Viewing by month: June 2010

Publicity tips to help grow your real estate business

It can be a little bit frustrating to read articles about real estate in your local paper where other agencies quoted as experts on the issue.  Your office knows just as much about the topic, perhaps even more, why were you not approached?

The fact is that the publicity resulting from appearing in a media story can be hugely valuable for your business; however you often need to be proactive to achieve it.  Publications and journalists will most likely approach those people with whom they have an established relationship for comment, even if another expert source exists. 

Being proactive to achieve publicity doesn’t need to be hard.  The simple act of reading a paper, locating a property editor or journalist, introducing yourself and inviting them out for a coffee could be the starting point of a mutually beneficial relationship.  Let this person know that they can call you at any time for quotes or comments and then pick up the phone if they call. 

Opinion letters to your local papers are also a good way to get noticed.  Not only will this catch the attention of the publication’s editor, who chose to run your opinion in the first place, it will also portray you to readers as a local business person who takes a personal interest in issues that affect the community. 

Journalists are often on the look out for story ideas.  Putting out media releases regularly, like the ones CENTURY 21 provides for its franchisees, can help to place you as a good story source for journalists.  They will often come to expect your releases as feedback to issues of importance to the community.  Even if the releases are not used, you are effectively positioning yourself as a great contact, who is abreast of the goings on of real estate industry, for journalists.

 Local publicity need not be limited to newspapers.  By placing a call to your local television or radio station and offering yourself for comment or providing story ideas, you may find yourself appearing in all different types of mediums.  

Yours and your agency’s media appearances don’t necessarily have to be related to real estate.  Your support for local sporting clubs, school events and charities will ensure that you are seen as a community-minded business, while also giving your agency the enjoyment of contributing to your local area. 

It is often in the nature of publicity to create a snowball effect.  The more you are seen in the media, the more you could be approached for your expert comment.  If you make sure to keep your messages consistent and considered, you could come to be seen as an expert in the real estate industry, and a go-to person whenever comment is required. 

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 29/06/2010 at 4:59 PM | Categories:

Are your marketing tools working for your real estate business?

Marketing often represents a ‘catch 22’ for real estate franchisees.  As selling properties and interacting with clients is your main game, understandably, marketing efforts can sometimes take a backseat.  However, it is the effectiveness of these marketing efforts that helps to drive your business in the first place, thus they are important to consider for any organisation. 

Keeping your marketing efforts fresh and up to date can definitely help to serve your business well.  The aim of this blog is to explore various marketing tools and see if they can be used (or improved) to your advantage. 

Paper Flyers
It can sometimes be useful to compare your real estate flyers and brochures to those of other companies.  You would like yours to stand out, but often they can be very similar in look and feel to that of your competitors. 

A simple way to improve your flyers is to print on a better quality paper.   Another method is to reduce the amount of text on the page – this often helps the most important words to stand out. 

Online Presence
Studies show that the first place people now look to for information is the internet.  This makes it important for your website to stand out and to provide helpful information.  In addition to a website, activities such as blogging can set your franchise apart from the competition.  A well-written, insightful blog on your local area, or commentary on current issues such as interest rates and their impact on housing, often help to position you as an agent with knowledge and expertise. 

Sending mass emails to a database offers another way to get noticed as well as overlooked.  Some people literally receive over fifty emails a day – why not just delete yours? If you take the time to make your messages a bit different, people could come to expect them and not click delete as easily.  Things like including an interesting real estate statistic or quote may appeal to your readers. 

With new technologies being released with increasing frequency, it can be hard to determine which are the best suited to your franchise.  But taking the time to utilise appropriate tools in your marketing efforts is often worth the effort. 

Innovative tools such as CENTURY 21’s Smartbook can help your agency in a variety of ways.  Smartbook gives you the ability to prove to your clients that you are savvy and ahead of the game, and can also help make your life easier too.

When it comes down to it, there are many marketing tools that can be incorporated into your business, including the ones just discussed and countless others.  Such options could be those where effectiveness has been proven already, or new methods that embrace innovative technology.  Try to market to your advantage and take the time to update your efforts regularly – you could be very surprised by how beneficial this can be to your business.   



2 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 28/06/2010 at 10:17 AM | Categories:

Are you Franchise Material?

