There are plenty of women in property who are making a splash in the rental and property sectors.
Last year, to celebrate International Women’s Day, we turned a spotlight onto some of our most successful female franchise owners. This year, we’re showcasing the breadth of female talent we have across our network.
Let’s get to know some of our female franchise owners….
Virginia Chrapkowski, Edinburgh
“We visited the Aberdeen franchise show, did lots of investigative work and eventually decided on No Letting Go due to lower start-up costs and great support”
For Virginia Chrapkowski and her husband, becoming a No Letting Go franchisee provided an exciting opportunity to escape their busy and demanding jobs and allow them to work together.
Since becoming owners of No Letting Go Edinburgh, the business has been going from strength to strength. While learning to run a business first came as a big change, with our support, they were soon managing hundreds of properties.
Sam Botha, Crawley
Having worked in the entrepreneurial industry for 15 years, Sam and her husband decided to take on the No Letting Go Crawley branch in 2017.
Thanks to Sam’s auditing background, she had the skills needed to produce highly detailed inventory reports and takes pride in providing flexible customer service to clients in the local area.
Rachel Farr-Drejer & Sarah Goessens, Bristol North
The No Letting Go Bristol North branch is head up by Rachel Farr-Drejer and Sarah Goessens.
Rachel originally worked as an independent inventory clerk in Bath before coming across No Letting Go and made the switch in 2014 thanks to our user-friendly software. By 2016 she was running No Letting Go’s top performing office, delivering over 200 property reports every month. She even became a finalist in the Woman Franchisee EWIF Awards in 2017!
Rachel now co-runs the Bristol North branch with Sarah Goessens.
Marcelle Ingrouille, Milton Keynes and Bedford
Marcelle Ingrouille is the owner of the No Letting Go Milton Keynes and Bedford. She combines an ‘old fashioned’ approach to customer service with the latest property technology to deliver robust and comprehensive reports.
Leading a team of highly trained inventory clerks, Marcelle is experienced at minimising tenancy disputes and ensuring the moving process goes smoothly.
Claire Parfitt, Portsmouth
Claire has been running No Letting Go Portsmouth with her husband since 2017.
After working as an inventory clerk for a large estate agent in London, Claire made the move to self-employment after moving to Hampshire with her family. With 13 years of experience in the industry, including working for local agents, Claire has made the Portsmouth branch a great success.
Samantha Wilkinson, Preston
Samantha has an impressive 14 years in the property industry and identified the need for a premium inventory service in Preston several years ago. She now runs No Letting Go Preston, providing quality services to landlords, letting agents and tenants in the area.
Alison Hardy, Swindon
Since Alison Hardy and her husband took over No Letting Go Swindon, the branch has one of the lowest percentages of national contract work and the team have won several marketing and customer service awards.
Alison attributes this success to “immense pride in the No Letting Go brand, a lot of flexibility, adaptability, resilience and hard work”.
For Alison, her favourite thing about her job is being responsible for generating her own workload, as well as having the opportunity to work with diverse properties on a daily basis.
Ann Ennis, Walthamstow
With over 45 years’ experience in the property sector, property is a serious passion for Ann. She prides herself on her can-do attitude and professional conduct when representing clients in the marketplace.
Ann became the owner of No Letting Go Walthamstow in 2009, providing highly detailed reports to the local community of property professionals.
Chinthi Ranaweera, Leicester
Chinthi came to property after 20 successful years working in commercial and marketing roles. Ever since completing business school, it was her ambition to one day own her own company.
And as the joint owner of No Letting Go Leicester with Greg Mason, she has achieved her goal!
Chinthi brings her managerial experience to her role, providing professional property services to the surrounding area.
Female Franchisees at No Letting Go
The women mentioned above are just a small selection of the wider pool of female talent No Letting Go is proud to call franchise owners.
Here are the rest of our female owned franchises across the country:
- Joanne Wilsdon, Cambridge
- Debbie Penn, Chelmsford
- Dominique Hall, Bradford
- Gabriella Walters, Barnet
- Margaret Rymill, Basingstoke
- Yosha Hussain, Fulham
- Wendy Yost, Gloucestershire
- Shewana Zaffar, Greenwich
- Moira Hendrickx, Hertford
- Rizwana Rasab, Reading
- Mundeep Grewal, Newham
- Julie Skipp, Tees Valley
- Tracey Hinds-Shelford, Watford and Harrow
Become a No Letting Go Franchisee
Interested in becoming a No Letting Go franchisee? Join the men and women across the country taking control of their career, and find out what our franchise programme could offer you:
- Training and support
- Cutting edge software
- Backing from a well-established brand
- UK wide support network
Take the first step towards career independence and become a No Letting Go franchise today.
