Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and all the resultant impacts, the real estate sector is slowly bouncing back in mid-2021. If you’re looking to make an exciting, profitable investment in the booming property industry, why not become a real estate franchisee? Read on to uncover the state of franchising in the real estate sector in 2021.
It might not seem like the best time to invest in a business, coming out of a period of such uncertainty. But in the real estate sector? That’s not quite true. The sector is booming right now, and franchising is a very safe bet compared to starting your own business from scratch. In fact, fewer than 1% of franchise businesses close citing commercial failure [British Franchise Association].
The estate agency industry in 2021
In January 2021, UK estate agents had more than 582,000 properties in the For Sale and Sold Subject To Contract pipeline, worth an estimated total value of £143 billion [Property Industry Eye]. That was during a national lockdown! There’s no doubt about the fact that the estate agency industry is huge and thriving, and though it was impacted by the pandemic, this impact is already beginning to dissolve, making way for profit and growth once more.
After years of solid demand and steady cash flow, the first UK lockdown in March 2020 was a shock to the system in the estate agency industry. Customers couldn’t move or view properties, and developers couldn’t obtain permits and faced construction delays, stoppages and raised supply rates. But by now, that initial hump is well and truly in the rearview mirror, and from May 17th, it’s been business (almost) as usual for estate and lettings agents.
Of course, new trends have emerged in the sector post-COVID which seem to represent a level of systemic change. People in the city are moving to the country, or looking for that coveted unicorn of properties - a city home with a nice garden. Plus, property competition is fiercer than ever, and in November 2020, the annual house price had risen 7.6% on the previous year [Office for National Statistics]. Innovative real estate businesses are making profitable changes, and if you invest right now, you could be a part of that change.
The smartest [real estate businesses] will now also think about how the real estate landscape may be permanently changed in the future, and will alter their strategy. Those that succeed in strengthening their position through this crisis will go beyond just adapting: they will have taken bold actions that deepen relationships with their employees, investors, end users, and other stakeholders.
—McKinsey & Company
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Real estate sector business outlook
Businesses in the sector are, thankfully, managing to do even more than stay afloat. Many estate agent franchises are thriving right now, achieving profitability and success as the latter half of 2021 begins. Century 21, for example, is an award-winning global estate agent that experienced positive growth and development during COVID-19. Operational changes had to be made, of course, but these ended up favouring the franchise.
I can take more buyer consultations and listing presentations in a single day than ever before. I have the freedom of making any place my office. We’re doing more social media advertising which saves us time out in the field door knocking, hosting open houses, etc.
—Gabriel Mendez, Century 21 Agent
Property signage franchise Countrywide Signs has also seen a boom in the sector, and according to Group Director Justin Pearce, the past few months have been extremely busy for the business, providing him with a lot of reassurance about the future, and about the franchise’s ability to weather unexpected storms.
Advantages of running a real estate franchise
It goes without saying that the biggest advantage to joining this sector is the level of customer demand. In 2020, the number of home purchases by first-time buyers reached 305,000 by the end of the year [Statista], with many taking advantage of the current schemes available:
- The Mortgage Guarantee Scheme
- A Nationwide Helping Hand Mortgage
- A Lloyds Bank Lend a Hand Mortgage
Alongside the strong demand and the innovative changes happening in the real estate industry this year, there are even more benefits to investing. The key advantages to running a real estate franchise, beyond demand and future-proof innovation, are:
- The opportunity to diversify and grow - As a franchisee with an estate agency network, you have plenty of room to grow in whichever direction you choose, taking on new challenges when the old challenges have been thoroughly risen to.
- The chance to really help others - You’ll be helping people to access their dream homes on a day-to-day basis, simplifying and smoothing out a process that, for many, is very stressful.
- The ability to work flexibly/from home - Depending on the type of investment you’ve made, and the franchise that you’re working with, you might be able to work from home, or to work flexible hours that fit around your schedule, lifestyle and other responsibilities.
- The benefits of existing brand recognition and customer loyalty - You won’t have to start from the bottom and work your way up. As a franchisee, you’ll enjoy the existing reputation of the brand, and you’ll be able to attract customers much more quickly and easily.
- The fast-paced, exciting atmosphere - The thrilling, competitive atmosphere of the property sector isn’t for everyone, but if it is for you, you could thrive in that environment, always pushing yourself to be better and do better.
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Franchise opportunities in the realty sector
If you’re interested in property, real estate and franchising, why not combine those interests into a profitable, varied career with plenty of room to grow and develop with time and experience?
Running your own business can be demanding, but it can also be extremely enjoyable. For further information about the sector, stay on Point Franchise and discover the top four estate agency franchises in the UK, or find out how to choose an estate agent franchise that’s right for you.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©