Setting up an estate agency in Belgium is not easy, which is why many Belgian estate agents are currently adopting the franchise system. It is a way they can benefit from a major estate agency's brand and image without sacrificing their independence. Finding the best location and premises for your future business franchise is an important first step, and Engel & Völkers would like to suggest a few factors you may like to consider when making your decision.
Having the right premises is one of the most important considerations for any company. Unlike other types of franchise, a Belgian estate agency franchise, being purely service-based, is not particularly dependent on the size of the agency. You do not need storage space for products, for example, which gives you greater freedom of choice, but remember to take into account the rent and the costs of maintaining your premises.
One question you need to ask yourself is how much the renovation and fitting-out will cost you. Bear in mind that renovating and upgrading an old building can be extremely expensive in Belgium. Getting professional help when you make your preliminary evaluation of the premises is advisable. Before you choose, weigh up all the costs involved and the time it will take.
If you want Belgian customers to come to you, you have to make it possible for them to do so.
The visibility of your estate agency to for your future clients is a key factor in getting you known locally. In the case of estate agency franchising, the big brand and image will, indeed, attract certain customers. So, make sure that your premises stand out on the street so your customers will not have any difficulty finding your premises.
Be sure too that there are no obstacles are blocking access, as accessibility is also an important point for your franchised agency. Find out in advance who your potential customers might be. Choose a location that is easy to get to by public transport: by bus or by train. As an estate agent, you are bound to have customers coming to you from some distance away, so make sure they have easy access to parking. Offering a carefully thought-out service like this will make purchasing easier and more comfortable for your customers.
Finally, before you settle in a location, find out about the neighbourhood and assess both the potential demand and the competition in that area. The sales potential for your franchised estate agency will depend on the population living in your catchment area. You can use the demographic data of the Belgian city as well as the habits of the population to help you to estimate the potential demand for your franchise.
Competition, whether direct or indirect, is one factor that can reduce potential demand. In this case, knowing your competition is essential for your future franchised business. Fond out in advance how many and where they are, but don't stop there. Find out about the price and quality of their service, the benefits they offer to their customers and so on. One positive aspect of franchising is that franchisors distribute exclusive franchise licenses, so you will not find yourself in competition with your franchisor.
The location of your future franchised agency in Belgium will be a very important factor for the success of your business, so you will need to choose it carefully. The advantage of the franchise system is that you will not be alone during your search since you can benefit from the help provided by your franchisor or their franchise network.
Engel & Völkers is a recognised estate agency franchisor offering help and guidance to franchisees. We have more than 600 franchisees in 37 countries, and we are always looking for committed estate agents wishing to start their own business. Find more information on our website: