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Success Stories - Andrew & Judy Ramsay

From Spain to Witney, husband and wife team open new Martin & Co office

We joined Martin & Co because we wanted the corporate backing, support from people who know what they are doing, and to be part of a national brand

Andrew and Judy Ramsey had spent a number of years in customer facing roles and had run a successful estate agency business in Spain until the market over there dried up. Upon their return to the UK, they decided to look into franchising so that they could utilise their existing knowledge and skills in both the property market and in customer service. Andrew and Judy became the proud owners of their Martin & Co franchise in Witney in 2010 and they haven’t looked back since.

The time couldn’t have been more ideal for Andrew and Judy to open their business as the lettings market in the UK is booming. More and more people are renting due to tightened mortgage lending criteria so Andrew and Judy’s business looks set to continue its success for a number of years to come. There’s no sign of the market drying up here!

“When we came back from Spain, we decided to try something different. We looked at a few franchises but it was Martin & Co who really stood out. Coming from a corporate background, we felt that Martin & Co really suited our style and that we would get professional backup and support. Martin & Co is a brand we can really be proud to be a part of."

Martin & Co is a professional and high profile brand, with a reputation for fairness and honesty and we’re fortunate to be operating in an area that has surrounding Martin & Co franchises owners so the brand and great customer service is well known.

Martin & Co is one of the only UK property agency franchises that offers a combined lettings and estate agency business with UK-wide recognition. With a network of just under 200 franchise owners and a network turnover of £40 million, we are the largest property franchise in the UK.

“We joined Martin & Co because we wanted the corporate backing, support from people who know what they are doing, and to be part of a national brand but still have our independence locally. We followed everything we were asked to do by Martin & Co and we think the results really show. It took us less than a year to break-even and we have paid the bank back in just over two years. We achieved the position of number one letting agent through market share in our local area just 18 months into our launch and our hard work has really paid off as we also won the award for ‘Best
Business Growth’ at Martin & Co’s national conference in 2012. We work in a corporate style in a friendly office and we have managed to build ourselves a good reputation in our local area very quickly.”

“Joining Martin & Co was, without a doubt, the best decision we’ve ever made and it has given us the most degree of satisfaction. We have been able to open our business whilst still operating under the wing of a well-known brand, but we have also had the freedom to take the brand and mold it to our style of working.”

With strong high street and online presence, the secret of our franchise owner’s success is that they can provide local property knowledge whilst being backed by a national brand. Martin & Co has been recognised for its award-winning service by its clients winning Gold for Best Large Letting Chain at the ESTAS (Estate & Letting Agent Awards) in 2009 & 2012, as well as Silver in 2010 & 2011 and most recently in 2013.

Franchise owners like Andrew and Judy take market share in their dedicated franchise territories through the Marketing, Media and Public Relations support provided by Martin & Co and developed a sound understanding of best practice in the property industry. On lettings income alone, on average Martin & Co’s franchise owners who are high street based turnover £245k in year 3 and you can expect to build your business to in excess of £380k in just 5 years.

It took us around three or four months to decide whether or not to buy our Martin & Co franchise but, once we had, we were given all the training we needed to get up and running and to make sure we were as successful as possible.

"We were given classroom training, mentor training, a Regional Franchise Manager on launch, help with the premises and help with funding. We were a bit apprehensive at first but after 6 weeks we were put at ease and felt much better about the whole venture.”

“Our advice to anyone thinking of buying their first franchise would be to think about how you will cover your personal expenses, focus on generating business and don’t get bogged down with things that you can outsource, it is also important to bear in mind that you will have to commit to staff resources in order to grow your business.”

“We’ve been extremely happy with the success of our Witney branch and we have recently opened a second branch in Cirencester and been very happy with the early days of that branch. In the future we plan to eventually take a back seat and bring family members into the business.”

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