A successful start guaranteed with Northwood
Working towards a one million pound turnover and a better work/life balance, Northwood franchise owner Steven Mearns is ahead of his business plan.
An obsession with property and an ambition to become his own boss led Steven Mearns to invest in the Northwood franchise in January 2009. One year on Steven is working towards a seven-figure turnover. "I have always had property," confirms Steven. "In fact while I was working as a chartered accountant I owned several letting properties. I was disappointed with the quality of the letting agents within my area, so decided to look into running my own business.
"Although I initially intended to start a business from scratch, after reading a copy of The Franchise Magazine I realised that franchising would be the easiest and safest way to become my own boss within the property sector. Northwood appealed because it came across as a professional brand and had a unique selling point- the Platinum Guaranteed Rental Scheme. I knew guaranteed rental income would appeal to landlords within the Aberdeen area, especially during a recession, as it would take the stress out of finding tenants, so I decided to invest."
After a meeting with the company founder, Andy Goodson at the franchise office, Steven attended an initial three-week intensive training course, which covers all aspects of running the business and includes short exams to ensure the new franchise owners understand the basics of operating a Northwood franchise effectively. Once completed, Steven then had to go on a three-week placement and work in three different existing offices so that he could put what he had learned into practice. "This was really beneficial," he confirms.
Northwood's Regional Support Manager visits Steven regularly to monitor his progress and the franchise office is always on the end of the phone to resolve any problems. "Although I have not needed that much support, it is comforting to know that should I need any someone is always there," says Steven.
"The recession has provided me with an opportunity to target landlords within my area and promote the guaranteed rental scheme because it takes away the risk of letting out the properties. Trading conditions have been quieter than I initially anticipated, however I am still ahead of my business plan and I am looking to double the size of my business by the end of my second year.
"I really enjoy seeing the business grow and I am looking forward to improving my work/life balance once my business is properly established. This means I will be able to spend more time with my family."
The Platinum Scheme: Guaranteed Rent 52 Weeks of the Year! Northwood's premium package for landlord clients has been established in the marketplace for over 14 years and has brought in thousands of home rental contracts to Northwood franchise owners.
It works by making Northwood the tenant and assuming all of the contractual responsibilities. Northwood evaluates the property and offers the landlord a set amount for a one year period, which is renewable. The landlord enjoys contracted, guaranteed monthly rental payments from Northwood for the duration of the agreement.
The Platinum Scheme was launched by Northwood Founder Andy Goodson in 1995. Back then, and working within the framework of sensible office hours, he accumulated £412,786 gross profit in the first three years of trading and £1,345,153 in the following five years, purely on lettings alone.
The new level of service offered was not only popular with landlords but just as important, was extremely profitable, especially when compared to other more traditional property management services. Over 7,000 landlords are signed up to the scheme and it is proving a big draw to customers. With the significant income stream it also provides, it is a big draw to franchise owners too.
"Customers love our guaranteed rental income scheme. Even our competitors recommend us and in the last 12 months from our small office we made a gross profit of nearly £350,000. Its a win win!"
Northwood's unique business model allows you to achieve unlimited success.
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Sean was an Air Traffic controller for the RAF before starting the Doncaster Franchise in April 2008.
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