While many large estate agency firms are licking their wounds as the property market softens, Martin & Co parent company The Property Franchise Group (TPFG) has today released an extraordinarily upbeat set of figures including profits up by 29% to £2.3 million.
This includes increased market share for the company’s hybrid agency EweMove which now has 114 territory franchisee holders, is the 5th largest in its sector and unlike many competitors is trading profitably.
Ewemove’s franchisee income increase to £920,000 from £500,000 last year although the hybrid has been struggling to recruit new franchisees so far this year, signing up 12 compared to 18 during the first six months of 2017.
Figures from the hybrid agency also suggest why; experienced estate agents pay £2,000 to join while non-industry applicants are charge £20,000. EweMove has recruited fewer of the former so far this year.
At TPFG, all the dials have been rising including both revenue and service fees from its franchisees, operating margin, profits, number of franchisees and lettings book.
This includes turnover up by 17% to £5.5 million, franchisee royalties by 15% and the number of rental properties managed by 6% to 53,000.
TPFG operates six property brands including CJ Hole, Parkers, Ellis & Co, Whitegates, Martin & Co and EweMove.
The only blot on the landscape for TPFG is that it closed 11 branches during the first half of the year, offset by 15 new branches being opened, taking its total to 377.
“We are pleased to have delivered another strong set of results, with all of our brands, including our “challenger” online brand, EweMove, improving revenue over the same period last year,” says TPFG CEO Ian Wilson (left).
“Historically, the Group has experienced stronger trading in the second half year, associated with heightened lettings activity in the period from June to September. We are seeing early indicators that this pattern will be maintained in 2018.”