For anyone considering investing or working in property full time, a property franchise might be a very good idea. There are many different types of franchise that specialise in property, from repairs and maintenance to estate agency.
Property is one of the biggest industries in the UK, worth billions of pounds a year, and a key source of private investment. With so many property owners keen to protect their investment, property franchises are very popular and often very successful.
As with most other franchises, there are two major costs associated with purchasing a property franchise. These are the up-front fee and the set-up costs. In addition, you may well be expected to pay an annual royalty fee for the continued use of the branding and trademark agreements.
The up-front fee covers the cost of taking out a franchise agreement, along with initial use of branding materials, sales support, location support and more. The other initial costs may include equipment, transportation and others.
Types of property franchise
Within the world of property, there are plenty of different franchise opportunities available.
Estate agents – Representing both vendor and purchaser in the sale of houses, estate agents are an integral part of the property market, providing the grease between the wheels that keeps the whole thing moving. An estate agent franchise gives you the opportunity to position yourself in the market with an established name and branding behind you.
Repairs and maintenance – With so many rental properties in the UK, there is big scope for some large repair and maintenance contracts. This could include anything from general work, such as mowing lawns and guttering, to more specialised jobs such as repairing sash windows.
If you are able to secure large contracts with the support of your franchisor, then this can be a very lucrative area to invest in. It’s working as part of a franchise that gives access to contracts that might otherwise be hard to come by.
Building work and conversions – It’s possible to add value to a home by converting existing space or adding extensions to the footprint. This involves having experience in building and understanding the UK building codes and regulations.
Investment – As part of an investment franchise, you will be assisting investors who are trying to put their money into property. You will source potential properties and take care of all the legwork so that their investment is sound and in place. You will help investors to build up property portfolios and manage these over time.
Conveyancing – This is the process through which all the legal matters pass when buying a property. Buying into a conveyancing franchise positions you in the marketplace as an established and trusted presence, rather than trying to do it for yourself as a new business. You also benefit from the experience and knowledge base of the franchisor.
Inspections – Properties are regularly rented out and left vacant by tenants. In these instances, landlords need to know and tenants need to prove that they have upheld their agreements. Property inspectors are independent consultants who carry out impartial inspections to assess whether this has happened. There is also scope for building inspectors to ensure that any building project meets legislation and code.
This is just a small selection of the available types of property franchise but reflects some of the main opportunities. More innovative types of building franchise are developing all the time.
Why choose a property franchise?
With so much potential in the property market, why invest in a franchise rather than going it alone? It’s a question that many people ask, but the benefits of franchises are very clear.
Property, to a large extent, is about understanding the market and how it works. As part of a franchise you are in a network of experience and contacts that gives you an immediate advantage over independent businesses. From day one of operations, you will have access to sales support, marketing and trademarking that are recognisable, as well as training. These resources are invaluable when you are trying to start your business.
Choosing a franchise
First, it’s worth thinking about what kind of property franchise would be most suitable for you. With such a broad spectrum covering a range of industries, it’s important to work in a field that interests you or plays to your existing strengths.
It is also important to ask the right questions and carry out the necessary due diligence before signing the franchise agreement. This involves talking to existing franchise owners and asking to see financial records covering the last several years. You should also obtain records from the franchisor and assess whether there are any discrepancies.
Find out about the competition and whether any support or guarantees will be given in terms of location. As a franchisee, you should have rights regarding your geographical market area.
You also need to fully understand the restrictions that are included in your agreement. This may place some limits on business practice, as well as your use of branding.
Only when you are sure that all the terms of the franchise agreement are suitable should you consider investing. However, make the right choice and you could be setting yourself up for a very secure financial future. Property franchises are a great way of establishing yourself in a crowded market place without having to do all the time-consuming legwork associated with start ups and new businesses.
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Source: Franchise UK