Open an Estate Agent Franchise In 2019

01/02/2019 08:00 | Start a business

Estate Agency Franchise


2018 has been a busy year for the housing market. Although things slowed down towards the last quarter of the year, the much-predicted bursting of the property bubble never really happened. Despite all the uncertainty over Brexit people are still buying and selling houses, renting out flats and generally keeping the property business ticking along.

The start of 2019 did see a little stumble, with monthly prices only creeping up by 0.4%, putting the average three-bedroomed family home at around £298,734, according to property experts Rightmove. The north-west seemed to buck the trend with a 2.6% monthly increase, indicating that its not just London and the south-east that has a desirable property base for buyers to choose from.

In fact, outside the M25 and the Home Counties, the property market is remarkably healthy, with the Midlands also showing strong gains to monthly asking prices. All of this means that 2019 could be the right year to invest in that estate agent franchise after all, especially in the north and the Midlands.

Online estate agencies the way forward?

The concept of the traditional high street estate agent is undergoing a radical challenge from the internet. Online estate agents such as Purple Bricks, Zoopla and On The Market are proving that digital estate agency services are just as effective as the real world agent on the ground. In fact, with the prospect of no commission charges, faster average selling times and a wider potential audience of buyers and sellers, its particularly appealing to buyers.

Its estimated that around 80% of buyers use the internet in some form to look for a new home, and 83% expect to see a property advertised online. So online estate agencies are seeing a real increase in trade, but any agent, whether theyre based entirely online or have a high-street presence, needs to have a strong digital footprint to attract customers.

If you want an estate agency franchise you can run from home, then an online model is the best option. They require lower initial investment capital and have much lower overheads than an office-based alternative. They also tend to have very strong brand identities and have built up a dedicated following from both buyers and sellers. Its fast, its easy, and its much cheaper than the usual commission-based fees youll pay to a high street agency. Its no wonder that online estate agency franchises are one of our top picks for 2019.

Our top three estate agency franchises

The market is currently dominated by the high profile online agencies like Purple Bricks and Zoopla, but others are starting to make an inroad into the sector. However, models that include both online and real world presences are still performing strongly. While we still predict that online agencies are going to perform strongest throughout 2019, there are some traditional agencies that we think will do particularly well. Our top three estate agency franchises are:

Century 21 It may not be a big name in the UK, but Century 21 is part of the largest estate agency network in the world, with outlets in 81 countries and around 8,000 offices. With over 1,500 days worth of training, extensive optimised software and a vast support network in place, Century 21 is serious about bringing on new franchisees to take up their mantel and making an impact on the UK housing market. They are looking for franchisees who have experience in the industry, so this is more suitable for experienced estate agents who either want to expand their existing business or are prepared to invest up to £100,000 in a new venture.

Ewemove dont be fooled by the cute name and fluffy branding this is one serious online estate agency franchise. For an affordable £20,000 minimum investment, you can take on a franchise with one of the most popular estate agents in the country. With Sunday Times awards for Best Estate Agency Franchise between 2014 and 2016, this is a network thats growing quickly. Its big USP is the quality of its customer care, with an Excellent rating on Trust Pilot. A territory will typically cover around 20,000 households, and lenders are happy to provide financing of between 50-70% for this up-and-coming brand.

Northwood As house prices rise and first-timers find it harder and harder to afford to get a foot on the property ladder, the demand for rented accommodation is increasing. In fact, weve seen a marked shift towards rented accommodation being the norm, especially in locations where buying a property is almost impossibly expensive unless you have a winning lottery ticket. Northwood has spotted this, and are renowned for their letting credentials (although they also buy and sell property too). A minimum investment of £25,000 will get you a franchise with this highly respected brand. Northwood is particularly popular with landlords as they dont charge commission or fees, and also offer a guaranteed rent system. They offer franchisees a 5-year renewable licence and a full support network and training.

Conclusion

Despite a somewhat uncertain outlook, the property market is still performing well, even in the midst of the Brexit turmoil. While the market may have softened in London and the south-east, in the north-west and Midlands, in particular, the property market is performing strongly, with around a 2.6% increase in monthly sales. The rental sector is doing particularly well, and with the advent of online estate agencies as well as real world options, anyone looking to move into the property business is well placed to make a good profit in 2019.

The rising dominance of online estate agencies such as Purple Bricks and Zoopla indicates that the way the sector operates may change considerably in the coming years. However, we predict that there will still be a need for high-street estate agents, as long as they can compete with the no commission USP of the online providers.

Flexibility is the big selling point for 2019 estate agency franchises, and our big prediction is that rental property is going to perform particularly strongly in a marketplace where first-time buyers are going to be a little thin on the ground this year. Franchises that have a strong rental and letting presence are destined to perform well, and with new names coming into the market, competition is going to be fierce. Its going to be an interesting year for estate agency franchises.

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