Simply Mortgages to start franchise operation

A mortgage broker who launched her business just three years ago is set to franchise the company.

Elaine Kellington set up Simply Mortgages in the bedroom of her home in Kelso on the Scottish Borders. She was formerly at Northern Rock in Edinburgh, which involved daily travel of 100 miles.

Within a year Simply Mortgages had moved into the centre of Kelso. Kellington has decided to franchise the company after being approached by people who wanted to share her success. She is now in a supporting role joined by management consultant Graham Fry, and branches of Simply Mortgages have been set up in Kelso, Eyemouth and Edinburgh.

There are plans a for a new branch in Galashiels in January and five more branches next year. In the long-term Kellington aims to grow the network throughout Scotland and the north of England.

Kellington was recently one of the two runners up in the Outstanding Contributor to Business Award organised by The Association of Scottish Businesswomen.

She says: “As banks and building societies close their offices in towns and rural areas the level of service is being reduced. Simply Mortgages plans to move into these areas to give people requiring mortgage advice more choice.

“Getting the right people is vital for the success of the franchise operation. Franchising gives people the springboard to start their own business, with the advantage of support from the management team, because going down the self-employed route with lots of high and lows can be tough.

“Our approach has to be structured and we have to give the proper support. My learning curve is going off the page as I adapt to the growth of the company. It&#39s not about short-term gain, it&#39s about long-term development in building a worthwhile asset.”