Category Archives: Franchising

Redstones Branded Car

Redstones Franchise – What Exactly Is On Offer?

At Redstones, we understand that investing in a franchise brand is a big decision. In a series of four blogs, we will aim to cover some of the questions raised most frequently. In today’s blog, we look at what a Redstones lettings agency has to offer and why it gives you the edge over your competition.

The Redstones franchise

When investing in a franchise with Redstones, you are investing in a lettings agency. Once established, our franchisees do expand into other areas, such as residential sales.  The only exception we consider on the franchise launch is for franchisees with prior experience in the estate agency business.

What makes Redstones different?

When setting up Redstones, I understood from having been a landlord myself, that the key to success is offering high levels of customer service, coupled with flexibility.  For example, some landlords want an ‘introduction only’ service, while others prefer to reduce their potential stress levels and place everything in our hands using the Redstones Platinum Total Care package.

Letting agents generally sometimes have a poor reputation for customer service. For that reason we offer an exclusive ‘Switch Agent’ facility.  This enables dissatisfied landlords to easily switch to Redstones and enables you as the franchisee to win more business.

Taking advantage of technology

As a web-based agency, we pride ourselves on being different.  Our franchisees soon discover that our state-of-the-art systems ensure the ‘back office’ service matches the ‘front end’.

While carrying out your research, you will also probably notice that we have a significant online presence which puts the majority of our competitors in the shade.  This is the result of our highly focused SEO (search engine optimisation) and ‘pay-per-click’ strategy which allows us to offer the very latest in technology to our landlords, tenants and vendors (and to you, the franchisee!)

When our franchisees are ready to move into residential sales we also offer the very latest in online 3D floor plans and walk through technology.

What’s more, we also offer an online property auction service as an extra string to your business bow!

With Redstones, you can be confident that you have access to all of the latest start-of-the-art systems available to stand out from the crowd.  Our unique business model means you can operate a full service lettings agency from an office, rather than a high street location, with a significant reduction in your business costs.

What size will my territory be?

Each Redstones franchisee is allocated an exclusive territory for the duration of the franchise agreement (a five year term).

Compared to other lettings franchises, our territories are typically larger.  Each one encompasses approximately 100,000 homes with a total population of around 250,000.

That’s not all that makes us different.  In setting up our franchise network, we worked closely with mapping specialists to ensure that all of our franchise territories offer equally attractive revenue opportunities. In fact, we guarantee that each one offers a good balance of property types and demographic profiles.

Your success is our success!

To explore the opportunities available as a Redstones franchisee contact Manjit Virdi today.

Remember, we’re here to help.

Redstones Property Experts Logo

Redstones Property Franchise: Your Financial Questions Answered

Before investing in a franchise, it is essential to gain an understanding of your financial commitments, together with the potential return on your investment.  Here, we have attempted to cover the most common questions we are asked at Redstones. 

How much is your franchisee fee and what is included?

The total initial investment in a Redstones franchise is approximately £20,000.  This figure includes a franchise fee of £11,995, comprehensive training in all aspects of running the business, equipment, software, marketing support, car livery, your own micro-site and the provision of ‘To Let’ boards.  This takes you all the way through to your business launch.

Can you help with funding?

We can refer you to the major franchise banks who we work closely with to assist our franchisees in their funding requirements.

What additional expenditure is necessary?

The only additional expenditure is a vehicle deposit together with working capital. The amount of working capital required depends on your personal situation.

Are there any ongoing fees?

There is a management fee of 8% plus a marketing fee of 2% of your total sales. These ongoing fees are invested back into the support we offer to you as a franchisee. In addition, we invest significantly in the marketing and development of the Redstones brand on a national basis.

What makes you different?

In comparison to other lettings franchises, the investment required for a Redstones franchise is not only competitive but offers reduced running costs (and subsequently higher profits).  In contrast to typical lettings agencies, Redstones franchisees can work from an office covering an entire region or area which offers the greatest potential for growth.  We consider it to be a more intelligent business model.

Of course, if you are based in a central location which enjoys high footfall levels, it may be worthwhile setting up a high street office. In these cases we offer the option to operate this business model as well.

We pride ourselves in offering our franchisees outstanding value for their investment and a territory comprising around 100,000 households.

How much profit will I make on my franchise?

As a Redstones franchisee, the level of profit you can earn will depend on a variety of factors, such as how efficiently you run your business and the amount of time you spend marketing your services. Earnings are also influenced by local factors such as average rental values in your area and the local competition.

When investing in any franchise, it is essential that you carry out your own due diligence before making a decision.

Can I sell my business at the end of my franchise agreement? 

Yes, you can either renew or sell your business at the end of your franchise agreement with Redstones.  Ultimately, you are building a valuable asset by investing in a Redstones franchise.

If you require further details on any aspects of the above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Manjit Virdi, who will be happy to respond to any questions you may have.  We look forward to hearing from you.

Redstones Property Franchise

Meet The Franchise Director – Chris Gillam

Prontaprint was Europe’s largest chain of franchised business centres and, at its peak, had almost  300 franchises in the UK. I joined as Sales & Marketing Manager and was appointed to the Board as Sales & Operations Director in 1990 and soon after was promoted again to the role of Franchise Sales Director. I carried full responsibility for the recruitment effort, including re-sales and was part of a management buyout in 1996 that resulted in a successful exit in 1999.

CG Library pic

I ran the National Franchise Exhibition in 1999 and developed a thorough understanding of the wide range of different recruitment strategies used by the various franchisors attending the exhibitions.

Mail Boxes Etc. have over 140 stores in the UK and I’ve recruited most of their franchisees. MBE operates under master licence and trades from high street based outlets that sell a range of business services to consumers and SME’s and I retain a non-executive financial interest in the business.

I have been a member of the British Franchise Associations Policy Board.

I have a wide general knowledge of franchising, including legal, property lease matters, and a strong focus on franchise recruitment.

I have considerable operational experience……I have conducted many franchise feasibility projects and have been involved with several new franchise launches over the years and have a wide circle of professional contacts that include many within the  legal and banking sectors.

Redstones Residential Sales

9 Signs Of A Successful Franchisee

For potential entrepreneurs or anyone currently employed considering the idea of going into business the options can sometimes be overwhelming.  I’m often asked what it takes to be a successful business owner with Redstones. In my experience, the following traits are common to the majority of successful franchisees:-

Ability to follow a system that works : A franchisee is happy following a proven system to build a successful business.  If you are an overly independent character who likes to experiment with different ways of running a business, franchising may not be the best option.

Self motivated : You like to focus on meeting your goals and working effectively to achieve the result you need.  You constantly evaluate your progress and performance to ensure you are meeting your own high standards and are keen to take on board to the advice of others, such as your franchisor’s business development managers.

Thinking big : You are always looking at the bigger picture, even when you’re working long hours to get your business up and running. You are confident it will pay off in the long term.  You focus on your long-term potential for your business, knowing that the actions you take today all represent steps along the path to take you there.

The glass is always half-full : You’re a born optimist, always looking for the positive in every situation You learn from your mistakes rather than dwelling on them, aiming to create solutions to each challenge you encounter.

Leadership skills : Ideally you possess a combination of life and business skills.  In running a franchise like Redstones, you will need to manage and lead your own team as well as encourage and motivate your staff with your outstanding communication skills.  Industry specific experience isn’t essential as all of our franchisees undergo a comprehensive training programme to equip them with the skills to build a successful business.

Excellent people skills : As the owner of a Redstones franchise you are on the front line, dealing with tenants, buyers and property owners on a daily basis.  An ability to build and maintain relationships with potential clients is vital to your long-term success.

Resilience : Starting your own business is an exciting yet challenging time.  A high level of resilience will ensure you overcome any early hurdles, keep any setbacks in perspective and continue to build on your successes.

Financial management : As a business owner you must have access to the financial investment essential to any franchisee agreement.  Furthermore, when running your own franchise – as with any business – careful financial and cashflow management is essential.  Your franchisor will work with you to ensure you achieve both your short and long-term financial objectives.

