Having vastly grown and developed for over 22 years, Belvoir is now the UK’s largest property franchise on the high street with over 300 offices nationwide. Each of our offices is managed and owned by local entrepreneurs who are passionate and ambitious about a career in the property industry. When joining Belvoir you are becoming part of a nationally recognised brand.
Trustworthy, compliant to the highest standard and consistent, our reputation is very important to us and this is portrayed in training our franchisees to the highest level within the industry.
Our opportunity is built on the principles of specialism, quality and customer care, ensuring we provide reputable lettings, sales and property management services to all of our clients. Many of our offices are also offering a prosperous sales service with many more planning to come on board. As the network continues to grow, our franchise led acquisitions are becoming increasingly popular using the Belvoir Assisted Acquisitions Scheme. This provides you with the opportunity to expand and grow your business by completing the purchase of well-established lettings and estate agencies in the local area.
Belvoir are full members of the British Franchise Association (bfa) and previously Belvoir founder Mike Goddard spent three years as chairman of the bfa. We are also members of SAFEagent and our offices sign up to third party client money protection.
With the Belvoir Franchise, you join a tried and tested business model and with this you also get the brand, structure, support, training and all the business tools that are required to help you succeed. This means that you do not need any previous experience within the industry, just a keen interest, entrepreneurial outlook and a desire to succeed.
You will have access to extensive support including a dedicated Business Development Manager (BDM) to ensure you have full support, training and guidance from the start of your journey. You will also have access to the other support teams at Central Office including Marketing, IT, Audit and Compliances, Finance and Franchise Support.
Before opening your office, franchisees must attend a three-week intensive training course conducted by both internal and external trainers. Over the course, you will be trained in all areas to help you set up, run and manage your business including an in-depth look at legal compliance. At the end of the three weeks, you will be ready to start your journey with Belvoir!
Our recruitment team will assist you with finding an office within your territory, whilst your Business Development Manager will visit you and call regularly.
As a Belvoir franchisee, you will deal with enquiries and leads whilst generating new business with thorough competitor research and development initiatives. You will arrange appraisals, inventories and viewings for properties, whilst dealing with necessary paperwork. You will keep properties up to date on the website, initiate staff recruitment/training, plus manage your cash flow and reconcile accounts. You will liaise with local media and network in the local community.
Simon Bell and his wife Sally opened Belvoir Telford in January 2011 and achieved break-even after only five months in their franchise, profiting from their cold start office shortly after. They are a dedicated and award-winning team, with excellent customer service, professionalism and specialism.
In Simon's words...
We have been trading for more than four years to date.
We absolutely did NOT look at other franchisors, we spent half a day with Adrian and Jo Walton at the Belvoir Stafford office and I was convinced that we needed four key criteria:
1. Needed to be heavily branded and market leading
2. Had to generate strong cash flow and not tie money in stock
3. Needed to be in a growth market
4. Needed to play to our strengths
We chose Belvoir because of the franchise owners and the central office team with their market knowledge and integrity. We believed in the brand and the success of others in an unregulated market, the knowledge and the fact that other franchisees gave of their time so freely and they wanted us to succeed, we have of coursed passed on this critical differentiator to other new franchise owners. If I hadn’t chosen Belvoir I would be in the corporate world but not being fulfilled.
I would never have thought about setting up on my own, not when the Belvoir support, branding team, the success of the PLC and the PR we get from all of the networking far outweighs the abilities I would have had on my own. We would also not have been able to so successfully taken over one of our competitors within 2.5 years of launching.
The training and support we have received easily scores 9 out of 10, the training was good but has got even better in the last couple of years; more professional and very focussed on growing the business, professionally and with integrity
YES I would do it again and again and again.
Belvoir Sheffield was opened in 2006 by Rick Flay. Rick has 15 years of experience in property sales and lettings, after graduating with a law degree from Sheffield University and completing his masters of marketing in Newcastle.
Sarah Powell left her career in marketing when Belvoir Sheffield opened, having moved to the city 17 years ago to study law and sociology. She is now a co-owner of the business with 5 years of experience and training in lettings.
In Rick's words...
We have been trading for nearly nine years. I did look at quite a few other franchisors before choosing Belvoir. I chose Belvoir because I preferred the brand to the others I looked at, I visited a number of franchisor head offices whilst doing my research and felt that the Belvoir set-up was way more professional.
What I liked initially when joining Belvoir was the information sharing and the swapping of ideas and information within the network.
If I hadn’t chosen Belvoir I would still be running an estate and lettings agency business.
I think the initial credibility, speed to market and national brand strength can’t be matched by trying a start up with a new brand. However once you are more experienced you rely on the franchise a lot less. The big unknown is; would you ever get to this stage without the initial support and branding!
The training and support you receive scores a 9.
Yes I would do it again.
Belvoir's Andover franchisees, Phil Pinkney and Greg Greatbatch, have won a major accolade as the franchise's "Most Improved Office" for 2006, having bought an existing outlet in 2005 and tripled its turnover in just one year.
