Find out more about Virtual Property World with Michael Peluso
Michael Peluso is a Virtual Property World franchisee in North London who is busy building himself a profitable business.
I have always had a keen interest in property and decided to explore a property based career move. A close friend who works in the industry for a national agency explained the costs of setting up my own agency which I found frightening.
I looked at traditional estate agency franchisees but felt the break even costs were very high with the associated office and staff costs. In a recession I wanted to make money not expose myself to high cost risks.
Firstly I had confidence in the company as a close friend of my stepfather had sold his business using the company in Spain where the concept was devised. He told me it was well known in the Costa Blanca region where he lived and that he had sold his launderette using the company and that they did use a fixed price model with intensive internet advertising. He also said he knew people who had bought and sold property through the company.
Having looked into it I felt their modern approach with low cost fixed fee estate agency and low cost entry was exactly what I was looking for. They seemed to have thought of everything to make the franchisees life as easy as possible. The computer software is excellent, I input information once and everything is done automatically, everything is logged where it should be and information, letters and emails are automatically generated to save me time and make money.
Anyone can set up as an estate agent. Virtual Property Worlds insistence on training franchisees to gain industry qualifications has given me much more confidence. Like many people I assumed all estate agents were qualified but it is normal practice for only the owner or office manager to be qualified and for others working in the office not to be.
For me franchisees are about building your own successful business with back up and help from others when you need it. The guys from VPW are always available with help and guidance when it’s needed. The initial training is very good and prepares you for what will happen in the outside world. There are many ways to promote the business; the main selling point is the price which is far cheaper than using traditional agents. Clients are amazed by the value for money we give them, many struggle to get their heads around how we can be cheaper and provide a better service. The hardest part of the job is to get the message out into the community. I am now in the position where people are starting to call me regularly to ask me to list their property.
I know the franchise areas are larger than envisaged due to the current economic situation. Each initial area generates £50,000 - £60,000 which will increase rapidly when the market improves. A franchisee with two areas as I plan to have will earn over £100,000 per annum working from home. I earn around £420 for every listing which is paid within 14 days. Originally I thought I had to wait for the property to sell before I got paid which is not the case. VPW are responsible for all advertising and selling the properties. My first year earnings are on target for over £60,000 from my first area.
One of the main attractions to me about the franchise was the ability for me to expand my area at no cost. I couldn’t find another franchise opportunity which did not charge for additional territory. With Virtual Property World I can expand my business as large as I want to at no additional cost. To me this shows a high level of commitment to the business and franchisees. My next stage is to take on more area within 6 months and employ someone else to run the area I have built up under my guidance while I build the new area.
Being the first franchisee means I may have to work harder to make people aware of the brand and its low cost service. As brand awareness grows franchisees will find it easier and easier. As the network grows group advertising will become far more cost effective and far reaching. I have found the For Sale Signs are very effective at generating business so the more go out the easier the business will become.
This is a great business opportunity for hard working people with an interest in property. Once the business is established the rewards and results become relatively easy. Although a full time franchise hours can be fairly flexible to suit your lifestyle. The business is well set up and every eventuality has been thought through. The investment level is obviously very high for a young franchise with a fortune having been on computer software to make the job as easy as possible. You can see the years of experience from developing and perfecting the business before bringing it to the UK.
2nd November 2012
Virtual Property World launch low cost Estate Agency Service