Advice and Opinion

Operating under a national brand greatly increases an estate agency's chance of success

A survey undertaken by Wayne Albutt, Western Cape Regional Sales Manager for the Rawson Property Group, of all residential franchises in that group has shown that on average principal estate agents running an independent estate agency who convert to one of the big national brands increase their sales by 50% within 18 months.

Similarly, the chances of success for those who work for an independent estate agency also increases when joining a larger regional or national brand.

It is also a misconception that all efficient and professional estate agents have what it takes to become a successful real estate business owner or franchisee of a recognised brand. However, said Albutt, although training and support (as at the Rawson Property Group where such matters are taken seriously) can and do make a big contribution to the new franchisee’s efforts, certain basic attitudes and skills in the franchisee, or business owner, himself are absolutely essential and crucial to his (or her) long term success.

Listing these, Albutt said that the entrepreneurial franchisee/business owner must have:

· Marketing and sales management skills (a large number of highly efficient people in fact lack these).

· A readiness and an ability to learn, understand and comply with all real estate related legislation.

· An understanding of, and a willingness to adapt to, prescribed franchisor group systems, policies, procedures and technology (especially those which are inherently technical).

· A real service orientated attitude towards the general public and their consumers.

· Skills and ability in leadership.

· Skills in human resource management.

· An ability to identify, promote and manage income generating activities, thereby freeing up the estate agents from unnecessary subsidiary activities.

Although all the attributes listed here are important, said Albutt, the last two are probably the most essential – without them success for the new franchisees is likely to be impossible.

However, he said, good support teams, and franchisors will recognise the weaknesses in a new potential franchisee and will either not accept them or will help and support them, once appointed, to work on and improve their skills.

Those who ‘know it all’ and are convinced that, once on their own, they will ride high and are very often the first to find themselves failing, said Albutt.

“A willingness by both the franchisee and his staff to learn and to go on learning,” said Albutt, “is essential if they are to achieve their full potential.”

“The simple fact that franchisees and their staff are in a continual learning process,” he said, “should serve as a warning to those tough independent members of the public who believe that they can sell their own homes, without outside help, and expect to achieve the same success. This too can be said for entrepreneurs and estate agents who believe that becoming a principal real estate business owner could assure them success.”