How can a hub improve the way your franchise business operates? This new strategy is helping many real estate agencies to thrive in the evolving market.
There are many benefits when it comes to being part of a real estate franchise. For one, there’s no need to invest in or spend hours working on branding or creating marketing collateral.
Customers already trust franchised brands. They are used to seeing the logo and may have worked with a different branch in another area. In addition, franchise owners and staff have the resources of a national or even global network to tap into.
However, like all business models, an evolution is occurring with franchises as they accept the challenge to stay relevant in today’s market. Many operators are now realising having multiple physical offices is excessive. As a result, a new ‘hub’ model has emerged.
What is a real estate franchise hub?
Great sales agents are always out and about, meeting clients, liaising with providers and attending open homes. Often, they start the day from a home office where they make phone calls and send emails. Despite being in constant contact with their team, they spend little time with them in person.
For this reason, having a physical office can be an unnecessary expense. Why pay a receptionist who will spend most of their time telling visitors there are no agents present? Why have a storefront when the majority of interactions take place online or at a client’s own home?
Some agencies now forgo an office altogether but it does still make sense to have a high-street presence in your district for brand recognition and a feeling of professionalism.
A franchise hub eliminates the need for numerous satellite offices scattered around the suburbs. Instead, there is one central location for clients to visit. This larger office is ‘home’ to admin and sales associate teams. Only one office manager is required, and meeting rooms can be booked and shared between franchise owners.
The benefits of a franchise hub
For franchise owners, joining with other local branches to form a hub can pay off in a number of ways.
Firstly, there is the reduced expense of leasing and running a physical office. Insurance costs go down and you have less stress about meeting your rental payments. There is less responsibility for managing office cleaners and ensuring you have a safe workplace.
The cost of maintaining equipment like printers, photocopiers and IT servers will also be diminished for franchise owners who are part of a hub, putting more profits in their pockets.
The next major benefit is collaboration and sharing. For example, your franchise may not need a full-time admin assistant. You can share one with another agent and split the expense. Both of you will have access to someone who is across the culture, values and standards of the brand.
Crossing paths with your peers more regularly will also serve to improve the way you do business. You can share best practices and workshop ways to boost efficiencies and improve customer service.
Hubs make sense for head office as well. They have fewer branches to work with and it becomes easier to maintain consistency across their brand.
Where a small franchise office can often be basic and even dingy, having a flagship hub allows for more investment into impressive facilities for when vendors, landlords and other clients do drop in. It provides the opportunity for a more personalised customer experience, which can help to further strengthen the reputation of the franchise.
A hub like this provides the opportunity to create an ‘empire within an empire’. There are many pros to the idea and it is definitely worth investigating. Some franchise owners may wish to create a hub with the permission of head office, while others can join a hub at the instigation of the brand itself.
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