Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Future of Real Estate Franchising in India

Investing in any business requires the right mindset, planning and a risk taking appetite and when we think about how we had decided of getting RE/MAX in India, we go back to our thoughts of taking this high growth potential industry in India and clubbing it with a global, time tested franchise opportunity. Indian Realty Brokerage is a $6 billion market and we had introduced RE/MAX into India with the aim of professionalizing this industry in order to not only provide better services to the customer but also ensure that we work towards upgrading the status that a “Real Estate Broker” has in the society.  

We all have at some point of our lives come across with a property dealer, whether to buy a property, rent it, or sell it off for ourselves. Most of us perceive the broker to be an unprofessional part-timer opportunist who would either inflate property prices / rentals or make money from the buyer by selling it at a premium or hide vital details about the property which the buyer would come to know only after moving in. But at the same time, real estate brokerage is a highly lucrative business. A good transaction gives you king size commission and that is the reason why everyone wants to add Real Estate as one of their investment portfolios. There is a tremendous business opportunity in the field of Real Estate and with India now becoming a hub of franchisees, a lot of old and established players are expanding their footprints , looking for like –minded people who want to take their business to the next league. With RE/MAX, our vision was to bring in the same level of professionalism in the Indian Real Estate Brokerage industry that exists in the developed countries.
Real Estate Brokerage is evolving as a profession and it is no doubt transforming into a more organized and structured industry, presenting huge opportunities for educated professionals with entrepreneurial aspirations. This thought brings us to the topic that “How Real Estate Franchising works towards growing your business”. Let us just take a look on some key factors relating to the current Real Estate scenario and how as RE/MAX we have tried to make a difference:

Need for a Consulting Professional: With the growing number of people involved in Real Estate and the changing profile of the Real Estate clientele in our country, there is a need for this industry to work better. The customers want to deal with a professional Real Estate Consultant who is presentable and offers quality services along with counseling to help them make the best decision on their investment. The customers want to deal with a trained resource and want to be sure about the credentials of his/her Broker/Agent. In such an environment, RE/MAX helps our Associates to add that assurance that the customer is dealing with a well reputed organization that offers great customer service and experience. The brand definitely plays a very vital role in reassuring the trust in the hearts and minds of the customers.

Revolving Door Philosophy and Unsatisfactory Commission Sharing: In most of the cases, a Real Estate agent is an employee of an organization who gets a fixed salary and a commission of around 10% – 20% on every transaction. In such cases, what happens at the end is that in search of better opportunities and attractive incentives, there is a constant job hopping especially by the educated and qualified professionals who get better pay packages in the next organization they start working for. This leads to the lack of trust in the customers mind about the reliability of the Agent. RE/MAX on the other hands promotes “Entrepreneurship”; wherein the Agent works for himself but not by himself. With RE/MAX, an agent has an opportunity to gain a maximum percentage of the commission. This not only motivates him/her to service the customer to the best of their abilities but also gives an opportunity to earn more worth for his investments in terms of time and effort made into completing the transaction.

Emergence of one-stop-shops: The present day customer looks for an access to maximum number of properties under the same roof as it makes the process more efficient, manageable and more over saves a lot of time that gets wasted in going from broker to broker to find the right property. With the varied profiles of the entrepreneurs associated with RE/MAX, a RE/MAX Broker Office acts as a one-stop-shop for all kinds of leads related to buy/sell/rent/lease along with additional services under the same roof. To offer more convenience to the customers, the Associate can always connect him/her to the fellow Associates in the network to meet the requirements thus making it a win-win proposition for both parties.

Cut throat competition: With a low entry barrier that Real Estate has, we find anyone and everyone doing Real Estate directly or indirectly. Just to gain more business, many agents end up giving discounts to their customers and these discounts impact on the post sales services offered by these Agents. On the same hand, at RE/MAX we train our Associates on getting and promoting “Exclusive Listing and Mandates”. An exclusive mandate not only safeguards the associates time and interest in the listing but also helps in getting the best possible price in least possible time through dedicated advertising and marketing of the listing. Exclusive Mandates have worked beautifully for our Associates as well as customers. The customer does not have to go to any other Broker during that time frame and the Associate dedicates all his resources towards that particular listing.    

Network as Networth: In Real Estate, a good network lets you attract more leads, generate referrals and thus generate more business. The conventional way of doing business within a confined territory has moved to doing of business not only nationally but globally. RE/MAX with a presence in 95 + countries with more than 7,000 offices globally and a network of 100 plus offices in 30+ cities in India, helps our Associates to take advantage of this extensive network. The global referral network of RE/MAX has build networking tools that connects the brokers and the agents all over the world.

Technology innovating the Real Estate Business:  Technology has completely changed the way we operate and has helped us in making our lives easier. Features like an interactive website, mobile apps, search engine optimization, google adwords, social media, tie-ups with property portals etc are some testimonies of the significance of the technology in Real Estate. RE/MAX offers a myriad of services when it comes to technology which has changed the way our Associates operate. With facilities like Contact Database Management Systems, RESAAS, online buyer referral matches, Design Center etc our Associates give their customers an added advantage of giving them options to buy and sell globally. Moreover the Broker Office set up is such that the Associates get every kind of administrative and back end support when it comes to technology so that they utilize their time and resources in doing productive work of closing transactions.  

Real Estate is shifting towards the paradigm of getting more regulated, organized and professional and so have the business practices evolved to match up to this growth. A lot of International consultancies and brokerage firms are paving their way to the Indian realty market and the investors today trust and rely on Real Estate Consultants like RE/MAX when it comes fair dealing, commitment and multiple services under one roof. The new age brokers have begun their journey from being Brokers to Real Estate Consultants and this is what we have been preaching since the time we came to India. We have always been working on building a healthier and cleaner perception of the broker community and in a short time span of 6 years, RE/MAX with its network has been able to build up an image of Honesty, Integrity and Trust as the core value of its Associates.  

To organize the Brokerage sector, we realized that one would need a team of professional Real Estate agents who would like to do business at a bigger scale not only locally and nationally, but internationally as well. With this there arose a need of having an established and organized player in the Indian market that can act as a differentiator by adding more value and services to cater to the rapidly evolving needs of the customer.  Building of such a business requires heavy investment, a team of experts and a wide spread network to reach out to maximum number of people. This was when we realized that getting a franchise like RE/MAX into the Indian market would be helpful in taking Indian Real Estate to a level in which it operates in developed countries. With our franchise opportunities, we aim at providing a local, regional, national and global network, world-class training, advanced technology platform, power of collective marketing and a host of support services that help our franchise owners and business associates in taking their Real Estate business to a next level!   

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