Interview with Bhavik Patel – Franchise Owner of Nicholas Humphreys Portsmouth, Southampton and Wimborne

The Nicholas Humphreys Portsmouth Team

What was your background prior to joining Nicholas Humphreys?

I’ve been with Nicholas Humphreys for four years and prior to that I worked in financial services. I also had several rental properties in Derby that were managed by another agent, but one year a couple of them didn’t rent out and so I approached the local Nicholas Humphreys office. They let my properties for a couple of years without any issues, and this gave me an insight into how a good letting agency operates. When I decided to do something on my own I talked to Nicholas Humphreys directly. I didn’t look at any other franchises, purely based on the experience that I’d had myself.

Are you enjoying being a Nicholas Humphreys franchisee?

I am enjoying being a franchisee very much. My business partners are Priti Kashyap and Tarun Patel and we are happy that the business is doing very well and have no regrets. Southampton was my first office, and that was a cold start.

In 2021 we took on the Nicholas Humphreys Portsmouth office as a resale, and in June 2022 we completed on the acquisition of an independent lettings agency called Harker and Bullman, following the retirement of the previous owner. This acquisition was the first franchisee acquisition since Nicholas Humphreys became part of the Belvoir Group in April 2021, and it added a new territory to the network in Bournemouth and Wimborne and added over 350 properties to our portfolio.


When we did the acquisition for Harker and Bulman the acquisition, the team at Central Office was really good. Belvoir loaned us some of the money to buy the business and we were also provided with access to other lenders who have worked with Belvoir before, which made the process so much easier.

How helpful has the franchise support been?

My background was not in the rental industry and the support I have received since launch and throughout the acquisition has been phenomenal. When I took over the business we were trained and supported throughout all stages of the lettings process, from marketing to viewings, legal issues and compliance etc. I have been with Nicholas Humphreys for five years and of course we are now part of the wider Belvoir Group, which has added significantly to the support we receive. It has also been very helpful for my team across the three offices. They have their own intranet portal which is updated on a regular basis with ongoing changes and key information. They can also access various learning modules if
necessary, which is incredibly helpful.

Now that the Nicholas Humphreys brand is part of the Belvoir Group how has this benefitted your business?

Since Nicholas Humphreys became part of the Belvoir Group there has been a lot more structure and we have really benefited from increased networking opportunities, as well as support with training, compliance and marketing. Belvoir has a dedicated marketing department and that has helped us enormously, as anything we need, they deliver. We also had a new website, as well as new software which makes our lives much easier and helped us to streamline our processes.

Being part of the Belvoir Group is really helping the Nicholas Humphreys brand to grow. Franchisees also have access to Belvoir’s Assisted Acquisition Programme, which has a dedicated team based at Central Office. The Assisted Acquisition Programme helps interested franchisees to grow their businesses by sourcing and researching viable independent agents who are looking for an exit strategy.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering investing in a franchise?

I would say, just go for it! If you are looking into a Nicholas Humphreys franchise, I would advise you to have a look into the demographics of your local area and research the type of lettings portfolio that is currently available. Nicholas Humphreys is predominantly focused on student lettings, so check out the student market in your area and the type of accommodation that is available around there. If you are still interested, book yourself on to a Discovery Day, where you will learn a lot, and will have an opportunity to talk to members of the Franchise Support team and find out whether a Nicholas Humphreys franchise is a
good fit for you.

I have personally recommended several people who are interested in taking on a Nicholas Humphreys franchise, and I think that demonstrates how much I think of the business model.

Describe being a franchisee in three words

Business owner, franchisee, autonomy over how the business operates.

Nicholas Humphreys Logo

If you are interested in finding out what it’s like to be a Belvoir franchisee then read our interview with Ben Davies or if you’re interested in what daily life is like as a Northwood franchisee then read our interview with Deryck Highet.

Whatever the size of your ambition, we have franchise options to suit different circumstances and goals.
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