Investing in a franchise is not for everyone but offers an ideal opportunity for an ambitious individual to build a successful business.  If you recognise yourself in the above mentioned traits and you would like to learn more about becoming part our successful network at Redstones, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a Redstones franchisee, get in touch today. You can call the Redstones team on 01922 235 350 or email us at franchise@redstones.co.uk

Or visit www.redstonesfranchise.co.uk for further information.

Day in the life of an agent

Day In The life of a letting/estate agent

As a Redstones Lettings franchisee you work as a self employed person responsible for running and controlling the major aspects of your own business.

Your work and normal daily routine in a busy Redstones Lettings office would entail most of the following:
• Networking, marketing and advertising your business to attract new clients (landlords, property owners, would be tenants, etc) using Redstones marketing systems.
• Taking property descriptions, measurements and images to a high standard to market the property.
• Building a database by recording all client names and contact details. They might not do business with you at the time but you will be able to give follow up calls or send flyers that may result in future business.
• Replying to enquiries by telephone, email and/or in writing.
• Meeting landlords and providing advice how your business could maximise their income and minimise their risk by letting via you.
• Setting appointments to meet new landlords, carrying out market apprasials and follow ups.
• Processing landlord agreements and ensuring properties to be let and managed by you comply with all certification, legal and safety requirements. Ensuring they are aware of their obligations.
• Marketing the properties under your management and arranging and/or conducting viewing appointments for would be tenants.
• Vetting and selecting of suitable tenants, monitoring tenancies, utilising the Redstones back office systems.
• Processing tenancy agreements. Ensuring they are aware of their obligations.
• Maintaining an office diary to ensure you always keep your appointments and meetings.
• Payments, receipts, rents, banking and office administration, basic accounting.
• Communication with Head Office to keep abreast of industry developments.

Strive to develop a strong position and presence in your local business community, with networking and writing articles on your blog.

Redstones Internal Office

Redstones Internal Office

If you’d like to find out more about life as a Redstones franchisee, get in touch today. You can call the Redstones team on 01922 235 350 or email us at franchise@redstones.co.uk

Or visit www.redstonesfranchise.co.uk for further information.

10 Reasons To Choose Redstones As Your Franchisor

Making the decision to invest in a franchise business allows you to operate under a recognisable brand name using a proven business format.  This enables you to get your business up and running – and more importantly profitable – in the shortest possible time.  The dilemma potential franchisees often face is which franchisor they should choose. 

If you’re considering running your own estate agency business, here are ten reasons to choose Redstones:-

  • A strong, recognisable brand name : Redstones focuses on customer service and integrity in a market which is sometimes notorious for lacking both.
  • Excellent value for your investment. We allow our franchisees to open as many offices and high street branches as they wish within their territory at no additional cost.
  • Comprehensive training : All of our franchisees undergo two weeks of comprehensive training covering all aspects of how to successfully operate a Redstones franchise. The training takes place at our head office in the West Midlands.
  • Extensive ongoing support : On completion of your training we spend a minimum of two days on-site with you.  We believe this is invaluable as you begin to market your business and meet potential landlords.  On top of this we offer a telephone helpline, additional training modules and local marketing promotion and PR support, together with regular networking meetings and an annual conference.  We are confident that our support ranks among the best in the franchise sector.
  • Redstones’ Platinum Total Care : Recently launched as a key element of our new Landlord Services Packages our Platinum Total Care gives Redstones the edge on its competition.  This unique service guarantees that the landlord’s rent is paid on time, every month, regardless of whether or not their tenants have paid.
  • Redstones’ ‘Switch Agent’ programme : Specially designed to ensure our franchisees secure business from other lettings agents providing a poor service to property owners.
  • An optional rent collection and credit control : This enables our franchisees to become more efficient in winning new clients. Our unique offering allows you to focus on developing your business rather than worry about paying landlords.
  • Up-to-date on-line marketing strategies : From SEO to social media, Google to PPC and your own micro site, Redstones is at the forefront in developing online marketing strategies that work.
  • Outstanding service for residential sales clients : Our service includes 3D floor plans and walkthrough software solutions utilised on property websites such as Zoopla and Rightmove.
  • 0% Commission Fees :  We are confident that the recent launch of our zero commission fees for vendors through Redstones’ auctions service will increase opportunities for winning new business.

With a proven track record in a competitive market place, Redstones offers an outstanding franchise opportunity.  We look forward to welcoming you to our network.

Manjit Virdi

My thoughts, why blog, why I set up Redstones?

Landlord, Letting Agent,Property Expert,  Managing Director of Redstones Property and Redstones Franchise.

My path into the estate agency/lettings market has been far from straightforward.  After graduating from Wolverhampton University with a degree in IT and software, I took up my first position with energy giants Eon working in software development.  While I enjoyed my time with Eon, the allure of running my own business proved too much to resist.

In 2000 I made my initial steps into the property market investing in my first ‘buy to let’ properties working with a lettings agent to locate a suitable tenant and manage the property while I continued to expand my property portfolio.  My decision to set up Redstones evolved directly from my disappointing experience with lettings agents. Whenever a problem arose with my first property my tenant called me directly, although I was paying a management fee ostensibly to avoid these issues.

Realising that the market that was crying out for better customer service, I decided to manage my own portfolio, eventually offering a property management service to family and friends.

Finally, in 2003, I launched Redstones to fill the yawning gap in the market for a reputable lettings agency and I’ve never looked back. Seven years later, we launched our first high street outlet offering a customer focused service covering residential sales, lettings, property management and auctions. Building on our successful foundations in the residential market, we’ve recently extended our service into the commercial sales and lettings sector.

Click here to view the first flagship office  http://www.redstones.co.uk/office-locations/walsall

Having personally established a track record which demonstrates my expertise in the property market over a number of years, 2014 seemed the perfect time to launch my blog.

My aims with this blog are:-

  • To offer a ‘go-to’ source of advice and guidance for property owners and landlords in what can be a stressful market sector. 
  • Provide insight into the Redstones brand for potential franchisees and entrepreneurs exploring the world of franchising.

My vision has always been to establish a national network of offices trading under the Redstones banner and franchising offers the most natural route to achieve this.  A Redstones franchise gives ambitious entrepreneurs the opportunity to develop a successful business within a respected network.

As we build on our reputation and expand our client base we look forward to welcoming new franchisees into our network and continuing to offer our clients a superlative property sales and lettings experience.

Franchise security

7 Essential Questions To Ask A Franchisor

For would-be entrepreneurs thinking of investing in a franchised brand, the range of businesses on offer may seem overwhelming.  First of all, you need to decide on the type of business that’s right for you, whether it’s a retail franchise, ‘man and van’ business, professional services, estate agency and so on.

Secondly, once you’ve decided which sector you want to operate in, you are then faced with choosing the right brand.  To help you, we’ve compiled a list of essential questions to ask your potential franchisor with a brief explanation as to why you need to know.

What is the owner’s background? Do they have a successful track record in their business sector or in franchising?

If the owner doesn’t have a successful track record either in their business sector or franchising or has not successfully operated a pilot business, they will not be able to help you in running your own business.

Are you members of the British Franchise Association?

The British Franchise Association is a voluntary association which vets its members to ensure their compliance within stringent ethical standards. We would strongly advise all potential franchisees to proceed with caution if considering a non-BFA member. Redstones is proud to be a member of the BFA.

Have you worked with BFA accredited franchise consultants and lawyers in drawing up your franchise agreement?

Franchising is a specialised business and most ethical franchisors work with accredited lawyers and consultants when setting up their franchise.

How will I be trained and what ongoing training is available?

Comprehensive training in all aspects of running the franchised business, together with ongoing support, is essential for long-term business success.

How long is the franchise agreement for?

The franchise agreement is a legally binding agreement. It is important to know the length of time you are committing to and whether or not you can sell the business or renew the agreement when it comes to an end. Franchise agreements typically run for five years depending on the sector.

What additional capital or working capital will be required to set up the franchise?

You must be clear on exactly what the initial franchise fee covers and how much additional working capital will be required to get your business up and running.

What are your ongoing fees?

Franchisors typically charge royalties or ongoing fees on a franchisee’s turnover which is reinvested back into the marketing of the brand and support of the franchisee. Understanding the exact level of ongoing fees will enable you to produce a viable business plan.

For additional advice we recommend the BFA website.