Young Franchisee Scoops Social Media Award
Tom Mannion, a 24-year-old London-based franchisee with property search specialists X-Press Legal Services, has scooped his franchisor’s Social Media Award for creating an innovative social media campaign that has significantly raised both the profile of his business and his own reputation in the property sector.
After less than two years as a franchisee, Tom now heads a team of five people providing property searches and reports for north, south, west and central London and parts of Hertfordshire, and the business is growing fast.
He says of his award: “It was a great surprise as I didn’t expect to win anything. I just had an idea I thought I would try – and it worked!
“There is so much going on in property at the moment, especially in London, I thought there was a good opportunity for a blog to help keep people up to date. There are many potential threats and risks to property which purchasers and their advisors need to know about. We have considerable knowledge that will help them so I was keen to set up an industry news blog offering more detail than a short tweet can. I have been amazed at how well the blog has been received and the positive impact it has had on our business.”
Announcing the award, Dave Lister, director at X-Press Legal Services, said: “Tom is a great example of the rapidly growing number of dynamic young people going into franchising and are successful. Tom is hard working and enthusiastic. His business is growing fast, thanks to his imaginative and energetic approach to promotion.”
Tom always wanted to be his own boss business but was not sure how to get started. He graduated from Royal Holloway, London, with a degree in classics but had no clear idea of what he would do in the world of work. Realising he needed to get some business experience, he took a job with a London estate agency and later began thinking about a career in the property sector.
His life suddenly took a different turn when he learned about a franchise with X-Press Legal Services that had just come up for sale in the London area. “Immediately I could see that this chance to have my own business, especially at such a young age, was too good to miss,” Tom said. “I researched franchising to make sure I understood how it works, then met Lynne and Dave Lister, the franchisors, as the first formal step to becoming a franchisee.
“The meeting was very positive and I was delighted later when my application was accepted. As part of the X-Press network, I would be building a business for myself and, ultimately, I would benefit greatly from that investment. The great thing about franchising is the comprehensive training you receive. You learn to follow the proven system that will equip you to run your own show, backed up by a fantastic support network provided by the franchisor and other franchisees.”
Studying classics has proved invaluable in conducting searches: the meticulous attention to detail and need for accuracy required in this discipline are also vital in property searches. “Sometimes you have to patiently unravel information that is not immediately clear or available. You have to be like a dog with a bone and dig really deep to get what you want,” Tom explains. “So my degree is very helpful in an unexpected way.”
Tom appreciates the support he has had from his franchisor and also other franchisees in the network, including occasional advice from his mum Linda, who joined X-Press 10 years ago. He says: “Mum is supportive but leaves me firmly to my own devices. We both recognise that this is my business and I must run it independently.”
He continues: “I enjoy being my own boss. It’s great being independent and having autonomy but with the support of a network and working to a tried and tested system. I do work hard but I enjoy what I’m doing. I was happy to leave university and start earning money and, as a franchisee, I am likely to make more than I would do otherwise – as long as I keep following the system!”