My life at Newton Fallowell started in the Grantham office in 2007 where I become branch manager. In March 2014 I was offered the opportunity to open a new office in Stamford as the franchisee, and from a cold start within 6 months we had listed more houses new to the market than anyone else.
In January 2016 I opened in Oakham and by 2017 we were leading the pack, against some exceptional long-standing agents. In 2019 Stamford and Oakham secured 39% and 44% of their respective markets.
As part of the Belvoir Group our interest in lettings was wetted so in 2018 we successfully launched lettings from both offices. Later that year I acquired Newton Fallowell Bourne as a resale, which has since seen an uplift of some 20%. Most recently, I have taken on a financial adviser through Brook and am already seeing significant upside to my income.
All of this has been made possible by having a great team, a great brand and valuable business support. Our goal is for all our customers to leave us a 5 star review, which of course they do!
My career in estate agency started in 1981 working for a small agency before going on to join Whitegates, subsequently acquired by Legal & General. During my 24 years with L&G, I was part of the team lead by Michael Stoop, that converted the network from a corporate to a franchise one.
In 2009 I joined Northwood, a family run franchise network, as their National Operations Director. In 2016, when acquired by the Belvoir Group, Northwood was the largest independent property franchise network with 86 offices. The key factor in the owners choosing to sell to Belvoir was that the values of the two business were aligned, with honesty, trust and transparency being paramount.
As part of the Belvoir Group, I feel hugely supported in my role as Northwood Managing Director by the depth of knowledge and experience around me. I am immensely proud of the Northwood brand with 2019 being a record year for the network.
Over the past 39 years I have witnessed a huge amount of change in the industry. In my view people are the key and standing still is never an option.
I joined Belvoir in 2011 as a Business Development Manager. Part of my responsibility was the overseeing of the Belvoir Castle contract which involved managing their property portfolio. I subsequently accepted the position of Commercial Director of the Belvoir Estate, working for the Duchess of Rutland.
In 2018 I returned to the Belvoir Group to find that it had more than doubled in size. As Standards and Operations Director I am responsible for the standards and compliance throughout our franchise network, with every office being audited once a year. As a law graduate, this role suits me perfectly, as it also involves communicating all the legislative and regulatory changes, of which there was a huge raft in 2019. I also undertake due diligence under our assisted acquisitions programme to ensure our franchisees are buying a well-maintained landlord portfolio with no nasty surprises.
I have huge admiration for Belvoir and believe our professional practice is akin to the law firms I have worked with in the past. In my opinion, Belvoir is head and shoulders above every other competitor in the market place and it’s great to be back!
Belvoir believes that human capital management is key to ensuring that we have the necessary team to deliver future success, and therefore invests in a high level of employee engagement in order to attract and retain professional staff with the requisite skills.
We also invest in professional training to enable our employees to develop in their roles. During 2019 we sponsored five staff under the Apprenticeship Scheme, encompassing accountancy, IT, HR and business administration. We are delighted to report that Catalyn Bavister qualified as an Accounting Technician under the AAT Apprenticeship, and Sara Lenkiewicz attained her Business Apprenticeship and is now working towards her Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development level 3 qualification. Meanwhile, in 2019 Adam Egner was awarded Apprentice of the Year and Belvoir was awarded Business Development Centre Employer of the Year by Grantham College.
Our franchisees’ ability to develop relationships built on trust and quality service lies at the heart of our success. A key part of our training programme focuses on our franchisees better understanding themselves and how they interact with other people so that they can develop strategies for building strong and enduring relationships with their customers.
In 2019 Belvoir Leamington Spa won not only the Belvoir Franchisee of the Year award, but also received the Gold award for Single Branch Lettings Agency of the Year at the Negotiator Awards. This was a wonderful accolade to our franchisees Sue and John Warburton who are excellent ambassadors for the Belvoir brand.
holding or training towards a professional qualification
Giving something back is important to our Group, and over the year our franchisees and our Central Office team have organised and participated in local fund-raising activities including swimarathons, bake-offs, coffee mornings, firewalks, cycle rides and summer fetes to raise funds for a wide range of charities.
Our Northwood Aberdeen franchisee sees giving something back as an integral to their business playing its part in the community. Since 2009 they have donated over £9,000 to charity. Each year their team elects a charity which receives £50 per month from the business. In 2019 they selected Charlie House, a local charity which supports children with complex disabilities and life limiting conditions. Not satisfied with supporting one charity, they also had an Easter Hamper raffle raising £80 for the British Heart Foundation, did a firewalk to raise £1,200 for Sue Ryder, participated in the ‘30k for 30 years’ challenge to raise £300 for Inspire, a charity supporting people with learning difficulties, and supported the ‘Cash for Kids’ xmas appeal by being a drop-off point for donations, donating £500 from a Christmas Hamper raffle and giving up a day of their time to help sort gifts in the warehouse.
raised for various local charities by Northwood Aberdeen in the last 10 years
We recognise that homes are of paramount importance to our customers so trust and integrity are essential in supporting our customers on their property journey.
Our mutual success relies on our property and financial services networks collaborating, all supported by our Central Office team.
Our model is underpinned by networks of highly motivated business owners.
Each office is in control of its own operations so is more able to react to local market and sector-wide conditions.
We see the training and development of our staff, our franchisees and our advisers as critical to the success of our business.