Strength through diversity, and franchisees that have the freedom to manage their own real estate offices form the backbone of Richardson & Wrench as it enters 2013 seeking more growth in NSW and Queensland, its executive director has said.
Talking on the sidelines of the group’s 'Jump Start' training event in Sydney last week, Andrew Cocks told Real Estate Business that their role as a franchisor was to facilitate franchisee growth without necessarily telling them how to run their business.
“That’s an important thing for us in that we have to be really clear on what our function as franchisor is,” he said.
“Our job is not to tell them how to do their business, how to be successful – there are some very successful people we have … our function is to provide them with the tools and support to become as successful as they can. Sure, we can give them guidance that we can impart to them that they’ll find helpful but the real feature for us is to make sure that we’re adding value to the business and helping people profit.”
“That’s one of the features of our group. There isn’t one office that operates exactly the same as everyone else, so we really focus on the individual strengths and challenges of any individual office and try and work with them.”
Richardson & Wrench, which has around 90 offices in its network, finished fifth in this year's Real Estate Business Top 20 Real Estate Groups ranking. In September, the group opened a new office in the inner Brisbane suburb of New Farm, a move R&W group franchise director Peter Flynn said highlighted the confidence the company has in the local market.
“We have enormous faith in the Queensland market, Brisbane in particular,” said Mr Flynn in September. “With increased commercial activity and a general recovery in property prices, we believe we have the right people in place to take advantage of a market that is poised to bounce back."
Mr Cocks said a new information technology (IT) platform is one such franchisee resource that R&W’s head office will be focusing on next year.
“It’s important for us to focus on technology and we’ll be providing a significantly stronger IT platform for the whole group, and really providing a level of flexibility in terms of technology … I think that’s going to provide us with a real point of difference in the marketplace.”
In terms of growth, Mr Cocks said the group will continue to seek opportunities in its core markets of NSW and Qld.
“We’re all about building and growth,” he said. “We’re really focused on growing our core markets which are really NSW and Qld, and we’ve got a particular focus on metropolitan Brisbane and metropolitan Sydney.
“There are some strategies expansion opportunities we’re looking at … and that will be our focus for the next 10 to 12 months.”