The 3 Strategies We Used to Open 24 New Real Estate Franchises in Just One Year
Whether in the real estate industry or an unrelated field, the formula is the same: Combine the right people in the right places with unparalleled support and resources.
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There's no better feeling than creating a business model so innovative and successful that others just have to be part of it. And not just any part: they want to invest under its umbrella and bring your vision to their respective marketplace. I'll never forget how it felt to hear real estate professionals I respect say, "We want in. We don't just want to work at The Agency (a global and billion-dollar real estate brokerage), we want to own a piece of it."
Creating an industry-disrupting business — then making it scalable and repeatable — is a dream come true for any entrepreneur, but how do you go about doing that? How do you continue to foster growth from a franchise perspective?
When we founded The Agency, we were a group of real estate agents frustrated with the state of our industry and tired of competing with our colleagues at the next desk. Fortunately, we had a clear vision of the kind of collaborative, boutique working environment we wanted to create for ourselves, our fellow agents and clients, and there's one thing we grasped quickly: The key to growing as a franchise operation is never forgetting how and why you started. We currently have 70 offices and counting (24 opened in 2022 alone), and through every step of growth, we've stayed true to the original vision and service structure.
The first focus has always been — and continues to be — our people. Who you invite into your circle impacts so much of business, from productivity to morale, culture to reputation. And when it comes to franchising, of course, it's essential to partner with professionals you align with and respect.
Related: 7 Tips for Managing Your Real Estate Business Like a Pro
We like to refer to our independently owned offices as global partners, rather than "franchises." They don't just gain access to our branding and business model; they are brought into our community on every level. For example, we don't have separate corporate meetings and franchise meetings but come together as one global community to advance the business. When your partners sense this inclusivity and feel they are part of something special, they often become your biggest brand ambassadors.
After this "who" comes the "where" and "when." Although we choose where we open next based on people first, geography remains a major factor. As we likely all know by now, the key to real estate success is location, location, location: It's imperative to strategically launch offices in new markets that feed an existing network, no matter what business you're in. The reason people choose to franchise with you is the growth they can experience on a local level.
Providing your partners with a global network to tap into — whether for new business, expertise or knowledge — is a key differentiator in fostering growth. And that works both ways: Breaking into a new market allows an existing network to rely on the expertise of your newest franchise partner, and so on. The timing of launches can also have a huge impact, such as debuting in Cabo in time for spring break, or just in time for ski season in the Colorado Rockies.
Related: Become a Franchise Owner in 5 Easy Steps
And finally, there's the "what." What does a partnership with your company provide, as far as tools and services that drive value and elevate the business of potential partners? Over the past 12 months, we've made it a priority to support our global partners with a more comprehensive suite of services. The goal is to cover the entire ecosystem of the home-buying and selling experience and expand that scope to include everything from mortgage to title insurance, warranties to inspections. We did this to help our agents increase the efficiency and speed of the sales process while providing guidance every step of the way.
Additionally, we offer the best staff-to-agent ratio in the industry: 340-plus staff service 1,500-plus agents globally. This allows us to provide boutique, concierge-level service — such as in-house marketing, public relations, technology and relocation divisions — even as we continue to grow. These types of services are essential in a market where clients expect total convenience and rely on agents before, during and after every transaction.
Related: Want Your Business to Grow? Ask Yourself This Question Every Time You Make a Decision.
When strategizing growth from a franchise perspective, whether in the real estate industry or an unrelated field, the formula is the same: the right people, in the right places, backed by unparalleled support and resources. Growth will then come naturally.