Nicholas Humphreys Specialist Student and Professional Letting has a unique proposition bringing a new lucrative style into the “traditional” property market. Five franchises for the price of one ensures higher earnings.
In the UK.
BFA Full Member: Yes.
Rebecca Henderson & Robbie Bell: Directors Durham
Hi I’m Becca. I graduated from Loughborough University in 2014 and worked for Nicholas Humphreys in their Loughborough Office whilst I was a student. Having moved home to Durham since graduating I realised Durham would be the ideal place to set up a franchise of my own.
Why did you go down the franchise route? And why did you choose your franchise?
I had worked for Nicholas Humphreys in the Loughborough Office as a student and loved the fast paced and fun nature of the company. I have lived in Durham for over 20 years and upon graduating I started to think that Durham and the student market here would be the ideal place to set up a Nicholas Humphreys franchise, as we have no estate agent like it up here.
What did you do before taking up a Nicholas Humphreys franchise?
I was a student studying psychology at Loughborough University and then I got a job as a medical records analyst for a private company dealing with claims of clinical negligence.
How did you raise the finance?
My partner and I both received an investment from our fathers and we had a little bit saved ourselves.
What training and support did you receive initially and ongoing?
I received two full weeks of training, as I couldn’t leave my job any sooner, and Robbie received four full weeks of training. This was done partly in the franchise branch in Loughborough and partly visiting other branches such as Leicester.
What is a typical day for you as a Nicholas Humphreys franchisee?
This is a hard question to answer! We spend a lot of time in the office at present, as we have only been up and running for two weeks. Our main focus is generating business – both for landlords in order to get new properties and tenants in order to fill the properties we currently have advertised. Our days are broken up by valuations, leafleting and viewings.
What challenges have you faced?
I personally have found it quite hard to adapt to being self-employed coming from a very structured work place previously. It is sometimes hard to switch off from the business as there is always something else you feel you should be doing!
Has becoming a franchisee changed your life, if so how?
Yes it definitely has changed my life. I have a lot more freedom to fit in my social life around work but there is also a lot of hard work involved in the running of the franchise. My previous job was very dull and structured; running our franchise is very challenging and flexible.
What marketing/promotional tools do you use to grow your franchise?
Our main marketing tool is our car at the moment – a mini countryman. We also leaflet regularly and are currently planning on sponsoring some freshers events in order to kick start our student letting season.
What differentiates Nicholas Humphreys from the competition?
I would say it’s our fun and face-paced focus. A lot of the agents in Durham are very well established and almost complacent. Nicholas Humphreys is young and energetic and is perfect for attracting the student market; no other agent has a bar in the back of their office!
In your opinion, what makes a successful franchisee?
In my opinion you need to be very determined and have a lot of self-belief. In the beginning you will get a lot of ‘no’ but you just have to learn to take it on the chin and move on; I am learning that slowly!
What advice would you give to someone thinking of buying their first franchise?
Do it! It is very challenging but rewarding at the same time.
What are your plans for the future?
Robbie and I intend to build up our own property portfolio over the next few years and are looking to move into a shop front office in the centre of Durham hopefully in 2016.
Would you do it again?
GREAT! WHAT'S MY NEXT STEP?
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