My ambition has always been to be the top-performing branch in the UK.
Craig Pearson is the franchise owner at Parkers Reading. Last year, after 17 years of franchising, he was named our number one branch in a network of nearly 300 national offices.
How did he get there?
Craig explains. “First things first, my ambition has always been to be the top-performing branch in the UK, and to remain in the top 5. Having a goal gives you motivation. And the bigger the ambition, the higher the motivation.”
But it takes time to climb the ladder. When did Craig’s story start?
“It started in 1999 when I was offered first refusal on the Parkers Reading branch. I was already an experienced estate agent, having worked in the industry for ten years as a Sales Negotiator and Valuer so I knew the market well enough to make a strong start.”
Craig built his business and survived the 2007 crash – he now owns three offices.
I worked tirelessly to make it through the financial crisis and its aftermath. We needed to adapt the business to the market and it was then that my knowledge of the industry showed through.
And after the recession, how did he manage to grow his business to what it is today? And what advice does Craig have for budding franchise owners?
“To answer the first question, you need to roll your sleeves up and get stuck in to make a success of yourself. The key is in the first three years. After you lay the groundwork, the business will grow. Expect long days and stay patient. The rewards will come.”
“As for getting into the industry, my advice is to get some experience in estate agency. Spend a year or two working in an office environment and get to know the business down to its smallest detail. Managing an office, a team and targets will become a lot easier.”
However, Craig acknowledges he couldn’t have made it to the number one agent on his own. "When I started out we had to focus on getting the business going, but within two to three years the ‘behind-the-scenes’ benefits of being a franchise started to have a big impact on business. We were trained, we remained legally compliant, we had a good website built for us, and this allowed me to concentrate on business generation for my office. These things also provided a stepping stone to opening my second and third office as I had extra time and support to push the deals through.”
And what are Craig’s reflections on his career?
Franchising is the best thing that could possibly have happened to me. I’ve earned good money, I am my own boss and, most importantly of all, I get to spend time with my family.
And his goals for the future?
“Stay at the top. And open more offices!”
Craig runs a national class business and his tireless hard work, self-motivation and ambition have set him apart. Now operating 3 offices, Craig is a testament of what can be achieved within a successful franchise group.