Providing much more than just ‘beer and BBQs’ is imperative for the modern day real estate franchisor looking to attract younger principals, a senior industry executive has said.
Tony Brasier, managing director and chairman at PRDnationwide, told Real Estate Business in an extended interview that franchisors must up their game in order to remain viable, a message the Colliers International-owned group has taken to heart as it seeks to improve its own franchise platform.
He said this was particularly relevant at the moment as an increasing number of principals aged over 50 – which make up a majority of franchisees – begin their march towards retirement in the next five years.
“These days, in the franchise world, the ‘older’ franchisors are very reliant on the personal relationships they have with their franchisees,” Mr Brasier told Real Estate Business.
“The bridge we’ve got to get across is the new young breed getting into the market wants systems, technology, processes – they’re not so interested in having a beer and a BBQ. They are more interested in what you have to offer them.
“We’ve done a lot of work this year on growing a new franchise platform all about technology, training, marketing and research, and setting a really strong base for those four components.
“We have put together a new marketing and polished brand exercise; we’re probably halfway through that process and should finish midway through the next year. We’ve got new corporate websites, we’re rolling out new office websites, and we’ve put together a new IT platform for all offices – a CRM platform.
“On the training front, we’ve installed some structured training for different levels of the business, and we’ve refreshed and modernised the research side of things.”
Mr Brasier said the 120-office franchise network would focus on building its presence on the country’s east coast.
“We don’t think we need to go too far afield to grow the business in terms of number of offices – we’ve been happy to grow the office [numbers] on the east coast,” he said.
“There’s huge potential to grow the offices that we’ve already got, and then it will be about where we can get growth … to compliment the good offices we’ve got. My game plan is to put together the platform and the systems, and if this is done well enough, we’ll get people wanting to join us. I would like to think by the time we finish this process, we’ll have people knocking on the door.”