Success Story Posted 15 May 2024

From construction and teaching to estate agency: How Nik and Rosie are building their dream business – and learning all the time

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As business opportunities go, the one Nik and Rosie Davey have embarked on with Martin & Co was most definitely a case of ‘right place, right time’.

The couple were confirmed as the new franchisees for Martin & Co’s Exeter branch in April 2024.

And although the couple’s backgrounds are in construction (Nik) and teaching (Rosie), their interest in taking control of their lives with their own business was an ambition that had been bubbling for some time.

In Nik’s case, it was an ambition fuelled by more difficult experiences.

“I was involved in a construction business with my father and we worked on many large-scale projects in the South West, including major bridges and large buildings at Exeter University,” he reflects.

“Unfortunately, in 2014, we lost the business after a main contractor withheld payments.

“Since that day, I’ve wanted my own business again and I’ve been looking for the right opportunity for 10 years, while working extremely hard to make sure we got there one day – and now we have.”

While the Daveys, like many Martin & Co franchisees, don’t come from a ‘pure and simple’ property background, their interest in the sector grew alongside their own buy-to-let investments in the North and Nik’s previous experience of developing properties.

“We have two investment properties in the North, so we’re landlords ourselves and have always wanted to try to expand on that in some way, whether it was growing our portfolio or looking at doing property as a business full-time,” says Rosie.

“We saw the opportunity with Martin & Co and knew it would be a great way to do that.”

“I’ve worked for Kier, EDF and Balfour Beatty on construction of some pretty major projects with extremely large budgets,” adds Nik.

“But I went through a small period of redundancy in 2020 when Covid-19 hit and again that pushed me into doing more property work to drive an additional income, so we purchased the buy-to-let properties in the North and renovated them.

“That was when we really thought ‘there’s something in this’ and we started to seriously look for more opportunities in the property sector.”

When previous Exeter franchise Chris Perring decided to retire, his Exeter branch was not only a wonderful business opportunity at the right time, but also one in a key location in the Devon city – where both Nik and Rosie have spent their entire lives.

“We know the area so well, so it really was the perfect opportunity,” says Rosie.

“Franchising is a new thing for us, but we were really attracted to it because of how big a network the Property Franchise Group is.

“It’s amazing to be part of it and have all that support and guidance from other estate agents.

“We weren’t 100% set on becoming estate agents previously but we definitely knew we wanted to do something in property - we’d actually looked at a couple of other estate agency opportunities over the years but Martin & Co was the only one that really fitted for us.”

“I’d done a lot of property courses and mentorships but without a clear direction on exactly what I wanted to do and what to pursue,” admits Nik.

“But then I stumbled across the Exeter branch coming up for sale and it was just such a good fit as a business and because it’s located in a place where we’ve lived all our lives and know so well.

“Funnily enough I didn’t twig right away that it was a franchise but as soon as I made the connection with The Property Franchise Group, it was massively reassuring, as it would have been a daunting business to take on without that level of support.”

The Daveys had their offer for the business accepted in December 2023 and completed in April of the following year – a period of time Rosie admits was key to them “getting up to speed”.

“The process was very straightforward, although completion day is never without its stress when you’re buying a business!” she laughs.

“But since we made the offer in December it was really smooth and it was also quite nice to have that lead-up time between December and April because that gave us time to do all the franchise’s training.”

“We’ve inherited a great branch with a good reputation and a brilliant team in the office,” adds Nik

“So, now it’s a case of where we can take the business and we have some great plans.”

Watch this space…

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