The industry’s warnings to government that the tenant fees ban would lead to significant problems for estate agents are failing to materialise after Belvoir today become the third large corporate to announced it had ‘beaten the ban’.
Following LSL and Martin & Co parent company TPFG’s announcements, Belvoir has now said its franchisees had mitigated the effects of the ban by the end of December.
The company says it had expected a 10% loss in revenue following the ban.
Letting agents wondering how Belvoir and its franchisees have achieved this given the estimated millions sucked out of the industry by the ban, then its trading statement to the City this morning provides at least a partial answer.
Belvoir has been helping franchisees hoover up competitors with both financial and logistical support to help them grow their managed property portfolios and exploit the willingness of many agents to exit the market or divest their portfolios.
Some 24 franchisees took advantage of this last year, adding 4,500 properties to the company’s overall count.
At year-end Belvoir’s lettings book was up 7% to 67,000, a record level.
“2019 was another very strong year for the Group and is testament to the resilience of the Belvoir franchise business model,” says CEO Dorian Gonsalves.
Belvoir makes no mention of its franchisees’ sales performance, suggesting the soft sales market is taking its toll on some branch revenues, although Belvoir’s recent partnership with the Mortgage Advice Bureau is reaping benefits.
Its network of in-branch MAB-branded brokers helped increase revenues in its financial services division by 148% last year, largely because the brokers offer both Belvoir and rival agency customers a mortgage service.