Birchover plans expansion after record-breaking quarter

Birchover Sales and Lettings are actively looking to expand after shattering all previous records in the first quarter of 2018. The business is led by husband and wife team Carl and Lisa Bridge and they have exciting plans for the future following a stellar start to the year.

Boosted by being the sole Nottingham agent selling apartments at Nottingham student development The Laceworks, Birchover have already generated more revenues in 2018 than in the whole of 2017. Other significant sales include a large land deal in Birmingham and numerous other house sales in Derby.

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Carl Bridge explains the positive impact this has had on the business. “All 222 apartments at The Laceworks sold within 10 weeks and on one January day alone, we achieved revenues equivalent to 80% of our 2017 total revenues. This has made other developers sit up and notice.

We are in advanced talks with developers in Derby, Nottingham, Birmingham, Manchester and East Anglia to represent them on similar deals. Our purchasers for The Laceworks were from as far away as Singapore and Brazil, so we now have an active bank of investors looking for similar deals and this appeals to the new developers we are in discussions with”.

The rapid growth has enabled Birchover to look at growth by acquisition too. As Carl states, “We have been in serious negotiations with three separate lettings agencies in the East Midlands, but not quite managed to agree a deal yet. We are actively looking to purchase letting agencies – especially in Derby and Nottingham – and this is a core part of our growth strategy. We have the funds, infrastructure and team ready and able to integrate another business into our own and have made significant upgrades to our software in readiness for the rapid expansion”.

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Lisa Bridge is keen to convey the message that any newly-acquired business must have the same ethos and quality standards as Birchover. “We work very hard to ensure that all our lettings properties are lovely homes which people want to live in and which landlords are proud to own. Our new Head of Property now accompanies the marketing team when assessing all new properties. We will only take them onto our books if they are in pristine condition or if the landlord commits to ensuring any improvements are made prior to us marketing the home. The lettings agencies we have been talking to do share this passion too, which is the only reason that we entered into discussion with them. Maintaining this high standard for all the homes we represent is very important to us and ensures that tenants will be confident that Birchover homes will be of good quality and well-maintained. And landlords of existing properties have welcomed the feedback we have given during mid-term inspections to enable them to upgrade the quality of the homes they own”.

Returning to the appetite for expansion, an area of particular interest for the business is representing house building companies to sell new developments and apartment blocks. Birchover already work with regional house builder Keepmoat across numerous sites in the Midlands and are also marketing the Oaklands development with Meadowview Homes on Duffield Road in Derby. Also on Duffield Road, Birchover are the sole agent marketing the forthcoming Kings Crescent development of 40+ apartments and two town houses, whilst they are the sole letting agent marketing 40 apartments at Birchover House. And in Manchester, Birchover are selling apartments in four stunning city centre apartment blocks called Axis, Downtown, Oxygen Tower and Manhattan.

Carl continues “We have been blessed to work with developers who are very forward-thinking, organized and who have a genuine passion to build great-looking, high-quality homes and apartment blocks. This has attracted investment both locally and from around the world. We love the thrill of being involved at the start of the development and seeing them rise out of the ground. We’re hopeful and confident that our ongoing discussions will lead to even more exciting opportunities and we would love to hear from developers interested in working with us”.

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Birchover recently agreed a deal to become a Platinum Partner with the Derby-based charity Me and Dee. Birchover will contribute £100 for each house sale made within a Derby (DE) or Nottingham (NG) postcode – the two key areas from which Me and Dee send life-limited children and their families on holiday to their caravan in Mablethorpe. For this reason, Carl and Lisa are keen to ensure that the business continues to grow strongly on it’s home patch and Lisa cannot wait for the announcement of the March sales when Birchover share their sales figures with Me and Dee. “The charity does such great work and deserve all the support they get. Maria Hanson MBE is a tremendous driving force and we look forward to sharing our first month’s figures with them in early April”.

Carl has the final word, explaining the impact that Lisa has had in returning to the business. “Lisa and I always worked brilliantly together when we started our journey at Birchover back in 2009. Lisa returning full-time to the business at the start of February has had a phenomenal instant impact. Our operations and customer service side is running so much more smoothly and that has given me the confidence to go and win such big deals. We have a solid platform for growth and a highly-motivated team ready to take on the new opportunities coming our way”.