Announcing their award, Belvoir co-founder and CEO, Mike Goddard, said: "Phil and Greg's achievement is phenomenal. They have been dynamic and greatly expanded their original business, demonstrating their belief, dedication and passion."
Before becoming franchisees, Phil had enjoyed a 30 year career in travel, four years of which was with a travel franchise, giving him an insight into the franchising concept. Greg had spent 15 years in the motor industry, as after sales manager for Saab, Volvo and Chrysler dealerships. Co-incidentally, Phil and Greg are brothers in law.
Both were keen to run their own business and believed that the training, back-up and ongoing support of a major franchise would ensure they made a quick start and would enable them to achieve their ambition to be the boss. They researched the market place thoroughly, reading all the relevant magazines and newspapers and visiting a franchise exhibition.
They were most impressed by Belvoir and were delighted when they were able to buy an existing outlet when it became available. Following intensive induction training, they were soon up and running, ready to take the reins and confident that there was plenty of support and advice if they needed it.
The business soon began to pick up and sales rose consistently, month on month. Belvoir Andover is now the preferred lettings agency for military establishments in the area, which greatly increases business from both tenants and landlords.
"What especially appealed to us about Belvoir was the strong brand and the consistent growth of the network, now with 97 outlets. We are enjoying the benefits of independence and being able to run our own business but especially value the support we receive and the "added value" business assets such as the bespoke legal advice line that Belvoir provide. It is imperative that we are always up to date with the law to give proper advice to our clients," Greg and Phil said.
Six months after they set up their franchise, Phil and Greg moved to a prominent high street site. Belvoir Andover has the distinction of being the only lettings specialist in the town with a proper town centre shop frontage. Being so visible has increased the business markedly.
Belvoir Lincoln has already celebrated its 15th birthday, after opening in 1996, marking a prestigious celebration for the Belvoir network. Proprietor Paul Collins served 22 years in the military and attained the rank of WO2.
"Franchising gave me a sound foundation to use the core skills that I gained in the military, and I use them to succeed in business," says Paul. "There is so much knowledge available via the Belvoir Central Networking Group, which is what can make franchising such a win-win situation."
Paul says that the secret of his success lies in his committed team who always work with honesty and integrity: “The business has grown enormously over the 15 years we’ve been trading. I would not have achieved the success of the business without a well-trained and extremely dedicated team who are extremely motivated.
“I also think our key to running a successful business is that we always do what we say we’re going to – I work very ethically and if I say we’re going to do something, we do it. Believing honesty to be another vital ingredient, I’m always truthful too. I think people respect that.
“Also, we only take on properties that we would live in ourselves so we tend to get the better quality properties – and therefore the best tenants.”
Paul’s award-winning business has gone from strength to strength, and in 2009 he won the Belvoir Lifetime Contribution award. He now often works from home to concentrate on business development, having built a strong team to work in the office.
“Belvoir’s training and support is comprehensive,” says Paul. “I’d advise anyone interested in a franchise to do their research and talk to other franchise owners. I thoroughly enjoy running my Belvoir office and am pleased I took on the challenge all those years ago.”
Major Mahil and his team at Belvoir Birmingham Central are celebrating 10 years of success...
Since opening the doors to Belvoir Birmingham Central for the very first time in May 2007, Major Mahil’s business has gone from strength-to-strength… and the team will soon be celebrating their 10th birthday.
From a cold start the office now manages more than 400 rental properties in and around Birmingham, plus supports many additional landlords on a ‘tenant find’ basis. A sales service has also been launched, helping vendors and buyers with their next steps on the property ladder.
“Over the last ten years Belvoir Birmingham Central has grown considerably and I’m extremely proud of all we’ve achieved,” says Major. “Originally launched by my wife, Bal, and I. The team now consists of eight full-time members of staff and, to accommodate our growing requirements, we have also moved to larger premises in the heart of the city’s prestigious Jewellery Quarter.
“We pride ourselves on delivering the very best in customer service, whether that be to tenants, landlords or contractors. I’m particularly proud of the awards we have won over the years recognising our commitment to customer care, including receiving Bronze in the Best Customer Service category at the recent Belvoir Awards.
“It has been an exciting and challenging time and, with our 10th birthday imminently approaching, I think it’s important to acknowledge and celebrate the success we’ve enjoyed over the years.
“In order to mark the milestone in style we’re going to have a mini party at the office with cakes and probably a bottle of champagne or two. Staff members, contractors and clients will all be invited to help celebrate with us.”
Previously working in the legal profession Major decided to team up with Belvoir after a visit to The National Franchise Exhibition at the NEC.
“I was looking for a franchise opportunity and, as I’d been a landlord myself and had some property experience, I saw an opening in Birmingham’s thriving rental market,” he explains.
“I met a Belvoir representative at the exhibition and was extremely impressed by the level of training and on-going support on offer. I wanted to be a part of their strong and well-established brand.
“It has been a fantastic ten years and we’ve got lots of exciting plans for the future too,” he continues.
