There is a battle occurring in the Queensland Real Estate market to be the premier brand across franchises. The once dominant brands of Ray White, LJ Hooker, Raine and Horne are now in a fight for supremacy from brands such as Belle, Place and McGrath.
However there’s another battle going on in competition too and that is coming from Independents. A recent article by Real Estate Business said “According to a recent franchising market report, once dominant brands such as Gloria Jeans are losing ground to a grass roots resurgence from local cafes.”
The report suggested shifts in consumer needs and a growing trend towards a more focused, individualised approach to business has seen franchising decline across a variety of sectors in recent years, and according to industry coach and head of the Real Estate Results Network (RERN) Michael Sheargold, real estate is included.
“Nowhere is the decline more prominent than in the real estate sector,” Mr Sheargold said.
He claims the appeal of an ‘individual approach’ is preferred by modern consumers over the sanitised corporate logos and methods.
At REAS we have certainly seen 3 changing trends in recent years. These trends include more agents working from home, more Property Management only businesses and an upward growth of Independent Real Estate Businesses.
A well branded and well marketed independent brand has many attributes to a local community. A negative of Independent branding is the use of the word Boutique. Our feedback is that it confuses consumers of its message, has no meaning and adds minimal value. Consumers have a mixed understanding regarding what Boutique actually means.
Instead of using Boutique in your branding, show value in your message of the attributes of being Independent. It’s your Independence that holds value, not that you are “Boutique”.
The funds saved by being Independent should not be used to reduce fees but instead used for your marketing budget to market your brand, create awareness and attract quality clients and staff.
Franchises however also remain a genuine option for many reasons and you should always keep your options open, complete your research and apply a strategy in line with your Vision, Culture and Brand you feel would best align with those aspects of the business you want to create.