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Time for a new career this year?

THE new decade has started and the New Year is always a time for reflection, as the trends of the past 10 years are analysed and the 'experts' try to take a best guess at what the next ten years will bring.

Ten years ago, who would have predicted that social networking websites, such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube would be so massive? Now even estate agents have their own social networking websites: Ageants and Juicy Red Apple! As social changes happen all around us the face of housing and estate agency has also changed dramatically during the past decade.

Renting a house has become the solution for many people as more transient, chaotic lifestyles make the flexibility to move more important; as young people struggle to get onto the bottom rung of the housing ladder; and as financial institutions tighten up their lending criteria.

During the past 10 years there has also been a dramatic improvement in standards of rented homes in the UK in the wake of the Housing Act 2004.

The credit crunch has seen estate agents in their droves closing their doors causing massive staff redundancies: 142 Estate Agents closed their doors between October 2008 and October 2009, equating to 15.8% of the market.

But what these figures do not show is the number of satellite branches which have been closed as traditional high street agents batten down the hatches and cut costs in an effort to fight the effects of tougher financial times, fewer instructions and reduced commissions.

This reduction of localised agents across the UK has left a gap in the market for a new breed of estate and letting agent.

The past year has seen a number of new local agents start to gain share of the market, filling the space left by the vacating traditional agent.

These businesses which have been set up during the credit crunch with low overheads, often have the owner working from a low-cost non high street office or at home.

This new breed of self-employed letting and estate agents seem to be a hit with landlords and vendors. Today's vendor or landlord does not want to deal with the 'Saturday Girl' who may not be able to answer even the simplest questions.

Discerning vendors want to deal with the business owner who is knowledgeable about the local market and personally motivated to sell or let their house.

As the new decade starts many employed and unemployed agents will be thinking of branching out and setting up on their own; but how can they minimise the considerable start-up risks? For new businesses the figures do not read well - the CBI states that 80% of new businesses fail within the first five years.

In contrast, statistics show that if the new business is a franchise, the figures are reversed: 80% of new franchise businesses succeed.

One of the new breeds of estate agency franchises to emerge strongly during 2009 are home-based letting and estate agents HomeXperts.

Using the power of the Internet and innovative marketing techniques, HomeXperts is recognised as the fastest growing property franchise in the UK.

The local HomeXperts franchisee works in a highly localised territory quickly becoming the expert for that area, offering an unparalleled service. While other property franchisees such as Martin and Co and Countrywide require large initial capital to start with starting franchise and set up fees of up to pounds 85,000, the HomeXperts Franchise fee is pounds 8,500 plus VAT.

What's more, easy payment options enable HomeXperts franchisees to start their own business for just pounds 500 plus VAT.

Full training is given, plus the allocation of a personal support manager at HomeXperts central office plus on-going support from the online members' area at www.home-xperts.co.uk This means that people who have not been in the industry previously quickly learn the tricks of the trade, and can start their business and be operating in their local area within a month of starting. The franchisee fee includes a set up for success pack which includes a local website, sales letting boards and initial marketing.

HomeXperts Franchises are available now in this area, for more information call 01905 673 313 or visit www.home-xperts.co.uk to download a prospectus.

Why become a property franchisee now? Well, things are on the move. The number of mortgages approved for purchase reached its highest level for two years in November 2009, the British bankers Association (BBA) said.

They were up 152.3% in November compared with the same month in 2008, as 44,713 new mortgages were approved. Property prices continued to edge up in December 2009.

CAPTION(S):

RING THE CHANGES: Sussanne Chambers, managing director, HomeXperts
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Jan 14, 2010
Words:786
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