Q&A with Paul Sheard, National Business Development & Training Manager, Propertynest

Propertynest franchise
Propertynest A Propertynest franchise offers the chance to run your own estate agency business, working initially from home, backed and supported by an award-winning brand.

An exciting opportunity to start your own successful estate agency, initially working from home.

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Tell me about your background in property.

I’ve got a long history working in the property industry! Since 1977, I’ve been an auctioneer, valuer, commercial agent, and I’ve owned and run two businesses.  I moved into franchising in 2005, working for organisations including Countrywide, EweMove, Northwood and latterly some emerging property brands.   I now manage business development and training for the leading estate agency franchise Propertynest. 

What makes the property industry a good franchise investment?  

The property market remains active and stable.  In tough economic times people still need to move house, although sometimes for different reasons compared with when times are good. 

There are many other benefits too, including the fact that the property industry is easy to understand and get involved in.  You do need certain soft skills like the ability to build relationships, empathise plus face-to-face sales experience to succeed, but with a franchise model all the technical support and training is provided.

In addition, unlike other types of franchise opportunities, there is no stock, staff or premises to worry about.  This means a low start up cost with no overheads combined with the chance to generate high profits. 

What sort of people succeed and thrive as estate agents?  

I’ve worked in the industry for well over 40 years and that has taught me never to pigeonhole anyone!   Successful agents come from every social class and background.  I’ve known estate agents with no previous experience go on to run some of the most successful businesses!   

Ultimately, the best agents all have a laser focus and the drive to create a great business.  A dash of entrepreneurial flair always goes a long way too!  Agents need to be able to build relationships with clients, be empathetic, likeable, reliable, approachable, contactable and trustworthy to support customers through their home move, which can often be a stressful journey. 

Why is a home-based estate agency business such a great franchise opportunity?  

The home-based agency model has really come of age since Covid.  It is now perfectly acceptable to work from home and run a business.   In 2014 when I worked at EweMove, agents working from home were pushing against closed doors as people didn’t trust the fact there was no high street presence.  In today’s world, it is easy to thrive without premises and the associated high overheads.

However, it would still be challenging for agents to set up on their own, from home.  A franchise opportunity such as Propertynest offers a discounted route to all the necessary technology and access to advertising on the leading property portals too.  As a franchisor, we also offer an overview on legislation and compliance management relating to contracts etc which is a huge weight off franchisees’ minds.  In addition, we provide full training and ongoing support. 

We’ve heard about the ‘ups and downs’ in the property sector how does this affect estate agents – how does Propertynest address these challenges?  

The fact that Propertynest offers both a sales and lettings income stream is important in turbulent economic times.  When we look back at previous recessions, agents that survived and thrived did so often because of the strength of their lettings businesses which supply a reliable and recurring income.  At Propertynest, we offer a simple low-cost solution for lettings which includes listings, compliance, AML and accounting, giving franchisees a stable and regular income on an ongoing basis to help them weather any economic challenges. 

Why should potential franchisees consider Propertynest over other estate agency franchises?

At Propertynest our whole team is focused on working for our franchises to help them build successful businesses.  We see our franchisees as business partners and working with them is a collaboration to create a great future together.  

We also don’t have to answer to corporate shareholders and so offer a quality owner-run business model where we invest back into the business.  We have selected the very best team and spent time and resources to developing the most effective technology to support our franchisees.   We also partner with Proptech leaders, and our prospecting systems now enable franchisees to perform just like their high street competitors.   All this means our franchisees have the very best chance of success and we can create a thriving business too.  

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