Belvoir franchisees enjoyed their annual bash, which included a conference plus annual awards, hosted by Gyles Brandreth.
A highspot of the event, held at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire, was the raffle, offering a new Mini. This was won by two franchisees – of Belvoir Bromley – who have not yet opened for business.
The Belvoir award for franchise of the year was won by Karyn and Kevin Kelly, of Haywards Heath, with silver going to Wai Lamb and Nathan Crombie, of Brighton, and bronze to Amanda and Gary Pemberton, of Warrington.
The Pembertons also won the ‘charity champion’ award after raising over £7,000 in a year.
The gold award for best new franchisee went to Luke Marchbanks, from Bournemouth, one of Belvoir’s franchisees. He started his business last year at the age of 25 with an acquisition of an existing agency, and within three days of rebranding it to Belvoir had over 100 boards up.
Belvoir chief operating officer Dorian Gonsalves said: “Luke is currently achieving phenomenal results in both sales and lettings. We are very excited about what the future holds for this young entrepreneur.”
A special recognition award went to Claire Leathley and Charlotte Baron, of York “for supreme effort and determination following the Boxing Day floods which closed their office”.
The pair had been in business for only five months when it was badly flooded.
Charlotte recalls visiting the offices on her way back from a Boxing Day party after hearing of the floods: “When I got there I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was like the end of the world. It was pouring with rain, the streets were completely dark and quiet and all I could hear was the sound of sirens from emergency services.
“Somehow I managed to get in the shop, but the water was already really high. I unplugged the computers and moved some files to try and save them, but there was nothing more that I could do.”
They ran the business from their homes for 12 weeks while – with the permission of insurers – Charlotte also acted as project manager, using her firm’s own contractors, to get their offices back up and running. She managed to do so well ahead of other local businesses which had been similarly hit.