Celebrating 10 Years as a Concept Franchise Partner

For a decade now, Colin has been a shining example of unwavering dedication to customer service. His commitment to helping people is truly inspirational and deserving of recognition.
Colin started as an apprentice diamond setter, moving up to the position of Marketing Director, and finally establishing himself as a successful franchise owner.
Recently, Rebecca Dean, the Head of Franchise, sat down with Colin to learn more about his experiences. In this interview, we will delve into his story and find out why being a Concept franchisee is such a personally fulfilling career.
Rebecca: Can you tell me about your work history before joining Concept?
Colin: Of course. I began my career as an apprentice diamond setter in Hatton Garden until I was 20. After that, I worked as a double-glazing salesman, going door-to-door. Following that, I moved to Spain in 1989 to sell timeshares, which was an emotionally-driven type of sale.
Upon returning to the UK, I met my wife Sophie, and we’ve been together for 33 years. We have two daughters who are both in their 30’s. I resumed my career in the window business in the early 1990’s and worked for a rapidly growing UK company. I was promoted to Marketing Director in 1996, where I managed a team of over 500 people.
Rebecca: That’s quite an accomplishment. What did you do after that?
Colin: Later on, I started an IT training business that provided online and in-person training. In 2006, I met Bernie, who has over 40 years of experience in the trades. Together, we set up a successful business called We Buy Gold. We knew it wouldn’t last forever, so we started looking at franchises.
Rebecca: What attracted you to the Concept franchise?
Colin: We looked at many other franchises, but Concept was an ideal match for Bernie’s building experience and my marketing expertise. In early 2013, I went to the Head Office and met with Mike, Andy, and David from the Concept support team, who are still there today.
I’ve learned a lot from my varied experiences, and it’s helped me to adapt and be flexible in different situations. It’s also given me a unique perspective on business and customer service, which has been invaluable in my career.
Rebecca: Tell us more about the role as a franchise partner.
Colin: We take great pride in providing exceptional support to our customers during their toughest times. Our Concept service involves presenting building insurance claims, negotiating with insurers, and project managing the property repairs. We have countless stories where we have helped customers receive fair settlements from their insurers and restore their homes after a disaster. We believe in going above and beyond to make a difference in people’s lives.
A recent example of a claim we have worked on is for a lady in her 80’s who had experienced severe water damage throughout her home. However, her insurance company only offered £10,000, which was not enough to cover the cost of repairs. We estimated that the total cost would be higher and were confident in our ability to negotiate. After several meetings with the insurer, we were able to secure a settlement of £45,000 plus VAT, which allowed us to fully restore her home. In another case, the insurer offered only £3,000, but we were able to negotiate a settlement of £13,000. These are common situations that we deal with every day.
Rebecca: What do you love most about your role as a Concept franchise partner?
Colin: I derive immense satisfaction from helping my customers in their fight against insurance companies to ensure that they receive the rightful compensation for their claims. This enables us to effectively restore their residential or commercial property to its original state. Currently, I am handling a claim worth £180,000 and have observed that loss adjusters tend to be more accommodating with claims exceeding £100,000. However, when it comes to smaller claims, insurers often quibble over every single penny.
Rebecca: What does your working week look like?
Colin: I have my work schedule down to a fine art, which gives me flexibility. On Mondays, I am usually occupied with calls, emails, and scheduling meetings. On Tuesdays, I visit policyholders, inspect the progress of new claims, organise files, and get updates on claims. On Wednesdays, I wake up at 4 am to attend BNI networking events. I have been going for 10 years, built great relationships, and met many great professionals. This leaves me feeling exhausted, so when I get back home, I have an easier afternoon.
Thursdays and Fridays are for dealing with whatever tasks come up. However, I do try on these days to take my wife shopping and out for lunch or I play a game of golf. I have managed to schedule my work this way over the years with the help of Bernie. Sometimes, you have to decline work requests.
I don’t find the business to be particularly challenging, but it requires a strategic approach as if you were playing a game of chess with insurers, moving pieces to achieve your goals. I can’t say anything is difficult, but I don’t particularly enjoy drafting out the schedules of works.
Rebecca: Based on your experience, what core skills and attributes do you need?
Colin: To be able to effectively argue against loss adjusters, it’s important to possess a unique combination of qualities. A compassionate nature is essential to understand customers’ needs and concerns, while a fighting spirit is necessary to stand up for your customer’s rights.
Rebecca: What are your plans for the future?
Colin: Currently, I have enough work for the next 5 months. I am in the process of downsizing my property portfolio. However, I don’t plan to retire anytime soon. I will keep working until my health stops me. My hobbies include playing golf and being a part of the Free Mason community. I also enjoy spending time with my family. I am satisfied with my current work life balance and income, and at my age (mid-60s), I will only retire if it becomes necessary because of my health.
Rebecca: Would you recommend the Concept Claim Solutions franchise?
Colin: Yes, I would recommend the Concept franchise due to its excellent support team. Even though I don’t need much support, the benefits I receive from the fees are still worth it. If you have the necessary drive to help your customers, I highly recommend joining the Concept franchise.
Colin’s is a testament to the fact that persistence and hard work can help one achieve their goals and make a positive impact.