Franchise Spotlight: Lettings 

Read this and find out why a lettings franchise opportunity should be your next major career move.

Property ownership is out of the question in some parts of the UK because of current prices and the mortgage deposits required. Therefore, there are lots of people who rent private properties of all kinds.

Letting agencies who manage rental properties are an indispensable part of the property rental industry. Due to this, many such agencies are often available as franchise opportunities! 

Industry facts and stats 

  • According to the Valuation Office Agency in England, the median monthly rent for the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 was £675. 
  • As would be expected, London rents were the highest at £1,400 per month – more than double the figure for the rest of England. 
  • The lowest median rent per month (£495) was recorded in the North East. 
  • Savills  believe rental growth will average 13.7 per cent in the next five years.

Property lettings sector overview 

Property management usually demands local hands-on management of rental properties. It is, therefore, common to find franchise opportunities offered by a limited number of major brands who rely on their franchisees to deliver a personalised service.

For instance, the Belvoir group, who operate via more than 300 offices nationwide, are one of the biggest high street franchises.

Meanwhile, Nicholas Humphreys, a specialist student letting franchise, operate within the ‘student-let’ market. It’s reputed to return up to 2.5 times the income of a more traditional rental agency. 

With this in mind, the property rentals sector includes a variety of franchise options. These could include the logistics and management of boards and signage, or dealing face-to-face with landlords, investors and tenants.

In addition, there are office administration tasks associated with rental contracts as well as the handling of property repairs and maintenance by liaising with appropriate contractors.

Some specific tasks, such as boards and signage or the inspection of rental properties may be niche franchise opportunities in their own right.

However, some franchise property agents may undertake the whole range of property management responsibilities. It really all depends on the franchisor and what they offer.

Franchise models 

Someone operating a board and signage property franchise would expect to be working in a van-based business. They’d perhaps be covering a fairly extensive geographical area.

However, someone organising and carrying out routine tenancy inspections may well be able to operate as a home-based franchise business.

Other than that, franchisees will mostly find themselves working from office premises. There they will be able to have regular personal contact with clients at certain points in the letting cycle. 

Franchisees could expect to be dealing with all sectors of the public on a regular basis. In terms of

career prospects, the rental sector now plays a pivotal role in providing both temporary and longer-term accommodation.

There can also be a great deal of job satisfaction in the facilitating role of a good lettings agent. 

So, in view of the slow rate at which the housing market has been addressing the shortage of new housing, it would appear the rental sector will continue to be extremely buoyant for the foreseeable future. 

Typical franchise options available on the market include an offer from Agency Express, a franchise providing a board services to almost half of the UK’s estate agency offices.

A home-based franchise which needs a service van, this franchise package requires an investment of £24,500 (plus VAT) and offers excellent returns plus a new deposit-paid van, and provides full support, training and other benefits. 

Elsewhere, Penny Lane Homes (currently focusing on expanding its Scottish market) provides a comprehensive service to vendors and landlords, a career which can involve both estate-agent and letting-agent responsibilities.

 A Penny Lane franchisee can expect typical start-up costs of around £25,000, which must include a minimum personal investment of £5,000. In return, a new franchise gets an exclusive territory plus all necessary training, support and business planning assistance. 

Is this sector for you? 

Most franchisors will be looking for someone well-organised with excellent people skills who can develop a confident manner and is able to think strategically.

Previous experience is not always necessary, though some potential estate-agency roles may require a willingness to acquire qualifications.

All applicants should have a keen interest in the property industry as well as a desire to commit themselves to a successful franchise brand.



Jo Thornley

About the author

Jo joined Dynamis in 2005 to co-ordinate PR and communications and produce editorial across all business brands. She earned her spurs managing the communications strategy and now creates and develops partnerships between BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com and likeminded companies.

@BusinessMaiden