Just under 300 delegates attended the National Conference of award winning lettings business Martin & Co, held at the prestigious Whittlebury Hall hotel near Silverstone racetrack on Saturday 1stFebruary.
Celebrating 28 years since the Martin and Co brand was established, the UK’s largest franchised property business has been going from strength to strength, floating on the stock exchange and extending it’s network to 189 offices. The National Conference provided a chance for franchisees and Head Office staff to acknowledge an exceptional year and celebrate their success.
Chief Executive, Ian Wilson commented: “We joke it’s ‘another record month’ but this has been true for the past six years running. This year has been particularly satisfying because it culminated in conversion to a public company – hardened city investors ran their slide rule over us and invested. So if you are thinking of becoming a client of ours rest assured we are a well-run professional outfit and this is reflected in our exceptional results!”
Franchisees attending the event were able to benefit from presentations from the Chairman, Richard Martin and Chief Executive, Ian Wilson, which delved into the vision and strategy for the ever- expanding Martin & Co network. Numerous suppliers who work with the company exhibited at the conference, providing a great networking opportunity for franchise owners and suppliers alike.
The Conference ended with evening celebrations, including an awards ceremony where individual offices were recognised for their achievements throughout the year. This year’s winners include; ‘Best Young Business’ – Loughborough & Mountsorrel, ‘Best Business for Growth’ – Gloucester, ‘Best Established Business’ – Nottingham City, ‘Best Market Share’ – Stirling, ‘Best Client Retention’ – Tunbridge Wells, ‘Business of the Year’ – Colchester and ‘Franchise of the Year’- Chelsea.
Martin & Co’s 19th year as a franchise brand heralded a year of outstanding progress for its new sales service. Following the first year of trading, Martin & Co’s sales and estate agency business is set to finish on £1million in sales fee income, signalling the dramatic scale in which it has grown. “2014 will see 110 offices across the UK offering both sales and letting services” said Wilson. “The property market is finding its confidence again and we need to reflect this by offering buyers and sellers, as well as landlords and tenants an all-round service”.
The company’s ambitions don’t just end with sales. Martin & Co plans to become more digitally focused, with a goal to produce the best customer service for both landlords and tenants across all platforms. At the end of 2013, Martin & Co launched their more versatile website, complete with a new super fast property search. The business has big plans for their digital growth by further developing their website, and creating an innovative members portal aimed at both landlords and tenants, making communication between landlords and offices seamless.
So is 2014 going to bring an opportunity for this ambitious brand builder to relax and catch their breath? “Wilson added: “We want to welcome existing agents into the brand. They will bring knowledge of the local market and proven drive and flair to run their own business. We will lend them our systems, training programmes and marketing know-how. As part of the UK’s largest property franchise they will find a friendly and supportive team and benefit from the drive and passion of people who are already leaders in their field. We have plenty more bold moves on the horizon.”