We recognise the need to attract, train, reward and retain highly motivated staff and franchisees to deliver a professional and exceptional service.
Whilst operating on a large scale nationally through our franchised networks, our Central Office functions rely on just 54 members of staff delivering quality support to our networks to nurture their growth. In order to attract and retain professional staff with the requisite skills, Belvoir invests in a high level of employee engagement through regular staff reviews setting out and monitoring performance against an agreed personal development plan. We also invest in professional training so that our staff can acquire the necessary skillset to improve their performance and to develop in their roles.
We currently have seven members of staff undertaking professional qualifications, including Personnel Management, Lettings, Accountancy, Chartered Secretary and Project Management. This includes the sponsorship of an accounting apprentice through her AAT exams within the finance team. Belvoir believes that employee engagement and human capital management is key to ensuring that we have the necessary team to deliver future success.
Our business success relies on the quality of our franchisees, the service they deliver to their clients and the support and guidance we give them to maximise their potential.
We see our franchise owners as being on a journey with Belvoir from the time that they join as a franchisee to the point of realising the value that they have built up in their business on exit. We have brought two of those journeys to life through the stories of our most successful franchisee, Terry Lucking, who recently sold his businesses in Peterborough and Cambridge, and a new franchise owner, Luke Marchbanks, who has got off to a flying start in Bournemouth.
Franchise satisfaction survey
In 2016 we commissioned an independent, franchisee survey to be carried out across the Group. The aim of the survey was to gauge the satisfaction levels of our franchise owners covering a range of areas to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each brand. These results have been compared against the industry average for franchisors of a comparable size. The benchmark set from this initial survey will be monitored on a regular basis to determine improvements made and where there needs to be additional operational focus.
Notwithstanding the uncertainty within the sector, 91% of our franchisees expressed their commitment to expanding their business. This is evident throughout the Group with renewed interest in adopting property sales and an increase in the number of our franchisees registering for our Assisted Acquisition programme to identify a suitable local portfolio acquisition. This demonstrates that our franchisees are well poised to take advantage of the business growth initiatives offered by the Group and of the opportunities arising from the changes within the sector.
Terry Lucking, BFA Franchisee of the Year in 2007, reflects on almost 18 years of unbroken revenue growth and profit with Belvoir.
Being with Belvoir totally exceeded my expectations.
Becoming a franchisee
Terry joined Belvoir in 1999 following a 22-year career in the food industry.
Training and support
Terry immediately recognised how he would benefit from new developments, such as the internet, ongoing training and legal advice, by being part of a wider franchised network.
Terry believed in the value of sharing knowledge with other franchise owners and the franchisor, generously giving his time and expertise to help develop the brand and new initiatives, including estate agency, and encouraging new franchise owners to reach their potential.
"Franchising and networking means that you can have an opinion and try things but it also means learning from what other people have done."
The Peterborough outlet was one of the first Belvoir franchises to offer property sales participating in the sales launch in August 2013. By 2016, property sales accounted for over 10% of income for the business.
At the end of 2016, Terry bid a fond farewell to Belvoir, following the sale of his Belvoir Peterborough and Cambridge franchises for in excess of £1.5m, a record amount.
"Central Office has been instrumental in bringing about the sale of my business which sold for more than any other franchise in Belvoir’s history. This enabled me to move on to the next stage of my life, pursuing new interests and business projects and enjoying some well deserved holidays. Thanks to Belvoir, all of this is now possible."
I was looking at two other franchises but I chose Belvoir because I really liked Mike Goddard’s business ethics.
Luke Marchbanks reflects on an exciting first year with Belvoir having won the Belvoir gold award for New Franchise of the Year and the silver award for Group Contribution.
Belvoir is a forward-thinking network.
Becoming a franchisee
At just 25 Luke is one of Belvoir’s newest and youngest franchise owners. With the help of Belvoir’s acquisition team, he launched Belvoir’s first ‘enhanced start’ by successfully completing the purchase and rebranding of a local lettings business in Bournemouth.
"Having always wanted to be my own boss, I spent two years investigating business opportunities. Once I found Belvoir I knew the search was over."
Luke completed his induction training with Belvoir in November 2015 and says the high level of training he received gave him the confidence to forge ahead with his ambitious plans.
"The training was absolutely incredible. It was a three-week course and the attention to detail was second to none. I particularly liked the fact that professional external trainers were brought in to deliver some of the modules. The training gave me the confidence I needed."
The acquisition opportunity arose when Luke was looking for business premises. Dorian Gonsalves says, "When an acquisition of this calibre becomes available we are always keen to help franchise owners take advantage of the opportunity. In Luke’s case this meant assisting with some of the funding and providing him with all the professional support he needed, during and after the acquisition."
Almost one third of Bournemouth’s property market is privately rented, rising to over half in the town centre. Whilst competition amongst agents is fierce, Luke feels that, with a young and dynamic team, Belvoir Bournemouth differentiates itself from its competitors.
"We have a modern approach and we make very good use of new technology. In addition we have the strength of the Belvoir brand behind us, which is massively trusted and has a very strong reputation."
Launching Belvoir Bournemouth has been very exciting and I am delighted with how the business is performing. It has far outweighed all my expectations for letting and sales. I am really looking forward to the future.