Understanding the Process of Joining a Property Management Franchise

Read transcript in full here: http://fourandhalf.com/starting-property-management-exploring-advantages-franchise/

The topic today is understanding the process of joining a property management franchise when you’re starting or growing your property management business. We have two guests who are the perfect people to speak on the subject. Randall Henderson, the Director of Training for Property Management, Inc., and, the person who needs no introduction if you’ve heard of NARPM: Brian Birdy. He’s joining us today as Vice President of Residential Management for PMI. They’re going to give us an introduction to their company and talk about what sets them up as experts in the franchise field.
Randall: Property Management, Inc. has been around for about seven years. We’ve had explosive growth recently, and in the last couple of years we’ve added 60-plus franchisees. What differentiates PMI in the industry is that we offer a wide variety of property management types. Not only do we do residential management, but also commercial and association management. The residential piece is still our primary focus, but we have added more pieces for our property management franchises.
The franchise world is growing in the property management industry because starting a business from scratch is a challenging and scary thing. So these new business owners who come in are nervous and they want some systems in place. They want to work with people who have been there and understand the industry. They want someone who can provide value on technology. I came to PMI after running different real estate companies. I’m a broker and that’s what led me to a place where I can help train and teach new entrepreneurs.
Brian: One of the things about franchising is you do have someone physically there ready to train you. That’s one of the things Randall has successfully established. He has put together an extensive training program which gives our franchisees so much more than what I had when I started there. NARPM is a valuable organization and we recommend that everyone join it and participate, but it isn’t there to take you on a moment by moment tour of the industry. PMI gives our franchisees a significant training that never ends. It’s formulated and includes weekly activities forever. You always have an opportunity to learn something new to grow your business. I have 20 years of experience with a property management company, and I’m a national instructor with NARPM. This year, the interest level in franchising and specifically in PMI is at its highest that anyone has ever seen. We have a team that can support that, so the momentum is exciting.
Q: Property management has truly grown in prominence as a recurring revenue business. It also has the potential for complementary business units like real estate sales and maintenance, which increases the lifetime value of a customer. With that, here’s my first question. What does a franchise really solve for a potential entrepreneur who wants to start a property management company? Who should consider a franchise? What’s the profile of a person who should consider your franchise?
Brian: It’s right for the person who is willing to recognize that you are building and growing a business. This person needs to have the time, energy, desire, and finances to invest in the future of the business. Property management is a fantastic business to be growing, but you need to realize that buying a franchise doesn’t mean buying a business. It’s buying what you need to grow the business. You must actively give the time and energy to grow it or your franchise will struggle. Buying a franchise gives you a boost and a kick-start to getting the business going. You get training and guidance, visibility and a lot of support. You’re given the tools without the expense that others would have to pay to acquire.
Q: Do you have to be in the industry or can you come from anywhere?
Brian: You can come from anywhere. It’s better, easier, and faster if you come from the industry or you’re a Realtor because you already know some things and have some background. You can be a property manager ready for the next step. There are advantages for those people. The training aspect is easier and there’s the fact that someone in the industry may already have some doors. But if you’re struggling and you’re making all the mistakes and you’re not growing, you might realize you need some help. That’s when it’s important to consider a franchise. I come from a family business that was very small. If I had known I could go to a franchise model, with the tools a franchise gives me, I’d probably be retired right now. I would have given credit all along to the franchise brand. That’s why I can tell people today that unless you are a significant manager in the market you’re working right now, think about a franchise.