No branch closures following Belvoir/TPFG merger, promises boss

The merged organisation's new boss Gareth Samples says franchised nature of the business means competing branches will continue to compete.

All of the Property Finance Group's 'for sale' signs for each brand pictured on one street.

The Property Finance Group’s (TPFG) merger with Belvoir last week has created an industry behemoth. With its 600 plus branches TPFG was already arguably the second largest estate and letting agency network behind Connells.

The merger with Belvoir gives TPFG more than 930 franchise locations, around 152,000 managed properties and an average 28,000 annual property sales and with a burgeoning financial services arm to boot.


To put that into perspective, City analysts Singer Capital Markets reckons the combined group trading as TPFG has a 4.7% share of the UK lettings market and a 3.5% share of the UK sales market with projected revenues of £61.4 / £72.6 million this year and next of which nearly half (47%) is recurring.

It’s perhaps a wonder it didn’t happen any sooner.

Link to Gareth Samples' interview
Gareth Samples: TPFG, Chief Executive

And Gareth Samples, TPFG Chief Executive, tells The Neg that it very nearly did.

 “I joined in 2020 but the last test was 2017 and that didn’t work out,” he says. “But in my time here every investor has said ‘when are you and Belvoir going to come together’.

“There was already a sort of inevitability that the two of us were going to come together. “The timing was good last year – we had an initial meeting and talked about what had stopped it in the past, the benefits of doing it. The timing and the stars simply aligned. It was the right thing to do, the timing was good.”

Both groups had previously felt undervalued from a stock market point of view and the hope is that the merger takes the operation to a whole new level.

This takes us to a different level and more attractive to larger shareholders which in turn should drive share price and market cap,” says Samples.

“From a holistic perspective it makes sense. Our aim is to make franchisees more profitable – if we make them more profitable then we will also benefit.

“We are now able to leverage the scale we have and deliver that back to franchisees.”


Under the new structure Belvoir Group’s former Chief Executive Dorian Gonsalves and fomer Chief Financial Officer Louise George will remain in place for the next year to ensure a smooth transition.

Dorian Gonsalves, Belvoir Group
Dorian Gonsalves

“Dorian and Louise are going to stay on for 12 months to help with the integration and the relationship we have with those two is top draw,” he exclaims. “We wanted to make that as smooth as possible over the next 12 months.”

That transition began in earnest last week with Samples and the TPFG senior team meeting at Belvoir’s Grantham HQ for a major Q&A session to iron out any anxieties “as with any merger there’s always nervousness when you are taken over”.

Louise George
Louise George

“We have a really talented group of people both in Belvoir and TPFG that are motivated to do what is necessary to drive those opportunities for both franchisee and franchisor – it’s a really exciting start to the journey,” says Samples.

“Combined we’ll have around 900 estate agency/letting agency offices, we’ve got 320 financial advisers that operate within the group which puts us number two behind Connells in terms of footprint size.”


Indeed, while TPFG has a financial services distribution agreement with LSL which has another three years to run and may even continue Belvoir has a more substantial mortgage business as the largest appointed representative of national brokerage Mortgage Advice Bureau.

That business isn’t franchised so TPFG can directly influence its growth and there could be significant potential as the mortgage market starts to improve.

But it’s not going to be an easy journey.

“It’s always been hard to persuade franchisees to adopt financial services,” says Samples. It’s an opportunity but it’s a tough gig.”


“We don’t own the branches – where there is a crossover they have always competed, says Samples. “They competed against each other yesterday and they will compete against each other tomorrow.

“We operate over a dozen brands and we won’t merge any brands or offices.”

With TPFG expected to announce its latest results to the City in less than three weeks on March 23 all eyes will be focussed on whether this new agency behemoth can continue its trailblazing run of success. Watch this space.

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