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Winkworth boss: How we are fostering the next generation of franchisees

Winkworth has seen a boom in potential franchisees while the first wave of agents are also working on succession planning.

Writing exclusively for Estate Agent Today, the franchise network’s chief executive, Dominic Agace, revealed that there has been a 30% increase in potential franchisees compared with 2019.

He said: “The power of the individual has never been more popular in the workplace, across all industries. 

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“For some companies, the challenge has become resolving the tension between back to the office or working from home.

"For many agents, the pandemic became a defining moment when the corporate shackles were dispensed with. 

“For the ambitious and energetic, they may have been working from a spare bedroom or a shed in the garden and yet they were working harder than ever as the market went into overdrive. And that prompted the question – what value were they building for themselves?”

Additionally, Agace revealed that the first wave of franchisees are working on passing on their businesses to the next generation.

Winkworth is currently working with 12 offices on succession planning, a company spokersperson told Estate Agent Today.

Agace added: “With a track record of 40 years’ experience, we were the first franchise agency in the UK. 

“We now have a franchised network of over 100 offices in towns and cities across the south east and south-west, central and eastern England, including 60 in most strategic locations across the capital.

“We see the continued evolution of the network as the first wave of franchisees reap the rewards of their hard work by selling to the next generation. 

“For example, the Ealing franchisee sold up after 25 successful years to a highly experienced agent making the move from a corporate employer to running his own business. 

“Franchisees are looking at who will be their successor and are recruiting on that basis to find real potential.

“When the right person is in place and has proven to be a major asset to the business, the franchisee may well offer to make them an equity partner.”

Speaking at the company's annual general meeting yesterday, Agace said revenues in the first quarter of the year were in line with management expectations, with both sales and rentals performing well."

He said: "Applications for sales and lettings in the second quarter are, to-date, above expected levels and business is robust. Our new franchising pipeline is in very good shape and our wholly-owned offices continue to make solid progress.

"While the outlook for the property market in 2022 as a whole will depend on how rising interest rates impact on demand, we expect the current financial year to be significantly up on 2019, our last year of "normalised" trading. It may, however, be difficult to exceed the record levels achieved in 2021."

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