How did you first hear about NLG? What was it that appealed to you about them?
The NLG franchise was on a business website called Daltons which I came by in late December 2014. Initially it was the name that appealed to me as it’s a double negative which is usually a marketing faux pas. I liked the fact that it was counter intuitive so thought the company would be original and open to input from a range of different people and ideas. I’ve also done property development on a small scale since 2002, so have experience and knowledge of how the sector works.
Have you owned your own business before?
Yes. I’ve had a bakery and two retail shops in the early 90s. More recently, over the last 15 years, I’ve worked as a self employed business consultant and project manager. I’ve been involved in a range of things from sourcing products for TV shopping channels to helping to set up a local branch of Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food. In the last four years I’ve worked on the launch and promotion of luxury Alpaca and Mohair coats and jackets from Steiff Schulte in Germany, under the Teddy Bear Coats brand.
Obviously taking the plunge into self employment is a big risk, what made you do it?
This actually didn’t pose a huge risk for me, having been self employed for a long time and working from my own office at home since 1999. Most of my work has been customer facing and service orientated so I have a wide ranging skill set which is transferable across different industries. You need to be self motivated and self reliant with an attention to detail. It’s not just being able to do the job; you need to be able to talk to people when you’re out selling yourself and your business. Then there’s the back office function, carrying out administrative duties and accounts. I guess you could say I’m a Jill of all trades!
What have been the biggest lifestyle changes you have noticed since becoming a franchisee?
Having been self employed for such a long time, the changes to my lifestyle haven’t been wholesale. My working week has changed as I will be working at weekends but it is important to be flexible when you work for yourself, especially in the initial stages. I intend to develop the business to the point where I can employ people to work for me so that I can concentrate on expanding my operation. I prefer to be an entrepreneur rather than simply ‘self employed’. There are no plans though to take over the world (yet!), the Yorkshire region is plenty to keep me busy for now!
Is there any particular way you are going about things or is it just a case of hard work and perseverance?
It’s a mix of both really. The key thing is local marketing; it’s all about networking and this can turn on the smallest thing. A phone call, chance meeting, someone leaving and moving to a new company can all generate a lead with the power to transform your business. Businesses like to deal with local suppliers who they feel know their area so this should always be considered a USP of ours. It’s a relationship building exercise and that’s where the perseverance comes in. It is important to not take a knock back as a rejection as you never know where work will come from again in the future. In my own experience, work can come from the most unlikely source. You never know the person’s situation that you are talking to; while you may think they don’t want to know about you, they may just be having a bad day. I don’t take it personally, it’s business not a popularity contest after all!
This month we would like to introduce you to Debbie Chapman who works with Lisa and Lorraine in Quality Control & Training. We are not sure how much of an introduction Debbie needs, given that she has been around as long as we have!
Debbie was already working with Nick Lyons at the time No Letting Go was formed, so we have to cast our minds back quite a distance for life before the partnership. However, there was certainly life before No Letting Go and Debbie says a highlight was the seven years which she worked at the Brands Hatch Racing Circuit.
We’re used to seeing Debbie hard at work every day in the office so she could be excused for enjoying a bit of slow paced relaxation in her own time. As it is, this is very much not the case and instead, Debbie enjoys motorbiking, and gardening as well as working on and holidaying at the Spanish villa which was built five years ago and she has been heavily involved in designing.
We asked Debbie if she won the lottery, what is the first thing she would buy? It came as little surprise that her first choice wasn’t your typical response as she would begin by investing in a new cement mixer for the villa!
Debbie has given blood a remarkable 53 times and also had the glamorous task of managing the winners’ podium at Brands Hatch, which included organising the champagne and trophies!
Photo source: smithsracing.co.uk
We’re delighted to welcome Dave Keogh who joined No Letting Go in January; one of three new franchisees in the North-west in recent months. Dave returned to the UK two years ago having run a successful publishing business in the property sector based for 15 years in California and Florida for the last five. Encouraged to return by his three daughters, who all live in Manchester Dave was initially hoping to secure a business management role.
“I was applying for positions and it was while I was in the Job Centre that I came across a leaflet about Franchise Works, an organisation that helps people raise finance to start a franchise business. I went along to some of the seminars and looked at the kinds of opportunities that were available. No Letting Go was in my top three, given my connections and interest in property and once I learned more about the brand and saw the potential for business in the north-west it was a no-brainer. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m not afraid of business having come from a business background and I see huge potential for NLG’s services in the Stockport area. Being back amongst my daughters and the prospect of building this business – I couldn’t be more excited about life right now.”