The UK’s largest property franchise group, Belvoir, says it is reaping rewards from its acquisition of Brook Financial Services and its decision to integrate some activities with estate agency branches.
At the end of the summer Brook was acquired by Belvoir for £2m and a statement says in the past two months alone Brook has reported £570,000 of net written business.
That’s 57 per cent up on October and November 2016 and over 40 per cent ahead of the average business achieved in the first seven months of 2017 prior to being acquired by Belvoir.
To date the focus has been on Brook operating with one of Belvoir’s estate agency brands, Newton Fallowell, with Brook now working with 17 offices within that network where previously no financial services had been offered.
Of the 39 Newton Fallowell offices, including eight which had existing arrangements, 66% now offer financial services and other mortgage related products.
In addition, Brook has continued to grow its portfolio of independent estate agents which act as introducers.
"The roll out to the Newton Fallowell offices is underway and from January 2018, Brook will start to work with some of the more sales-focused Belvoir and Northwood offices. This is a key strategy for growth for both our franchisees and the Group” says Belvoir chief executive Dorian Gonsalves.
He adds that Brook’s growth in the latter part of 2017 is against the background of falling mortgage approvals as the housing market is perceived to be cooling overall, and is “evidence of Brook's ability to outperform the market.”
Separately, financial services consultancy Cantor Fitzgerald Europe has backed Belvoir to recover from its 15 per cent share slump following the failure of its bid to merge with The Property Franchise Group last month.
Cantor’s director of financial services research, Keith Baird, says the fall has been “unwarranted … in our view”; he urges his investor clients to ‘buy’.