“We’re currently looking for an acquisition here in Birmingham, or perhaps acquiring a second territory. We’re also actively working on growing the sales side of the business, while maintaining our hard work with landlords and tenants in the area.
“Since we opened Belvoir Birmingham Central in 2007, Bal and I have been leading the team from the front and we’re very much looking forward to driving the business forward further.”
A former employee of Belvoir Leamington Spa, John Warburton has achieved his dream of becoming the new owner of the business.
John had worked with the previous franchise owner for 13 years and is thoroughly enjoying his new role.
“My background in lettings goes back a long way,” says John. “I initially began by volunteering to work for a company called Dwellings for £200 a month for two years. Paul Marchant then took over the company and rebranded it to Belvoir Leamington Spa, at which stage I started working for him as a normal employee, first as a manager then as a director; and now I am the boss!
“The lettings market in Leamington Spa is unbelievably busy. We have a huge luxury student accommodation market as well as private rentals, and because Jaguar is expanding in the area we are expecting another thousand residents in the next year so it will be a challenge to keep up with demand.
“For the next 12 months I will be making small changes, such as taking on a branded Audi A1 car to promote the business and ensuring the shop adheres to Belvoir’s new brand standard in terms of signage etc. I have a fantastic team and I am looking forward to the future.”
In his spare time John helps to raise money for local charities, as well as national organisations such as the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
“Many years ago I worked as a professional dancer,” continues John. “I have done quite a lot of film work including the Spice Girls movie and even taught three of the dancers on The Full Monty how to do their routines! I have appeared as a dancer in 104 television programmes including the Dame Edna Christmas Experience which starred Sir Cliff Richard, David Seaman, supermodel Elle Macpherson and Rolf Harris.”
Terry Lucking, Belvoir's Peterborough franchisee, has received two accolades in the franchise's recent awards. Announcing his achievements, Belvoir co-founder and CEO, Mike Goddard, said: "Terry's success has been incredible – his is the fastest overall development in our history. His business has grown consistently by 40 per cent per annum.
Mike Goddard continued: "With energy and passion, Terry has also proactively taken great interest in the development of the network, which now has 97 outlets. He has twice been chairman of our franchisees' Networking Group covering more than four years and is making another significant contribution to franchising as a representative on the bfa's Franchisee Forum. Terry also serves on the committee of The Guild of Lettings and Management."
Terry became a franchisee in 1999 after a career in the food industry spanning 22 years. He was a director of two major plcs before being headhunted to become managing director of a successful family farming business in Cambridge.
When the family were invited to sell, Terry headed a management buy-out but lost to a competitive bid. He resigned and decided to look for a new challenge in a completely different industry, embarking on extensive research into many different types of business and opportunity, including franchising.
While he was thinking about what to do long term, he developed and successfully sold on a small chain of travel shops and a vegetable processing business. He also operated as a debt mediator for six months.
Terry was not interested in manufacturing because of the huge capital costs involved in setting up from scratch. He recognised his talents lay in managing businesses and driving them forward. He said: "I wanted to be in a positive industry that was expanding, not consolidating – or contracting - and where people are valued for their skills and abilities."
Having researched franchising and compared it to other start-up options, Terry concluded that it was the safest route to being self-employed with optimum opportunity to make money from a relatively modest investment. He commented: "Franchising offers a fast start in business. I didn't want to waste time setting up and trialling my own systems. That's the beauty of franchising – someone has done it all before, so it's tried and tested."
He narrowed down his choice of possible franchises and investigated those specialising in property. In late 1998 he met Belvoir's Mike Goddard and set up an exhaustive interview with him. "I asked a lot of searching questions," Terry explained. "This had to be a two way interview because I needed to have confidence in the organisation where I was about to invest a considerable sum of money.
"I made a decision quickly to go ahead. My training with Belvoir was extremely thorough and enabled me to make a quick entry into the business. Once I began trading I appreciated the enormous value of Belvoir's on-going support, especially their bespoke legal advice line and the website," Terry added.
He opened his outlet early in 1999. Working in a small business was a shock after a large corporate culture where he had two secretaries and someone to manage the diary. Suddenly Terry was thrust into an environment where he had to use a computer and learn to multi-task."
Seven years on we now employ nine people," Terry said. "Two of my stepsons are involved in the business and my wife Liz shares my passion, vision and energy for property. In fact, one son, Luke, has the distinction of being the UK's youngest landlord, making his first buy-to-let investment when he was just 18."
Terry is now in phase three of his franchise's plan with a growing portfolio of over 510 properties in Peterborough, surrounding market towns and local villages. He enthuses: "Property is a fast growing sector as the demand for private rented homes continues to increase, for a variety of reasons. The business has the benefit of requiring personal involvement and hence great personal satisfaction. It also has the advantage that no one customer represents more than 5 per cent of the business."
Terry continued: "The last seven years have opened my eyes to just how much money can be made from property. I was too busy in my former life to see outside of the plc box!"