Owning the keys: is a franchise right for you?

— Weichert Franchise

Let’s cut right to the chase, and Weichert® will be the first to say it: franchising is not for everyone. With 50+ years in the industry, we know that franchising isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for running a thriving real estate brokerage. But for some, and we see it first-hand year over year, it’s a path that fuels incredible success.

A real estate franchise can offer you excellence in many aspects of the business that are absolutely critical for success these days. Think honestly about your own brokerage, where it is right now, and how you envision its growth. 

How many of these statements would you agree or disagree with?

  • I have a robust onboarding and training system in place to ensure that my agents can hit the ground running.
  • My marketing tools are professional, consistent, and easy-to-access for anyone in the brokerage.
  • I have a successful selling system for my associates to grow their client base and follow up with them consistently.
  • My technology and CRM are up to snuff, and they support a quality user experience for everyone, from my agents to our customers.
  • My brokerage has strong brand recognition that puts me top of mind for customers and for agents when recruiting.
  • My personal growth is never back-burnered because I always have expert coaching and leadership available to me.

If you agree with all or most of the above, then you’re probably doing just fine as an independent brokerage. Stop reading and go straight to our contact us page so you can tell us more about your success story. However—if you’re like most real estate brokers who are finding it hard to do it alone—keep reading. 

Weichert is always in favor of refreshing the fundamentals. These questions about franchising will help you do just that.

What is franchising? A franchise is a business model in which a company (referred to as a franchisor) gives other parties (franchisees) the right to use its trademark to sell goods or services. The legal contract for this arrangement is usually called a franchise agreement. Real estate franchising allows REALTORS® to run their own business but benefit and leverage the  existing brand awareness and resources of a larger company. Traditional franchises usually are comprised of a broker-owner and an office of agents, but the real estate world also has home inspection franchises, property management franchises, and even estate sale franchises. (Source: National Association of REALTORS®)

What’s your investment? The answer can run the gamut, so do your research. Be sure to think about your investment through two of your most important measurement tools: time and revenue. There’s a short-term and long-term view of both. Where will you see the greatest spend? Most likely upfront when securing your franchise. Where will you see the greatest savings? For years to come. As you do your personal number crunching, you may find that the cost of a franchise translates to less time and money spent over time on things like marketing tools, patchwork technology systems, a top-of-the-line CRM system and the associated updates,  training, and personal coaching. 

Franchises don’t operate in a vacuum. They’re meticulously crafted systems for everything from marketing and lead generation to agent training and transaction management. As a franchisee, you inherit these battle-tested strategies, giving you a roadmap for success right out of the gate. You also get ongoing support from the franchisor, including training programs, technology tools, and marketing resources. This frees you to focus on building relationships and closing deals, rather than reinventing the wheel.

What are you buying into? In a nutshell, proven success. You’re buying into an overall brand—and the people behind the brand. With a franchise, you gain instant recognition of a brand that someone may have spent years building. At Weichert, our entire team—from leadership to broker-owners to their agents—has spent the last five decades cultivating trust and recognition, nationwide. Piggybacking on that established reputation gives you an immediate edge. Clients are more likely to choose a familiar brand over an unknown entity, especially in a competitive market. This translates to faster lead generation, easier conversion, and ultimately, greater profitability. And, as a broker, you gain instant access to a network of professionals, colleagues, and industry thought leaders. For many of our broker-owners, this is a driving factor in their decision to franchise with us.

Is the franchise the right fit? A franchise has to make sense on many levels. But one of the most important, less measurable ways, is the culture and fit. Does your vision mesh with the franchise’s? When you know that you and your future franchise are a match made in real estate heaven, then success is sure to follow. How do you get a feel for fit before you sign the dotted line? Ask a lot of questions! Become a reporter/detective and gather intel at every turn. Meet with the people you’d be working with. Talk to some of their franchise owners. If you’re considering Weichert, we value the opportunity to get to know you, too. Contact us to start a conversation.

What network will you have access to? A national franchise connects you to a vast network of agents and brokers across the country. This opens doors for collaboration, knowledge sharing, and most importantly, referrals. If a client in another state needs help buying or selling property, they can be seamlessly referred to you within the network. This expands your reach and client base exponentially, creating opportunities you wouldn’t have access to as an independent.

Is it the right time to join a franchise? Should you seek out a franchise this year? Or start or stick with your own brokerage? These tips can help you determine your answer. There’s also merit in reading our franchise review from last year. It’s a testament to the fact that some advice is timeless. 

For more tips and information on franchising, check out our other blogs.

Ultimately, the decision to purchase a national real estate franchise is a personal one. Weigh the pros and cons carefully in light of your individual goals, risk tolerance, and financial situation. If brand recognition, proven systems, and network power outweigh the limitations on autonomy and the financial burden of fees, then a franchise might be the right fit for you. And remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Do your research, talk to existing franchisee owners, and seek professional advice to make an informed decision that sets you up for long-term success in the competitive world of real estate. 

Get in touch with us to learn more about how a Weichert affiliation can help you accelerate your success in a competitive landscape. In addition, you can request our franchising guide to read up more in your own time.

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