From Media to Property – Meet Our Sidcup Franchisee, James Frowde

Redstones Siducp, James Frowde

Redstones Siducp, James Frowde

Continuing our series of interviews with both existing and new franchisees, this week we spoke with James Frowde, our franchisee based in Sidcup, Kent.  You can also hear what James has to say in the video too.

Tell us about your career background and experience James

I spent the past 15 years in media sales, starting out as a sales executive and moving up through the ranks to the role of Commercial Director. I sold a variety of B2B titles including recruitment and classified advertising solutions.

What were you doing immediately before taking up your franchise?

Prior to investing in my Redstones franchise I was Commercial Director for EMAP Publishing, responsible for the recruitment and classified sales teams. EMAP titles include Drapers, Nursing Times and Construction News.

How did you find out about franchising?

Over the past few years I’ve carried out some fairly in-depth research into the franchise sector.  The property sector has long attracted me but while I had 15 years commercial experience, I knew nothing about the lettings market.  Exploring the franchise route to market made perfect sense.

What prompted you to choose franchising rather than remaining in an employed role?

I have always had a desire to run my own business but launching a company from scratch with no prior experience in such a competitive market made no commercial sense. Franchising was by far the best route to market for me. It enables me to the balance of running my own business within a supportive network to learn and gain experience.

Why did you choose this franchise over others that are available?

The main criteria for me was to be part of a strong, easily recognise brand that stood out from the crowd.  After meeting Chris Gillam and Manjit Virdi I knew Redstones would be a perfect fit with their ambition, support, flexibility and high standards of customer care.  The other franchisees within the network have also been extremely supportive and keen throughout the whole process which wasn’t always the case within the other franchise networks I spoke to.

Is there anything else that appealed to you?

Without doubt the size of the territories available with Redstones coupled with their relatively low set-up costs compared to other franchisors.

How have you found the training and support you received from Redstones?

I cannot fault the training; it has been superb, with a mix of classroom learning and hands-on experience. By the end of my training I had a thorough understanding of all aspects of running a property business; from the systems and customer service to accounting and staff etc.   The training has given me confidence, I now feel like a bona fide estate agent!

What challenges have you faced while getting to know your new business?

I haven’t encountered any real challenges yet.  The challenge if anything will be to ensure I keep my costs low in my first year of trading. It’s very easy to spend in this business so prioritising on what will win me new clients is important.

What are the highs?

I’ve been trading since February 2014 and launched a residential sales division from the beginning due to my background in commercial sales.  I’m delighted to say that I’ve already sold my first property and I’m responsible for the property management for several landlords.

What are your plans for the future?

My plans are endless but to begin with I am keeping it simple by focusing on my local area and establishing the lettings business.  Within the first year I want to take on my first members of staff. Year 2, my goal is to open a shop front or multiple offices in my territory. In Year 3 I aim to be self-sufficient so I can start on a new territory in Kent. The long term goal is for Redstones to be the estate agency of choice throughout Kent.

What would your advice be to someone thinking of buying a franchise?

My top three tips are:-

  • Research the market and plan thoroughly.
  • Spend time on your due diligence.
  • Always speak to existing franchisees. I made over 40 calls to franchisees of various brands before making my final decision.

Thank you James! We’re very happy to support you in achieving your business plans.

To find out more about the opportunities available with Redstones, contact us today.