Viewing by month: December 2010

Maintaining your Franchise Relationship

Many of the most successful franchisees enjoy a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship with their franchisor.  CENTURY 21 understands the importance of franchisee satisfaction and works to maintain successful franchisee-franchisor connections. 

As a franchisee, maintaining a healthy working partnership with your franchisor does not have to be hard, however there are some factors that can impede the relationship.  These may include:
- Stress
- Financial pressures
- Personality clashes
- Miscommunication
- A lack of respect
- Intimidation and authoritarianism
- A lack of support

It is important for you to be aware of these potential obstacles, and work through them to ensure the continuing health of your relationship. 

As a CENTURY 21 franchisee you are of course operating your own business.  However it can be of comfort to know that you have a strong support network and solid business framework behind your real estate agency.  CENTURY 21 has been operational in Australia since 1989 and has spent over two decades developing, testing and maintaining successful business systems.  Working to maintain your relationship with CENTURY 21 as your franchisor will ensure that you maximise the benefit of these systems for your own agency. 

Successful relationships require clear communication.  Many franchisees find that the key to maintaining a working business and franchise relationship is to openly communicate and ask for guidance and feedback.   With a background of significant experience, your franchisor will have a lot to offer – try to ensure that you make use of it when needed. 

It is also important to remember to maintain not just your relationship with your franchisor, but with other franchisees within your network as well.  These fellow business operators could have a lot to share with you and can be a valuable learning tool.    

In the end, as a franchise operator, maintaining a successful relationship with your franchisor can be a powerful way to ensure the success of your business.  Not only will it make your working life easier, but the knowledge gained from others within your franchise operation can help to improve your business’ productivity and results. 


0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 20/12/2010 at 3:01 PM | Categories:

Attaching the right messages to your franchise

Projecting the right message for your CENTURY 21 franchise is essential. The picture you communicate to the public will shape perceptions of your business and people’s willingness to take up the services you offer.

It is your image which gives you the chance to remain in the mind of the public consumer.  It is therefore important that you associate your franchise with the message that you feel is important for your clientele to attach to your business.  The formation of such messages is usually the result of a mixture of your core franchise values (e.g. dedication to a professional service) with market research aimed at finding out exactly what your customers want and expect.  

In today’s competitive world, building trust with your clients is important for the success of your franchise.  Building trust requires an alliance between your messages and your actions – it is one thing to say that you are committed to a certain value; however for your target market to believe it they must see it in action. 

In the event that your company’s key messages conflict with actions seen by the public, the validity of your values will be threatened, which can be damaging to your franchise’s reputation. 

When reflecting on what new and empowering messages you might like to attach to your CENTURY 21 franchise, start with considering your company’s current corporate and public reputation.  A useful task can often be to identify with your faults – this can often lead to a renewed vision and goals for the year ahead.

When redefining your franchise’s objectives and messages for 2011, it worth noting two simple points.  Firstly send a message that fuses your key values along with what your customers want to hear.  Secondly, represent what you promise.

The best way to project the right images and messages to your public is through efficient means of marketing.  Looking at your services from the customers’ perspective can give you a greater understanding of how your franchise may be seen currently.  It is of great importance that the core marketing messages you develop remain consistent across all marketing material including the tone and content displayed on your website, traditional print media, social media and employee attitudes to the brand.

To ensure such consistency, the messages you wish to portray need to be simple, effective and memorable.

In the end, the best way to ensure that people remember your real estate franchise and recommend your services to friends is to make your messages memorable.  And by reinforcing your key value statements with clear, congruent actions, you should find that the public are much more likely to retain what it is that you stand for. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 13/12/2010 at 9:48 AM | Categories:

Unlocking potential in your employees

As the owner and/or manager of a CENTURY 21 Franchise, it is your responsibility to help motivate staff, both agents and office employees, to work to their full potential. Having hard working and efficient staff in your agency will help your business to run as smoothly as possible and uphold your reputation in the community.

Managers and business owners must be aware of how their actions will be perceived by their employees.  Keeping your head down for instance has the potential to be one of the worst mistakes that the head of a company can make.  In order for employees to work to their capacity, a figurehead is needed in order to provide feedback and guidance.  If you are not aware of or in control of any issues that arise, ignore the daily functioning of the office or refuse to facilitate positive relations with your staff, your business may not deliver the best results that are otherwise possible. 

By heading a real estate franchise you are taking responsibility for ensuring that your agents and office staff are taught and managed in an encouraging way.  Your presence within the business is valuable when unlocking respect and a ‘just do it’ attitude amongst your staff. Considering how important skilled workers are, it becomes important that you play a role in your staff training. 

According to the McKinsey Quarterly, an online journal of business management strategy, companies around the world spend up to $100 billion a year to train employees in the skills they need to improve corporate performance, covering topics such as communication, sales techniques, performance management and operations.  A McKinsey survey identified that only one quarter of respondents felt training programs measurably improved business performance. This statistic alone suggests that it is important for office training programs to be implemented correctly, in order for the full benefits to be passed on to your staff.

As a manager and/or owner you can make sure your training programs are successful by simply following up with your staff after training has taken place to ensure each employee understands how to apply the new skills they have learnt, making your franchise a more efficient place of business.

It can also be a good idea for senior leaders within the franchise to become personally involved in leading training sessions.  This creates an opportunity to reshape the attitudes of staff, whether it is by heightening staff motivation or reshaping mind sets.  You may find that their newly elevated optimism translates to increased sales, an improved bottom line and a happier, more productive workplace.

Senior management are critical in creating motivation, enthusiasm and a drive amongst staff.  As a CENTURY 21 franchisee, it could be very worthwhile to look into how you can help your staff to achieve more, working to their full potential. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 06/12/2010 at 11:36 AM | Categories: