Q and A with Bairstow Eves Managing Director

Q&A with Philip Dobson, Managing Director, Bairstow Eves Franchising

Malcolm Porter: How would you describe the Bairstow Eves franchise opportunity
Philip Dobson: The Bairstow Eves estate agency and lettings franchise is an established 'Business Format' franchise model now entering its 10th year of operation. The model has been developed around the Bairstow Eves brand which has been trading for over 110 years and uses the many systems employed by the Countrywide Group plc.

Q: How long has Bairstow Eves been trading?

PD: Since 1899 when Mr. Charles Eve opened his first branch to be joined by Mr. Stanley J Bairstow in 1953 to create Bairstow Eves & Son in Ilford, Essex. Since then the network has grown to over 250 branches and the first franchised branch was launched in 2000.

MP: Describe your target market and the potential for your business across the UK.
PD: The estate agency and lettings franchises have wide appeal and are aimed at a broad spectrum of owner operators from existing estate and lettings agents to business entrepreneurs and managers, including ex-forces personnel. The franchise systems are ideal for determined individuals who want to build and grow their own businesses under an established national brand. The aim is to continue to develop the network with a target to double the size over the medium term.

MP: Has the current economic uncertainty affected your business?
PD: Our franchise model has proven to be robust in the challenging economic climate experienced over the past two years and franchise owners have benefitted from additional income streams, such as lettings, and procurement arrangements available through the franchise.

MP: What differentiates Bairstow Eves from its competition?
PD: Uniquely, the Countrywide Group operates around 1,000 branches across the UK and the Bairstow Eves lettings and sales franchise system has been developed from this operation. Franchise owners have access to Countrywide's procurement deals including the web portal scheme, group marketing initiatives, a 30 day franchise owner training programme, a back office property management unit and group IT systems. Franchise owners also benefit from additional income generation opportunities including conveyancing, financial services, auctions, HIPs, EPCs and landlord & tenant insurance products.

MP: What support do you provide?
PD: Franchise owners and their businesses are supported by a dedicated central head office team, training facility and field based Franchise Business Managers in addition to the resources of the Countrywide Group plc.

MP: What are the most important characteristics you look for in potential franchise owners?
PD: The successful franchise owner will possess the determination and flair to succeed and a desire to keep growing their businesses. They will have an aptitude for following a business system, will be good communicators and will have the ability to manage and lead their teams by example. Previous business or management experience would be an asset.

MP: What are Bairstow Eves' goals for the next 12 months?
PD: To further develop the branch network for both sales and lettings across the UK and to continue to develop its core products with additional income generating channels and new and improved procurement arrangements.