For anyone looking to launch themselves as an independent estate agent in Belgium armed with a few advantages already up their sleeve, the franchise route remains the ideal solution. As a franchisee, you get the benefit of the brand's established image and the experience the franchisor brings whilst at the same time remaining independent. But as with any business, you need to prepare yourself properly before launching yourself into the project. With this in mind, Engels & Völker presents six questions to ask yourself before starting up a franchise.
How are similar businesses in the property sector, Belgian franchises in this case, currently performing? If many of your competitors or members of your franchising network are generating an increasing level of turnover each year, you stand a very good chance of succesfully launching yourself in what is obviously a growing sector. One way to find out this information is to check the trade register on the website of the Belgian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. When it comes to the franchise network, you can address your requests directly to the network members themselves.
As well as your competitors, you'll also need to learn more about the Belgian property sector in general. Find out, for example, the number of companies, including franchised estate agents, that both start up and go out of business in the market each year. Additionally, analyse the trends in the sector and how the market has developed over the last few years.
As mentioned above, you'll need to analyse trends in the property sector going back over several years. In your particular case, also look at how the world of property franchising has developed in Belgian, and make note of the various franchisors involved. Next, try to put together a forecast for the years to come and identify the trends emerging in the property sector in Belgium's various regions.
In addition to general figures and data, you'll also need to examine your own situation in more detail. Try to determine who your direct competitors are with respect to the property sector at the local level, and who your franchise network's main Belgian competitors are. Find out about the level of expertise and skills they offer: how do they go about what they do? Then ask yourself the following questions: will you be able to stand up to this competition?
As well as looking at your competitors, you'll of course also need to familiarise yourself with your potential Belgian customers. Research potential target groups beforehand. You can opt to do this as either a qualitative or quantitative analysis, or better still a combination of the two. Find out what the real and actual needs of your future franchise customers are. You could, for example, carry out surveys of their property needs and requirements or conduct more in-depth personal interviews.
Before launching your Belgian franchise, you'll need to put together a good marketing and communications strategy. In fact, a good marketing plan forms the basis of a healthy turnover, and is something that's now become indispensable to have in place, even for beginning entrepreneurs. As a property franchisee, you have a certain advantage right from the start. You'll be able to make use of the recognisability and reputation of your franchisor's brand and its marketing strategy. But don't neglect your own marketing at the local level. If your budget is limited, you'll perhaps need to develop a strategy based on social networks.
So those are six questions to ask yourself before launching yourself into franchising in Belgium. These questions are of course not the only ones to consider during the initial stage of setting up your franchise business. Having a good property franchisor by your side, for example, will play a crucial role in the kind of franchising experience you have. You'll therefore need to investigate the various options available to you in detail, if you haven't already made your choice that is. So stop hesitating and start making your first steps towards a career as a franchised estate agent today!
Engel & Völkers is one of the world's leading property franchise specialists. Thanks to the experience the company has acquired globally and internationally, Engel & Völkers is able to offer a tried and tested franchising model. Find out more information by clicking the following link.