Shepherd Direct Buys Century 21 UK Licence

Shepherd Direct Group’s strategy to become a major force in the property services sector takes another bold step forward as it acquires the licence to operate the Century 21 estate agency and lettings brand throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Gibraltar and Isle of Man. The acquisition and growth plan sees the group making a significant seven-figure investment.

The Century 21 UK division joins the group’s portfolio of companies, alongside Direct Valuations, Sesame Bankhall Valuation Services, Shepherd Chartered Surveyors, if I were you Mortgage Brokers, moneyQuest Mortgage Brokers and existing lettings services business, Direct Lettings.

While Century 21 UK currently has a small existing presence in the UK, it is the world's largest residential estate agency organisation with a franchise network comprising of over 7,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices and 100,000 agents in 73 countries worldwide. It’s a truly global outfit with outstanding marketing and brand power.

Shepherd Direct plans to rapidly accelerate the appointment of franchisees throughout the UK with an exciting and bold franchise growth plan, backing the business with their central services in Nottingham. The Century 21 UK operation will immediately work hand in hand with their mortgage broking, surveying and lettings support businesses.

Their corporate relationships will immediately deliver opportunities to the existing Century 21 UK office network, and strategic partnerships will enable new franchisees to earn additional income to support their core business from day one. The group’s aim is to deliver the best training the estate agent industry has to offer, beginning with a dedicated training academy in Nottingham to support their existing franchisees and their associates.

The group and its Executives are no strangers to franchising, having launched and grown Mortgageforce to become the largest business of its kind in the UK, resulting in a multi-million pound acquisition by West Brom in 2005. The Century 21 UK management team will now report to Rob Clifford as Chief Executive. The business will report to the Shepherd Direct Group board, under the Chairmanship of Paul Gratton.

Clifford commented: “We are delighted to have completed this transaction and to be able to get on with our exciting growth plans backed by the World's largest real estate brand. Having innovated by pioneering mortgage franchising in the UK and appointing over 150 franchised outlets, my team and I can't wait to replicate that success with Century 21, but this time we have even bolder ambitions."