In part I of our interview with Peter Frigo, we learnt about the founding and development of Engel & Völkers Residential Master Licence in Switzerland. Now it's time to find out how you can become an Engel & Völkers licence partner in part II of the interview.
Engel & Völkers Switzerland: Peter, in the first part of our interview, you told us the impressive story of how you founded and developed Engel & Völkers in Switzerland and we learnt that you manage various licences yourself. If anyone is potentially looking to get involved in our successful network, what opportunities are out there for them to so do?
Peter Frigo: On the one hand, there are only a few free areas left, but, on the other hand, in a franchise business that is soon to celebrate its 20th year, licence partners are often looking for a change, or to simply call it quits. If so requested, we provide them with support for any disinvestments, advising them and introducing them to new investors. Alternatively, we may take over these offices ourselves for a certain period of time, passing them onto new licence partners at a later date.
It is always of paramount importance to us to find enterprising individuals who fit in with our professional, agreeable franchising system and who want to fulfil their aspirations of becoming their own boss through our well-known, prestigious brand. Group solidarity is much stronger in a group of SMEs when the leaders have chosen to be their own bosses on their own account, as individuals with a lot of life experience and entrepreneurial spirit can shape their own long-term future with their own money.
Engel & Völkers Switzerland: If someone is interested in taking on a licence, what requirements should ideally be fulfilled?
Peter Frigo: One needs tremendous determination and complete commitment to become their own boss. Work can be structured as you so desire, so there is always the motivation to undertake additional activities. If you’re an entrepreneur who enjoys working, then you’ll knuckle down and get to work, and take infinite amounts of satisfaction from doing so. It is also extremely important to regard any problem that arises as a challenge to be overcome. Whatever presents itself as an obstacle in your path should not be subject to judgement and there is no need to waste time assessing it from all angles or even fighting against it. The fact of the matter is that obstacles will arise and they must be either overcome or avoided. A solution must be found - no excuses.
Increasing turnover is of prime importance and this can be achieved if staff are highly motivated, which in turn leads to high levels of customer satisfaction. This involves long-term thinking and the decisive factor, which the company considers to be highly important, is showing empathy to others. Everyone you meet in your role as an entrepreneur should be treated like a client, no matter how inconvenient. The focus is on the solution alone. Everything else comes in second place.
Engel & Völkers Switzerland: During the first part of our interview, you told us that many new licence partners actually come from among own our ranks. Is this an important factor when awarding free licences or when handing over existing licences?
Peter Frigo: Successful employees are excellent candidates for becoming Engel & Völkers licence partners, as when they see what can be earned by our best colleagues in the real estate sector, they yearn to follow in their footsteps, climb up the ladder and become a licence partner themselves. A successful Engel & Völkers employee will already be familiar with things that a new licence partner will have to learn from scratch. However, it goes without saying that the managerial experience brought to the table by an external interested party currently working in a senior position would be extremely beneficial when making the transition into becoming one’s own boss, especially if they have enjoyed a successful career in management or sales. A good mix of internal and external candidates for free licences would be the best solution to make the most progress as a group.
Experience also shows that it is mostly seasoned insiders who value the comprehensive, tried-and-tested Engel & Völkers system and the professional work of estate agents. However, newcomers boasting extensive managerial experience can also be quick to get to grips with the system and to use it with success. Both internal and external individuals would be excellent partners for our fast-growing franchising system that generated around 20 billion Swiss Francs in revenue from worldwide transactions in 2019. The company originated in Hamburg, yet, in 2019, the USA took the top spot for the country with the highest turnover away from Germany. Switzerland continues to hold fourth place in the worldwide turnover rankings, after Spain and before Italy.
What does the Engel & Völkers system have to offer for new licence partners and what is the role of the Master Licence? Read on and find the answers in upcoming part III of our interview. If you would like to learn more about the Engel & Völkers licensing system today, please contact us.