Northwood... the right decision!

Martin Birks, Northwood Chelmsford Franchisee, tells his story...

Having worked for many years as a financial advisor, I knew how long it can take to build a business and to reach that critical 'break even point' but with my Northwood franchise I achieved it after only 7 months!

My name is Martin Birks and having worked for years in the financial services industry I was fed up with advising other people how to make money and decided it was time to take some of my own advice and start my own business. Should I invest in a franchise or try and start something on my own was the next big decision.

As most people either live in a house or flat, myself included, I felt I had a reasonable understanding of the property market so decided that a business based around property was the right thing for me, especially as I could use my existing skills within the business. Due diligence told me to investigate all avenues so I set about the task of looking at all the property franchises, Having contacted a number of franchise organisations I was dismayed by the quality of the marketing literature I received from the majority of the franchises. However the quality of Northwood's literature stood out head and shoulders above all the other franchise opportunities.

Once I had spent the day with Northwood's founder Andy Goodson at their head office in Southampton where I also had the opportunity to visit other local Northwood offices, which gave me the chance to see the business in reality, the huge benefits of investing in a Northwood franchise became very apparent.

Finding the right office location in Chelmsford was a bit of a nightmare and a harder task then I had at first thought but eventually the right premises became available, large enough for me to operate all the services that Northwood offer i.e. lettings, estate agency and financial services. By being able to offer 3 different product ranges has given me the ability to grow the business much faster than if I had just stuck to just financial services, which is what I probably would have done if we had started the business on my own. Another major benefit of investing in Northwood which I haven't yet mentioned is the brilliant Platinum Scheme, this service is not only extremely popular with landlords and gives us a unique selling point but more importantly, our income is double when compared to traditional property management.

Thanks to the great team, which Northwood helped me recruit, the comprehensive 6 weeks training programme, Northwood's strong branding and of course the brilliant Platinum Scheme, I am set to end my financial year way ahead of my initial forecasts.


With an established national network of 43 offices, Northwood's comprehensive screening programme ensures that only the highest calibre people with the attributes and determination to be successful are considered to become franchisees. By adopting this philosophy, the long-term growth, stability and profitably of the company as a whole is ensured.

As a turnkey franchise, around 55 per cent of the initial investment (£39,950 plus VAT) is used to equip the office with desks, chairs, signs, computers, printers, software, etc., enabling the franchisee to focus on the comprehensive six week training programme and benefit from the professional Northwood image from day one. Additional money will be required for working capital and finance is available through the major clearing banks subject to status.

By becoming a franchisee you will be able to offer Northwood's unique Platinum Service to customers, enabling you to have an edge over the competition and become the leading agent in your territory.