In an interview with the Austrian publication Immobilienmagazin Stephan Bruns, Franchise Manager D-A-CH with Porta Mondial AG, talks about the pros and cons of a franchise in the real estate industry, and about what matters when evaluating a system.
Immobilienmagazin: Mr. Bruns, the number of estate agents in Austria joining a franchise system is constantly rising. What makes these systems so successful?
S. Bruns: It is a proven fact that people starting their own business achieve success faster with a franchise. This is primarily because the cost-intensive start-up phase is significantly shortened by taking over a tried-and-tested concept, and the partner can focus faster on his core business – the listing and sale of real estate.
Immobilienmagazin: But for this, in addition to the conclusion fee, the partner also pays you ongoing licence fees. Doesn’t the cost-benefit ratio turn in the individual entrepreneur’s favour at some time?
S. Bruns: The services provided by a franchisor are not only limited to the initial phase. In fact the partner is supported throughout all business operations. Porta Mondial delivers the following services: award-winning estate agency design, a dedicated real estate website with search engine optimisation (SEO), full business stationery with all marketing templates, a web-based IT system with CRM (Customer Relationship Management), support, education and training. As such, it remains a win-win situation for both sides over the long term. We have partners in every phase of growth, from newcomers such as Porta Mondial Wiesbaden which opened in October, to our oldest partner, Porta Mallorquina, one of the market leaders in Majorca. Simply take the success achieved with search engine optimisation: none of our partners could attain that alone with these means. Porta Mallorquina is ranked number one on Google – out of over 4 million search hits for “Majorca real estate”.
Immobilienmagazin: Let’s stay with the fees. Are there other ongoing costs that have to be paid with Porta Mondial?
S. Bruns: No, not at Porta Mondial, and I would like to emphasize that because we are one of the very few franchise systems that insist on absolute cost transparency. In concrete terms this means that there is no supplier commission for the head office, no minimum order quantities for the partners, etc. Everything is cleanly and openly communicated. I can only advise those interested in a franchise to bear this question in mind when comparing systems. What is important is what is left over below the line for the partner, and that is only possible to determine if he calculates all the costs.
Hammer Straße 17
Tel. +49 211 86 81 57 30
Fax +49 211 86 81 57 39
Porta Mondial Franchise Manager D-A-CH
Dipl. Wirtschaftsing. (FH)