If you are Belgian and interested in an estate agency franchise in Belgium, then you'll already know that the relationship between the franchisee, that is, your independent estate agency, and the franchisor, the overall brand, will be one of the cornerstones of your business. This is why choosing a franchisor with care is of the utmost importance for the aspiring entrepreneur. The first meeting with the franchisor is always a pivotal moment for your future business. It's also your first opportunity for getting to know the franchisor better and getting more detailed information about your future licensing partner. So what questions should you ask during this first meeting? Here are a few ideas about questions to ask the franchisor in order to find out whether they are made for you.
This question will help you to determine whether the franchisor has the same aspirations as you. Before the meeting you will obviously have formed an idea of the franchisor by reading their datasheet, their interviews, articles about them and any other information you are able to find. However, you also need them to explain it to you in detail during the meeting.
One important aspect, which you may not be able to find by yourself, is to what extent it is a proven model. Ask whether the model has been tried in pilot units in Belgium. If the model has changed, as often happens for businesses that want to remain competitive, then it should already have been tested in at least one area.
Experienced estate agents, people who are enthusiastic but inexperienced, sales managers or simply people with the right type of personality - Belgian franchisors are looking for lots of different backgrounds. Make sure you get a clear description of the type of background the franchisor is looking for. After the meeting, it's up to you to decide if you fit that description.
This isn't just about financial investment, even though this will obviously be very important. Franchisors have widely differing requirements in Belgium. Whenever it's a matter of the amount of financial investment required be direct and ask the franchisor a clear question. That way you'll avoid unpleasant surprises later on.
But money isn't the only investment you are going to have to make. Make sure you ask the franchisor how much work time you will have to put in, especially when your franchised agency is just starting out. Obviously, becoming an entrepreneur in Belgium requires a certain level of commitment. But also ask, for example, how many employees the franchisor expects in each of their franchises: are you capable of managing a large number of people?
The franchisor should know the Belgian property market and also know what their strengths are in the sector. What makes them different from their competitors, both other franchisors and individuals, in Belgium? Often this differentiation will come down to a few, precise points.
The assistance that the franchisor offers the franchisee is one of the strengths of the franchise system. This has numerous forms in Belgium. For example, initial and ongoing training for you and your team, or, management systems, or, furniture and fittings, etc. So make sure you ask for information about help. Some franchisors offer more help than others, so you can make your choice according to your preferences.
Obviously these questions are only a base for your meeting. The questions you'll ask will depend largely on your personal situation. Also pay attention to how transparent the franchisor seems to be. The keyword here is: preparation. Find out as much as you can about the franchisor and leave yourself plenty of time to make your decision.
With more than 700 franchised agencies in over 30 countries, Engel & Völkers offer a proven franchise model. Feel free to arrange a meeting and it will be a pleasure for us to tell you about our franchise network. You'll find more information on our site: