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.

Redstones Lettings

6 Signs Of A Reputable Lettings Agent

At first glance the lettings market may seem to be saturated. For a property owner considering renting for their first time, deciding who to work can often be an overwhelming and difficult decision.
To alleviate your anxiety and assist with your choice, here are six signs of a reliable and reputable lettings agent:-

They treat their tenants with respect :
The first sign of an ethical lettings agent is apparent in how they treat their tenants, as well as the property owners. Try posing as a potential tenant to gain some insight into their overall approach. A great lettings agent will be ethical, honest, respectful and fair with their tenants.

Your money is protected : A growing number of letting agents use SAFE schemes – Safe Agent Fully Endorsed – which ensures that the protection of the clients’ money. At Redstones we also offer an optional Redstones Platinum Total Care Service. Clients choosing to use this service are guaranteed that their rent is paid on time every month regardless of whether or not the tenant has paid.

Knowledgeable and courteous staff : How you are treated when making your first inquiry will tell you everything you need to know about a lettings agent. Most reputable agents train their staff thoroughly, offering high levels of customer care. In addition, they will possess relevant industry qualifications, for example, those offered by the Association of Residential Lettings Agents (ARLA) or another recognised body.

A well established company : Be wary of companies which have only been trading for a short time. While every lettings agent has to start somewhere, a track record of successful lettings is preferable wherever possible. Lettings can be a notoriously hazardous market for the novice.

Terms and conditions : Many lettings agents claim to offer accompanied visits with tenants and carry out regular inventory checks when agreed throughout the period of the tenancy agreement. Always ask the lettings agent to see records of these checks. In addition, if you are unsure about their standard tenancy agreement don’t hesitate to get it checked out with a legal advisor.

A regulated agency : The lettings industry isn’t regulated so it is essential to work with an agent who is a member of a professional body. Redstones is an accredited member of The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) and of The Property Ombudsman. We also comply with the Deposit Protection Service (DPS), giving assurance to all of our clients, buyers and tenants that you will receive outstanding customer service from our company at all times.

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.

Redstones Red Cup

Should You Sell Your Property In 2014?

At Redstones one of the most frequent questions we are currently being asked is ‘is this a good time to sell my property?’

As I mentioned in my previous blog confidence in the property market is soaring at present, particularly in the West Midlands.  The market is certainly buoyant and what we are seeing on a daily basis is an increasing interesting in properties up for sale at realistic prices.

At the same time, we are seeing frequent cases of multiple buyers bidding for the same property.

On top of that, we have noted the following:-

  • In comparison with the last few years, there is an increase in property viewings across the board.
  • The Bank of England governor Mark Carney recently indicated that interest rates will remain at 0.5% until at least Spring 2015 and only rise slowly to 2% by 2017.
  • The Help To Buy scheme launched by the government is aimed at assisting homebuyers who don’t have sufficient savings to offer a deposit on any mortgage.  Launched in 2013, this scheme provides help to first time buyers through either a mortgage guarantee or equity loan.
  • We are seeing a marked increase in the number of mortgage offers being made to our clients.
  • Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) suggest that the current housebuilding boom is mainly the result of increasing house prices.

Points to Note

All of the above points indicate that 2014 is a good year to sell your property but potential sellers should also consider the following:-

  • For first time buyers, it is still a difficult market, despite the government’s scheme.
  • Other homeowners also report feeling trapped. Furthermore, affordability may not improve until wages begin to see a rise above the cost of living. With a recently released survey suggesting that employers will limit pay rises to 2% during 2014[1] this could dampen the property market.
  • The National Association of Estate Agents has described prospective rises in house prices outside London and the South East as ‘tepid’.

Whether or not 2014 is a good time to sell you property will inevitably be influenced by your personal circumstances and financial situation.  While the market is improving, it is important to be aware of all of your options, together with the potential risks and benefits.

At Redstones, we are happy to answer any questions you may have on the best way to proceed so please do not hesitate to get in touch.

[1] Source : Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD)

redstones houses

Making The Switch – It’s Easy With Redstones

For homeowners considering selling their property who have been holding on for good news, that good news has now arrived.  Confidence is rising in the property market with a recent survey by Zoopla revealing 92% of property owners expecting house prices in their own area to rise during the first half of 2014.

Redstones Switch Agent

Redstones Switch Agent

It’s also great news for the West Midlands; the region recorded a year-on-year rise in prices of 4.4% – trailing only London and the South East.

One of the biggest issues facing homeowners as they tentatively return to the property market is finding an estate agent they can trust to sell their property at the right price.

Here we’ve listed just some of the common problems:-

  • Lack of marketing.
  • Poor quality marketing materials with disappointing photographs.
  • Lack of customer service, with estate agents often slow to return calls
  • Overvalued property prices.
  • Undervalued property prices.
  • Extortionate fees.

The great news is that you do have a choice. If you’ve lost confidence in your current estate agent or feel they are failing to provide the service they so enthusiastically sold to you, why not make the switch to Redstones with our unique ‘Switch Agents’ programme?

Why Redstones?

At Redstones, our extensive marketing strategies result in your property reaching the broadest client base possible. We achieve this through local promotion, via our existing prospective buyers’ database and through our presence across a plethora of property websites, including Rightmove, Findaproperty, Zoopla and Primelocation, among others.

With our in-depth knowledge of the local market, coupled with our expertise and extensive experience we liaise closely with our clients from their first call through to the completion of their house sale.

Switch To Redstones – It’s As Easy As 1-2-3

If you are unhappy with your current agent, switching to Redstones takes just three simple steps:-

Step One – Call us today and allow us to explain how we can assist you with your current sale.

Step Two – When you are happy with what you hear (we are confident you will be), you will need to give your current agent formal notice to terminate your agreement with them.  We can provide a template for you to use. NB : We advise you to check your current terms and conditions prior to contacting us.

Step Three – We will ensure a seamless switch by arranging to collect all relevant documentation and house keys where necessary from your current agent.

Making the switch to Redstones has never been easier.