Most franchisees start from home. This cuts your overheads because you won't be paying expensive office rent but there could be the disadvantage of having strangers in your home.
Although as Paul Vincent of Belvoir in Harlow explains, initially it isn't necessarily about people coming into the office. "I would say that 50% of my time is spent out and about. I meet tenants and landlords in the properties and administration is done at home. Once I have 25 properties on my books, I'll move into office premises."
Twenty-five isn't a magic number, it is simply the point at which he won't be able to cope on his own and will need to take on staff - and therefore an outside office. Most move into premises after two to three years when the business will have expanded beyond the confines of the home office.
But you need to be ready because it's a big investment. A shop in London could require working capital of £20,000 to £30,000 for premises and staff - though this is the top end.
Advertising is the most costly aspect of the property business. Barry Kalish of Martin & Co, Crawley says, "Advertising costs a fortune. I spend £4000 a month - this is expensive, but it's something that has to be done on a big scale."
Barry has been a franchisee for four years and now only deals in property management as his business is well established. But it demonstrates that the advertising costs are an ongoing cost.