House-Hut lays foundations for a succesful new estate agent franchise opportunity

New franchise opportunity House-Hut offers a unique service, which combines the best qualities of the High Street and internet estate agency models.

Established by husband and wife Paul and Maria Collier in 2005 and - with a foundational franchise owner already successfully trading - House-Hut is now looking for professionally-minded people with an interest in property to join its network across England, Scotland and Wales.

"We had always intended to franchise House-Hut as we thought it was the ideal way to expand a business and, as such, we incorporated the systems and facilities necessary to achieve this from the very beginning," explains Paul.

"We found franchising was the most attractive option because having invested capital into the business, franchise owners are more motivated than, say, a manager, to make a branch successful." House-Hut is designed to provide householders with a number of highly competitive choices in relation to commissions to sell their house, while maintaining a high quality service. Unlike many other estate agency businesses, House-Hut's main unique selling point is a proven hybrid system, which means it can typically charge 50 per cent less than a traditional High Street estate agent, while still offering the personal service lacking from website-based agencies.

"A local presence is something Maria and myself discovered was a very important requirement by many people wanting to sell their homes and with House-Hut our franchise owners are able to do this without needing to employ a large number of staff," explains Paul. "Unlike standard estate agencies, a House-Hut franchise has low start up costs and our systems provide a faster rate of cash flow. We offer potential franchise owners large and exclusive territories and utilise the advantages of web only agencies while offering a high quality service."

Prior to launching the House-Hut franchise opportunity, Paul and Maria spent five years developing and promoting the House-Hut brand, which has enjoyed constant growth despite the recession and the introduction of the HIPs requirement, which had a significant impact on the housing market.

As well as seeing business grow, Paul and Maria's House-Hut team also landed many accolades, including winning the Silver Award for the best estate agent in the South West for two years running and have been short-listed again for 2010 at the highly prestigious Estate Agent of the Year Awards.

Franchise Development Services (FDS) Southern's franchise consultant Gary Rigby, who has been guiding House-Hut's franchise launch, says: "It has been a pleasure to work with Paul and Maria, the management team of House-Hut. Having consulted with them and being aware of their successful business in the South West, mainly due to the increasing presence of the distinctive House-Hut 'For Sale' boards, we have taken pleasure in developing this highly attractive and supportive franchise package alongside the House-Hut team."

"In a market where there has been a significant number of estate agents closing over the previous years, it is encouraging to see that House-Hut have successfully developed a tried and tested system that is robust enough to profitably trade in these difficult times and even increase sales. They are now ideally positioned to capitalise on the emerging market.

"FDS Southern have developed a franchise offering with House-Hut that is very comprehensive in both training and support. Furthermore, this type of franchise has the added advantage of relatively low operating costs, which we find is becoming more and more important for potential franchise owners looking for exciting and profitable business opportunities, such as the House-Hut franchise."

The franchise package

costs £17,950 + VAT, includes:

House-Hut provides a four-week training programme, which provides franchise owners with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully operate their House-Hut franchise.

In-territory Launch Programme
House-Hut tailors effective launch programmes for its franchise owners to create brand awareness as well as implementing an effective marketing strategy to various sectors of the trade and targeting national and local sellers and buyers.

Software Systems
The software systems provided by House-Hut are state-of-the-art estate agent management systems designed specifically for the marketplace and are constantly upgraded to ensure franchise owners are always at the forefront of this technology.

'For Sale' Boards
House-Hut provides its franchise owners with the brand's distinctive For Sale boards, which create instant brand awareness as well as helping generate new business.

House-Hut franchise owners are provided with their own page linked to the House-Hut corporate website and is an essential part of local marketing success.

Operations Manual
Each franchise owner is given a comprehensive operations manual covering all aspects of the award-winning House-Hut business and, like the software systems, is constantly updated.

Licence Fee
The franchise owner is granted the rights to trade under the House-Hut corporate identity and enjoys all the benefits of being part of a national company with the full backup and support of the head office and network.

Is a House-Hut franchise right for you?

  • Good inter-personnel skills when meeting clients?
  • Good level of numeracy and literacy skills?
  • Exhibit a level of maturity, which will engender trust and confidence with the client?
  • A good level of basic information technology skills?
  • A commitment to following the tried and tested House-Hut system?
  • Well-motivated with the drive and enthusiasm required?
  • Hold a Full Driving Licence?
  • Possess the commitment and perseverance to build a successful long-term business?
  • A professional and well-organised approach to business?
  • Ability to raise the necessary finance for the capital required?
  • No experience of Estate Agency required.