##Century 21 UK Grants 21 New Franchise Agreements in 2014
CENTURY 21 UK, the fastest-growing estate agency franchise in the UK, has announced it finished 2014 in record-breaking style having granted agreements to open 21 new franchise offices during the course of the year.

The 21 new offices exceeds CENTURY 21 UK’s previous record for new office agreements by some margin and represents a significant period of development and growth for the business following the acquisition of the licence by parent company, Shepherd Direct Ltd, in April 2013.

Throughout the course of 2014 CENTURY 21 UK focused strongly on the London agency market with 16 of the new franchisees being appointed within the Capital.

The business was also buoyed by existing franchisee owners establishing new offices within new regions. The owner of CENTURY 21 Halifax, Roger Claughton, opened a new office in Salford, while the owners of Liverpool South, Dan Pennington and Ian Ambrose, opened new premises in Liverpool North.

Both businesses will benefit from Shepherd Direct’s recent deal with Sigma/Gatehouse Bank to build over 6,000 new rental properties across the country, with the first tranche of homes built on sites in the North West. CENTURY 21 agency offices will be handling tenant selection for these properties.

The 21 new CENTURY 21 UK franchisees which are either already established, or will be opened, are in the following areas: Battersea, Birmingham North, Blackheath, Blackhorse Road, Borough, Bromsgrove, Chiswick, Dagenham, Elephant & Castle, Finchley, Fulham, Harrow, Greenwich, Golders Green, Goodmayes, Ilkeston, Isle of Dogs, Islington, Liverpool North, Londonderry, Queensbury, Salford and Sloane Square.

CENTURY 21 UK’s new office numbers for the year suggest that the UK business is in the top 10 for CENTURY 21 globally and the second-fastest growing operation in Europe.

The new offices are a combination of new franchisees coupled with an increasing number of existing businesses rebranding their existing identity to CENTURY 21 UK in order to secure a more widely recognisable brand identity.

CENTURY 21 UK has been quick to stress to potential start-ups that, while desirable, property market experience is not absolutely necessary in order to operate a successful agency. CENTURY 21 UK provides full support to all new office owners from finding and kitting out new premises to sales and marketing training.

Rob Clifford, Chief Executive of CENTURY 21 UK and Group Commercial Director of Shepherd Direct Group, said:

“2014 was a significant year for the business following the signing of 21 new franchise agreements. This makes us a considerable player in our marketplace and the fastest growing agency franchise in the country. CENTURY 21 UK is a nationwide operation however a key focus during the year was the London market and we were therefore delighted to have secured franchise agreements for 16 new offices within the capital during the last 12 months.

“Our aim now is to continue this level of recruitment and to continue to market our offering and brand to the many entrepreneurial individuals who are seeking a quality partner to make the most of this positive marketplace. While experience in the property market might be desirable, it is not mandatory, and we are looking to work with entrepreneurs who can sense and develop the opportunities that are currently available. In this regard we are also particularly pleased to see existing franchisees prospering within the Group and opening additional offices in new regions in order to grow their own propositions.

“The further good news is the growth of our UK business set against the global operation suggests we are in the upper quartile of all 77 operating countries and one of the most successful operations in Europe. Here in 2015 we are keen to continue the pace of our development and to add to the range of support we offer franchisees – the UK property market remains a very solid, attractive sector and we can certainly help those wanting to create an agency which focuses on quality and service.”
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