The Federation of Independent Agents (FIA) has landed a major coup following the launch of its first franchise partner, former Guild regional manager and Veco new business chief Emma Preston (pictured).
The announcement by the FIA, which was established by Graham Lock, follows three years of development during which it has signed up over 50 branches.
“Our growth strategy is a mix of continued organic member acquisitions alongside the franchise model as and when the right opportunity presents itself, as it did with Emma,” Lock tells The Neg.
“Emma is based in Surrey so there will be a natural focus within this area but she has the freedom to acquire members wherever she wishes, over the years she has built up strong agency connections so it’s only fair to allow this.”
Launched as an alternative industry body for smaller independent agents, the FIA has established a network of suppliers and agents but is now embracing the franchise model to grow its presence within the industry.
“The concept of a challenger network group to the established players is well and truly proven and with more than 42 brands and 55 branches already on board it’s time to hit the accelerator,” adds Lock.
“The franchise model will allow talented and experienced property professionals to build and manage their own network of agents across the country, adopting the FIA brand, tech platform and existing framework.
“I’m excited to roll out our first franchisee, it’s a unique opportunity that only suits a very small number of people. Running a network of agents requires a 360 degree understanding of the industry alongside a consultative mindset.
“The estate agency landscape is changing rapidly – strong and experienced agents are adapting well, new brands are being born out of corporate frustration and both sets are attracted to and welcomed by what The FIA offers.”
Preston adds: “I’m a huge fan of the network model and can already see the major benefits of the brand and its core offering alongside the quality of its membership.
“It’s very modern, fresh, adaptable and has an exciting future, one that I want to be a large part of.”