The impact of COVID-19 on the UK economy has been unprecedented with many staff furloughed, businesses put on hold and business owners managing their workforces remotely.
However, for franchise company X-Press Legal Services, whose franchisees normally work from home, the adoption of a new way of providing and receiving training has enabled them to put in place efficiencies and speed up the time of getting a new product to market.
X-Press Legal Services has a 27 strong franchise office network of property search consultants across England and Wales with its headquarters in Warrington, Cheshire.
It provides around 500 legal firms with a complete range of property searches and reports. These 400,000 searches a year form an essential part of the property-buying process throughout England and Wales.
As a result of Government social distancing measures, the franchise switched to using webinars to deliver Continuous Professional Development (CPD) sessions to its network of property conveyancer and solicitor clients across the UK. These training sessions are usually held in large conference centres or venues such as Haydock and Cheltenham racecourses. The first online webinar received over 400 attendees.
One attendee commented: “It was a great way of having these types of conferences – especially during this unprecedented period that we are currently living through.”
Further webinars have continued to see upwards of 150 attendees logging on to find out about new X-Press Legal Services products and services as well as topics such as new legislation, planning etc.
Lynne Lister, managing director, X-Press Legal Services commented, “Part of our ethos is providing the perfect combination of technology and the personal touch, as it’s the local knowledge and relationships we have with our clients that set us apart from other providers. To have been able to continue to offer this level of one-to-one service even during social distancing has been great for business.”
X-Press Legal Services is also delivering its weekly bespoke owner ‘Academy’ training via Zoom and WebinarJam – this is an essential part of the individual office support offered by X-Press’s head office team.
One X-Press owner commented: “We have all thankfully been in a fortunate position, as we have been able to operate during these difficult times. As we are directly aligned with the property market there is always a need for our specialist searches and reports. They are fundamental to every property sale, development, re-mortgage and repossession; in short, these searches are required as part of every residential and commercial property transaction.
X-Press has continued to support their franchisees to improve their own product knowledge, stay connected to their franchise network and also to reach out to support their clients, both with free training and practical solutions. Webinars have been invaluable in training staff as well as continuing to promote their business in a time when face to face networking is just not an option.
X-Press Legal franchisees come from a wide range of career backgrounds and don’t need any legal background or experience. On-going support, mentoring and the X-Press Academy training programme create a nurturing environment, where franchisees can maintain their independence while being part of a larger network.