Contempo Lettings, the successful residential letting and property management franchise, is launching an expansion programme to boost its Scottish market share.
The company currently has five offices, four in Glasgow and one in Aberdeen, but under a development plan launched today (Tuesday, March 22) it is aiming to set up another 30 throughout Scotland over the next three years, a seven-fold increase.
“It is a real challenge for Contempo Lettings but we are determined to grow, building on our extensive experience of letting and property management, and a wide client network,” said managing director, Carolyn Donaldson.
“We have a strong presence in Glasgow and Aberdeen, but places like Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling, Perth and Inverness are now among those on our target list.”
She said the plans for growth had two major benefits – to meet the rising need for rented property and to offer an alternative way for people losing their jobs, in the public sector for example, to earn and start their own business.
“There is no doubt that demand for rented property is continuing to rise because so many cannot now get a foot on the property ladder as first-time buyers,” said Carolyn.
“And, clearly, many hard-working individuals are losing their jobs because of cutbacks who want to continue working.
“We will have more properties for tenants and we will give an opportunity to people to start up a franchise with us for a minimum investment backed by the expert accountancy and legal team at Contempo.”
Glasgow-based Contempo, set up in 2007, is one of the very few franchisors based in Scotland in any industry sector.
Under its franchise offer, its new offices – known as territories – come in with a starting price of £15,000 rising to just below £20,000 for “super” territories such as those in the Edinburgh area.
And although, Contempo has only released territories in Scotland so far, extending its reach into England is not being ruled out.
“The initial investment for franchisees is low as there is no immediate need for premises or staff as Contempo offers a central office to handle client accounts and legal issues,” said Carolyn.
“We believe this helps the franchisee to be profitable more quickly.
“We are an ambitious company with plans and opportunities and we have high hopes of building a major network of Contempo offices all over Scotland.
“While this is under way, we will consider how we could maybe develop a presence in England.”
The Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) recently reported that demand for rental property would continue to outstrip supply for much of 2011 and into next year with almost four in ten ARLA offices believing that more private landlords will enter the market over the next 12 months.
“As a result, the full management service we offer landlords including marketing, credit checks, references, inspections and so on is crucial for the protection of their property and also of their tenants,” said Carolyn.