For any real estate agent who would like to own their own business, buying a franchise could be an ideal option.  Joining the CENTURY 21 franchise network, which provides franchisees with education and training programs, state of the art technology, unique marketing initiatives and fantastic awards and recognition programs, has the potential to be a very rewarding move. 

Just like any major investment decision, before entering into a franchise arrangement you must ensure that the purchase of a CENTURY 21 franchise is right for you.  Taking some time to consider your personality type, how much time you wish to commit and your level of experience, will help you to determine how suited a CENTURY 21 franchise will be to your situation. 

Are you a people friendly person?
Franchisees must be good communicators.  If you are considering opening your own franchise you will be required to communicate with and manage your own staff, demonstrate sufficient people skills with your customers, successfully negotiate with people when pressured, whilst maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with the team at CENTRUY 21.

Are you a fast learner?
The success of your franchise will be heavily based on your choice of business model.  While CENTURY 21 will assist you with the set up, branding and layout of your office and provide you with ongoing support, the true success of your business will depend upon the diligence of your managers and staff. 

Are you a hard worker?
Franchisees must display a real desire and commitment to make the business work.  Although there are numerous benefits to owning a CENTURY 21 franchise, such as instant credibility of reputation and follow-on customers, if you are not willing to work hard for your new business’ success, the franchise may only go so far.  To build upon the CENTURY 21 reputation you will need to employ a ‘can do’ attitude.

Do you have enough financial stability?
The purchase of your franchise should be seen as a serious financial commitment.  As with any business, it is recommended that you have more than the franchise-prescribed budget placed to cover your living expenses and unforseen costs.

It is true that certain personal characteristics and attitudes can be vital to the success of your franchise.  However the association with a global well regarded brand like Century 21 will give you a running start. Plan well, work hard and enjoy the ride.

If you feel that a CENTURY 21 franchise could be the best move for you, please contact Franchise Development on (02) 8295 0600.

0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 23/06/2010 at 10:02 AM | Categories:

Following the Franchise Code of Conduct

For any real estate business considering joining CENTURY 21, or any other real estate franchise, it is essential to have a clear understanding of the legalities involved in the process.  Knowing that all the proper legal requirements have been followed will help you to easily get on with what you do best – selling real estate!  

When establishing a franchise relationship, it is important that both the franchisor and franchisee comply with the Franchising Code of Conduct (the code), so as to maximise the benefits for all parties involved.   

The Franchising Code of Conduct is a mandatory industry code of conduct that enforces the law under the Trade Practices Act 1974. This code aims to regulate the conduct between both participants to ensure they are sufficiently informed prior to entering a franchise agreement.

Before you can benefit from owning your own CENTURY 21 franchise, according to the code both the franchisor and the franchisee will need to comply with the following four elements:

1. There must be written, oral or implied agreement between the franchisor and the franchisee

2. The franchisor must grant the franchisee the right to carry on the business’s existing marketing plan

3. The franchisor must grant the franchisee material association with the CENTURY 21 trademark, advertising or commercial symbol

4. The franchisee must pay the franchisor an agreed amount in return for the aforementioned rights and usages.

Since 2008, the Australian Government has implemented changes to the code increasing the transparency, timelines and quality of disclosure for existing and potential franchisees. Under the revised code within 14 days of entering into the franchise agreement or non-refundable payment, the franchisor must provide the prospective franchisee with:
- A disclosure document
- A copy of the Franchising Code of Conduct, and
- A copy of the franchise agreement in the form it is to be executed.

Once you sign the franchise agreement you will be legally bound to its terms and conditions. It is therefore recommended that you seek legal, accounting and professional business planning advice before committing to the purchase of your exciting new venture. If you do decide to terminate the franchise agreement, you are entitled to so within a seven day cooling off period.

There are some distinct advantages to owning a franchise.  This type of business structure will give you a greater sense of security, open larger business networks, and grant you exclusive access to CENTURY 21’s planning, management, marketing and product skills, and external assistance.  And very importantly, your company will instantly be associated with the success of a reputable brand.

CENTURY 21 proudly upholds its responsibility to educate its franchisees to act appropriately within the guidelines outlined in the code.  For further details or inquires please contact our Franchise Development team on (02) 8295 0600. 



0 comments | Posted by George Tarbey on 01/06/2010 at 10:40 AM | Categories: