Jayson and family emerge from tough times to celebrate amazing success
Jayson Wicks’s story is one of making the very best of a difficult situation.
Having completed his first independent agency acquisition early in 2023, Jayson’s Parkers branch in Chinnor, Oxfordshire, is going from strength to strength.
But six years ago, when he took on the office, it was a case of acting quickly after a tough change of circumstances for his family.
“The branch was previously owned by my uncle Mark,” says Jayson, who is The Property Franchise Group’s youngest sole franchise owner.
“He’d run the business alongside my auntie Clare since 1995, so it’s been in our family for almost 30 years now.
“Unfortunately, he fell ill suddenly in 2016 and we had to act quite quickly, so I took a sabbatical from my London estate agency job and ran the business for them while he recovered and they adjusted to what had happened.”
What started as a six-month sabbatical quickly became permanent for Jayson, whose career had started in nearby Thame before his role with West London-based agency Aston Rowe.
“Initially, I thought I’d be here for six months to help stabilise things while Mark and Clare adapted, but we decided I’d buy the branch and continue to run it as the new franchisee,” reflects Jayson.
“That was almost seven years ago and I certainly reflect on it as the best thing to have happened to me in the worst of circumstances.”
Having worked in the capital for an independent agent, Jayson was initially sceptical about operating under a franchise.
However, he quickly came to reap the benefits on offer.
“Initially, and naively, I wasn’t too keen on working in a franchise as I’d been used to working in agencies where the brand and name was above the door,” he says.
“But quite quickly I came to realise that when you’re the owner as well as the estate agent, you’re very limited on time.
“So, having the franchisor in the background doing the branding and marketing and supporting us is an absolute blessing.
“It works well for me as I’m still an estate agent who is very hands-on despite owning the business.
“I’ve found that I don’t have to worry about tasks like doing leaflets and designing things because it’s all there in the background.
“I can just get on with being an estate agent.”
Although Jayson now runs the business, both his uncle Mark and auntie Clare are still involved – Clare specifically running the lettings side of the Chinnor office.
“Clare still works as the lettings manager and Mark is always there with great advice and experience,” smiles Jayson.
“My uncle had a really good reputation, so I was able to come in and work off the back of that reputation built by a family member.
“We’ve been really lucky and worked hard and over the past six years we’ve been able to expand the business – specifically through our recent acquisition of a local letting agent, Andrew Murray & Co.”
The acquisition added a number of managed properties to Jayson’s growing portfolio, as well as the experience of Andrew Murray himself – who is working with Jayson as a transitional consultant while his landlords transition to Parkers.
“Acquisitions are a key strategy for The Property Franchise Group and doing this one has really opened my eyes,” says Jayson.
“They’re stressful and you probably lose a few years and your hairline suffers setting them up in the first few months but the benefits are already showing.
“I’d definitely look to do another one in the future but for now we’re focused on transitioning Andrew’s portfolio into the business and making sure everyone is happy.
“We may also look at opening another office in the future and being part of the franchise certainly gives us great options for that.
“It’s been an amazing few years and we’ll be working hard to ensure we continue to be a success.”