5 Tips To Navigate a Tricky Real Estate Market as a Franchisee
Here are 5 tips for how franchisees can navigate real estate challenges in today’s complex and competitive landscape from Joe Stephens, Sr., director of real estate at FullSpeed Automotive.
1) Conduct thorough market research. Research the market and learn everything you can before searching for a location. Look into everything from local market trends and demographics to traffic patterns, competition, zoning requirements, EPA regulations, and accessibility—in addition to a thorough analysis of target audiences to ensure that locations are a good fit for your brand and customer base.
2) Build quality relationships with brokers. As a franchisee, you have the upper hand when it comes to site selection. By having a franchise model in place and a real estate expert on your corporate team who already has broker relationships, you are 10 steps ahead of the other guys. Once you are introduced to brokers from your team, you can build a relationship with them and be in a great place when you are ready to open location number two. Make sure the brokers are boots on the ground, are looking far enough out for ground-up sites, and are hands-on by providing site rides to get to know you and your business better.
3) Invest in quality analytical tools. The right tools will set you up for success. Proper analytical tools help you find locations and details. They also help you validate the results—great visibility, ingress, plus traffic for the location equals great sites that bring great success. While conducting market research, make sure you are using the proper analytical tools.
4) Allow for flexibility and adaptability. As markets shift and evolve, franchisees and franchisors may need to adjust their strategies and consider new locations or different types of properties. Remaining nimble and adapting to market demands will provide solutions to franchisees looking for specific development opportunities.
5) Everything is negotiable. Don’t shy away from negotiating for favorable lease terms, such as lower rent, longer lease periods, and favorable renewal options. While looking for sites that work for your business might be tough, paying for it doesn’t have to be! Make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck and for your soon-to-be-customers.
Joe Stephens, Sr. is Director of Real Estate for FullSpeed Automotive, one of the nation’s largest franchisors and operators of automotive aftermarket repair facilities home to its flagship brands Grease Monkey and SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service. He has more than 15 years of experience working with franchisees on building, lease negotiations, and site selection.
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