Emma Higgins left the Royal Navy to run her own property franchise
Emma Higgins had been in the Royal Navy for 10 years before she decided to take a change in career in order to pursue a more stable home life. She began to look for opportunities at which point she saw the Martin & Co franchise opportunity in Yeovil. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for Emma and, with an interest in property already, Emma jumped at the chance to run her own Martin & Co franchise.
“My husband was also in the Navy with me but, just before I started looking for new opportunities, we had decided that it was too much for us both to be in the Navy at the same time. The job involves a lot of travelling and we knew that we wanted to start a family in the near future so I started to look for something that allowed me to be at home all the time. I also wanted to do something a little different and was ready for a change.”
Emma had learnt many transferable skills, such as time management and organisation, in the Navy so she was confident that she would have the right skillset needed to build and run a successful Martin & Co franchise. Attention to detail and a can-do attitude often come hand-in-hand with a military background and Emma is no different. These are great attributes to have in a client-facing role and builds trust with clients.
I chose franchising because I’ve never done anything like this before so I didn’t have a clue where to start with starting up a business from scratch.
"I found the handholding and guidance that you get with a franchise extremely helpful. It allowed me to set up a business and make it successful much quicker than I would have been able to do on my own.”
The Property Franchise Group operates one of the UK’s largest property franchise businesses through its 282 offices and five franchise brands Martin & Co, CJ Hole, Ellis & Co and Whitegates. The Group’s franchisees manage approximately 43,000 properties on behalf of private clients. The Group added an estate agency service in 2013 and offers this service at 240 of its offices. MartinCo is a multi-award winning business and the Directors and senior management have over 100 years of combined lettings and estate agency experience.
Emma runs a Martin & Co franchise, just one of 200 franchise owners in this particular network, which sees turnover of over £40 million a year.
“I chose Martin & Co because they were offering a great franchise opportunity in my area and it came up at just the right time. I was really attracted to the branding and the business model and didn’t even want to look at any other franchises! Martin & Co just felt like the right choice for me.”
My advice for anyone looking into buying a Martin & Co franchise would be to talk to as many existing franchise owners as possible to get a feel for the business and how it works.
"Work out whether it’s the right opportunity for you because it may not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s a great way to build a successful and profitable business if you work hard enough.”
“Owning this business has made it much easier to start a family. My husband is still away with the Navy quite a lot but I can stay at home and be around to look after our daughter. The business is also going to be a little nest egg for us for the future. We want to build a business that will eventually allow us both to retire comfortably.”
Franchise owners like Emma take market share in their dedicated franchise territories through the marketing, media and public relations support provided by Martin & Co, who have also developed a sound understanding of best practice in the property industry. On income generated from lettings and estate agency fees, average Martin & Co franchise owners who are high street based turnover £274k in year three and you can expect to build your business to in excess of £415k in just five years.
“I did two weeks of training before opening my franchise and after that I attended mentor training with an existing Martin & Co office and they provided me with ongoing support if required. Around the launch of my business, I had a Brand Development Manager with me. She was amazing and really supportive and stayed with me for the first five days and was then available at the other end of the phone if I needed any help. I don’t find that I need the support that often now but I know that it’s there if I need it.”
“When I first opened my franchise it was exciting. I still find it exciting now because we’re growing the business really quickly and it’s great to be part of something that’s successful. We want to continue growing at the same rate for the foreseeable future with the potential to open a second office in our neighbouring town, Bridport. After that, we may open other territories but we’re taking things one step at a time.”