Five franchises helping consumers through the real estate process
By Stefanie Ucci
As consumers, it can be tough to make sense of the housing industry. Buyers turn to realtors and real estate franchises to envision their future homes and make sense of complex fees and terms. These five real estate franchises need franchisees who know their local communities to avoid the common pitfalls of homebuying and give prospective homeowners peace of mind in a new space.
Century 21 is a worldwide leader in real estate services and is the largest network of independently owned and operated real estate brokerages. Operating in more than 86 countries, Century 21 provides local market expertise combined with a globally recognized service and strong consumer recognition.
“Century 21 was an early disruptor in the real estate sector, and one of the first to franchise real estate brokerages in the world,” says Todd Shyiak, executive vice president of Century 21 Canada.
Shyiak describes the ideal franchisee as a detail-oriented, driven individual who is passionate about serving clients. They should also have a strong entrepreneurial spirit and excellent interpersonal skills.
Franchisees are set up for success thanks to the brand’s initial training and ongoing support. “We begin with franchisee onboarding, supported through your designated franchise advisor and our franchise operations team of technology expertise and real estate brokerage knowledge,” says Shyiak. After that comes the annual Canadian Management Academy, a five-day in-person business planning and leadership session for brokers and managers.
Franchisees can also expect to participate in ongoing monthly broker manager meetings, annual national and international conferences, awards and recognition events, and more learning opportunities to help foster best business practices and peer-to-peer sharing.
Shyiak’s advice for success is threefold. First, “Leverage the brand’s supports, engage with the tools and learning systems, and promote those across your business,” he says. Second, “Develop an action-based business plan and continually learn from your network peers.” Third, “Identify your key value proposition, ensuring that it aligns with your values and use that message to attract talented agents and grow your business.”
MaxWell Realty is a 100 per cent Canadian-born franchise established in 1999 with headquarters located in Alberta. The brand offers top-end service and a close-knit support group to guide every step of a franchisee’s journey.
When it comes to owning and operating a real estate brokerage, there are two aspects to consider, explains Brad Agnew, director of franchise development. “The first being the business operations, and the second being the regulatory and compliance operations,” he says. “To support our franchisees, we continue to develop our process, support, and training systems for our brokers/owners. We create step-by-step processes to ensure simplified operations and quality across the brand.”
What makes MaxWell Realty stand out in the real estate market? “Access, training, and communication,” says Agnew. “Our goal is to always be the resource or direction to find the right support in any issues they encounter or simply working to develop their business and skills.”
Agnew advises prospective franchisees to really use their network. That could include other experienced franchise owners, support from the company’s head office, training, and other tools the franchise system offers. “Our brokers have decades of experience and are experts in many different aspects,” he says. “Working together and bringing your own skills will help ensure franchisees are able to maximize their potential.”
PropertyGuys.com offers an alternative to traditional real estate agents by empowering homeowners to sell their properties on their own—without an agent. This unique concept offers homeowners choice and cost savings and eliminates commission fees from standard real estate processes.
“Successful PropertyGuys.com franchisees possess key attributes including an entrepreneurial spirit, strong sales and marketing skills, a customer-service orientation, leadership and management abilities, and financial management skills,” explains Ken LeBlanc, CEO of PropertyGuys.com. “These qualities contribute to their success in generating leads, building relationships, providing exceptional customer service, managing teams, and maintaining the financial health of their business.”
LeBlanc notes that the comprehensive training and support for franchisees includes initial and ongoing training and education covering the various aspects of operating the franchise, an operations manual for reference, and access to resources and tools. Ongoing support includes marketing and advertising strategies, lead management, an online platform to foster collaboration, regional meetings and conferences to facilitate networking, and more.
When it comes to advice for prospective franchisees, LeBlanc emphasizes the importance of leveraging the training and support that comes from joining a franchise system. “Attend all training sessions, engage with support staff, and actively seek guidance to learn about the business model and best practices,” he recommends. “Embrace the unique selling proposition of PropertyGuys.com and effectively communicate its benefits to homeowners, emphasizing cost savings and control. Success requires hard work, dedication, and persistence while implementing effective marketing strategies and staying adaptable to increase the chances of success as a PropertyGuys.com franchisee.”
Realty ONE Group
“Modern,” “innovative,” and “technology-driven” are three key words that president Harrison Milborne and CEO Vicki Schmidt use to describe the Realty ONE Group brand. With a unique approach to the traditional real estate brokerage model, Realty ONE Group is built on the belief that real estate agents are entrepreneurs—and should be treated as such. “This means providing them with the tools, resources, and support they need to succeed on their own terms, without the constraints of a traditional corporate structure,” say Milborne and Schmidt.
They add that franchisees with Realty ONE Group reap a list of benefits including: strong brand recognition as the brand has a strong reputation for innovation, technology, and agent support; a proven business model that has been successful in various markets; comprehensive training and support, including initial training and ongoing coaching, as well as the ONE LUXE training program for agents; technology and marketing support to help stay ahead of the competition; and the ONE Cares charitable foundation which supports various causes including education, helping the homeless, and veterans’ issues.
Milborne and Schmidt describe the ideal Realty ONE Group franchisee as someone with entrepreneurial spirit, prior real estate experience, strong leadership skills, a customer service mindset, and proper alignment with the brand’s values. “Realty ONE Group has a strong culture and set of values that include innovation, collaboration, and giving back to the community,” they explain. “An ideal franchisee should align with these values and be committed to upholding them in their business practices.”
With a history that spans more than 110 years, Royal LePage is a full service residential and commercial company. It has 20,000 agents at more than 300 locations across Canada.
“Our special sauce is our people, support, and collaborative culture—our leadership team is entirely based in Canada and available to adapt and assist with anything that the Canadian economy throws at us,” says Courtney Hindorff, senior vice president of business development.
Hindorff explains that the brand’s extensive training includes new franchisee onboarding, hands-on marketing and technology workshops, financial benchmarking to maximize profitability, agent surveys to help monitor brokerage satisfaction, live and on-demand webinars, an online portal for agents, and extensive ongoing training and coaching.
As for potential challenges business owners may face in this industry, Hindorff notes that owning a franchise is hard work. “Many successful real estate agents want to pursue being a franchisee and that may take them away from what got them to where they are and what they are really good at—selling real estate.”
But for those with a desire to go into business for themselves and control their own career destiny, a franchise with Royal LePage may be the ideal way to go. Potential franchisees must have a strong passion for the real estate industry and have strong local knowledge of their communities, Hindorff says. “Partner with a brand that shares common values and offers the best value and support.”
Property Management Franchises
While real estate franchises help people buy, sell, and rent homes, property managers handle the day-to-day upkeep and tenant relations. Here are two franchises that provide property management services.
Royal York Property Management
This property and rental leasing firm offers guaranteed rental income to the 13,000 properties in its network. Royal York Property Management offers its clients 24/7 support, with state-of-the-art technology and superior processes and systems. Currently there are 15 offices in Canada and Europe, and the brand is actively expanding globally. Franchisees benefit from a network of experienced property management experts and service providers, plus marketing support and cutting-edge tech.
Summit Property Group Canada
Summit Property Group Canada offers facility management services, such as landscaping, building maintenance, security, snow removal, and more. The company provides these services to municipal, government, commercial, and public sector facilities. This award-winning franchise is currently expanding across Canada. Franchisees can expect to receive business coaching, marketing advice, comprehensive training, and the support of an established brand.