arose when an established Agency Express franchise came up for resale in James’s area. James seized the opportunity and within the first few months had built strong relationships with his customers and further developed the business.
“One of the biggest highlights for me so far is being my own boss and having total control of my work-life balance. Also, within my first few months of trading, I was asked to complete a board change for a customer, replacing all of their old boards on the streets with new ones. This needed to be completed in addition to my normal day's work. I set myself a target of five working days but completed the task within three. Seeing my service speed increase gave me a real sense of achievement.”
Throughout the first 6 months, James’s service delivery continued to grow from strength to strength. His professional, approachable manner enabled him to win new business and his high standard of word safeguarded him a busy first year.
“My daily routine consists of scheduling my jobs in SignMaster and loading the van up the night before. I always include a few spares for my busier customers and I make sure my batteries are charged. On the day, I work my way through the scheduled job list, but I’ll check SignMaster again late morning and around 3 pm to see if there are any jobs for the next day I can pick up whilst on the road. After getting home and whilst waiting for SignMaster to update with the following day's jobs, I’ll paint any posts that need refreshing, then after 5.30 pm I’ll plan my route and load the van for the next day. It’s fair to say I am enjoying all aspects of my business.
Steve Macqueen, a trained chef, had worked in the catering sales industry for many years when in 2016 he decided that he wanted a change of direction and set his sights on becoming his own boss.
Steve began his investigation at the 2016 National Franchise Exhibition in Birmingham, where he approached Agency Express looking for his ideal business.
The National Franchise Exhibition was the perfect place to begin my research. When I entered the exhibition, I didn’t have a predetermined idea of what business I wanted, or what industry I wanted to operate in. So, it was extremely useful to see such a diverse selection of franchise opportunities and seminars under one roof. Agency Express was among the first few franchises that I came across. Running a van based business and erecting estate agency boards was something I had never considered but I immediately took to the idea of running a van based business.
After meeting the team at the exhibition and further investigating the opportunity, Steve felt that a franchise with Agency Express would meet all his requirements.
Coming away from the exhibition I had a clearer picture of what I wanted in a business. I knew that I wanted a simple to operate, task orientated franchise and I wanted the reassurance of ongoing support so that I could focus on the day-to-day demands. Agency Express offered excellent ongoing support with business development, accounts and credit control, so that especially appealed to me.
Steve became an Agency Express franchisee in January 2017 after successfully completing a comprehensive training course which covered all aspects of operating his new franchise. Steve was then given support to launch his business which included making the first contact with prospective customers.
The training and assisted business launch was very thorough and gave me the best start, but it’s the ongoing support from head office and other franchisees which is so fantastic. I felt supported every step of the way and that’s the advantage of being part of a franchise rather than going it alone.
Now in his third year of trading Steve has established a solid base of customers and his business continues to flourish.
Building my business was slow, to begin with, but the upside of gradually building the business is that I’ve had the chance to adapt the way I work whilst getting progressively busier. I’m really happy that I made the decision to buy a franchise business. Agency Express is a great franchise to work with and you couldn't ask for more support.