World's largest residential Brokerage & Advisory Company, Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC has been known all over the world for its people-centric endeavors to fulfill the dream of a perfect home. Since 1906.
Mr. Ramesh Sharma, Director- Coldwell Banker India,Master Franchise of Coldwell Banker® shares the success story of his company in an interview with Nilesh Daivadnya.
1. Nilesh Daivadnya(ND): Tell us something about the inception and success of your company?
Mr. Ramesh Sharma (RS) :- Coldwell Banker India which carries the legacy of Coldwell Banker®, the global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate advisory services, is part of the $ 5 billion Realogy Holding Corporation. Coldwell Banker is headquartered in Madison, New Jersey. The parent company Coldwell Banker enjoys a market share of 30% in the US. The Indian arm aims to acquire 5 to 7% market share in the locations/areas we serve within the next 3 to 5 years, leveraging on its training, technology and e-commerce platform and specialized services. Coldwell Banker India will be setting up International Real estate agencies, within its Franchisee network, which will be at par with other International Real estate agencies and will be offering a gamut of commercial & residential real estate property services under one roof. Coldwell Banker India has invested $5 Million to establish its operations in India and aims to expand to 100 franchisees by 2018. We are happy to share that our every franchisee is able to break even in 5 to 8 months due to the processes developed to support a successful, quick revenue generation model.
2. (ND) :- What inspired your company to take the franchise route for expansion?
(RS) :- The real estate brokerage market in India is valued at about Rs. 2,430 crore. Today, with more than 1 lac brokers & real estate agents transacting in some form or other throughout the country, the Indian Real estate market is still highly unorganized. Moreover, with varied consumer demands, the sector requires a more organised real estate brokerage service. What has changed these days is the way real estate agents and brokers find a property, communicate with buyers and the way transactions are conducted through technology. But the business hasn't really changed. It's about trust. People want to work with someone they believe in; someone who partners with the buyer and helps them make an informed decision about their life’s biggest purchase. This is where franchising brings in consistency and predictable service quality in the sector and in turn makes real estate buying process transparent & regulated. This is significantly beneficial for consumers today especially when a large international brand is backing it. With everyone’s best interest tied to each other, franchising helps customers, developers and franchisees alike.
3.(ND) :- Did you face any competition in the industry,What strategies you had employed for handling the competition?
(RS) :- There is no competition. Indian Real Estate Market has room for every industry player to grow significantly. Our franchising model which is over 108 years old is very comprehensive and is geared to tackle any kind of notional competition. The Government and its various policies in the sector can play a very important part in setting regulations along with policies that are designed to make the real estate buying process transparent and efficient. Our key strategy is to set up franchisees with the globally successful Coldwell Banker model based on our best practices, cutting edge technology , world class training, unparalleled support in inventory management and demand generation , thus enabling all our franchisees to become world class real estate offices offering all the relevant services pertaining to real estate. Our approach is research-driven driven along with our single minded focus on creating more & more trained & knowledgeable professionals on the field.
4. (ND) :-What are the qualities and criteria for selecting the prospective franchisees? How much investment is required by these franchisees?
(RS) :- Coldwell Banker India provides the flexibility and entrepreneurial opportunity to its franchisees of being independently owned and operated along with a strong backing of an international brand and buying power of the world’s most iconic real estate company. Franchising in Real estate is a new opportunity for entrepreneurs. We prefer our franchisee to be from a Real estate background or people having professional and an entrepreneurial mindset to float their own enterprises in the surging property market as a viable and sustainable business opportunity. Each franchisee has to invest a minimum of INR 25 Lacs.
5. (ND) :- What are the future plans of the company in terms of expansion through franchising?
(RS) :- Currently, Coldwell Banker India with its 8 operational franchisees in Mumbai and 1 franchisee in Bengaluru is all set to make inroads into the Indian market with its mission to organise the real estate sector. We have recently launched operations in Pune and are planning to expand in Gujarat, Chennai, Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Nasik & Goa. The brand hopes to transform the residential sales process and significantly enhance the customer experience in transacting with a property pan-India.
6. (ND) :- How does the company support and train their franchisees?
(RS) :- At Coldwell Banker India, franchisees are supported by generating project and consumer demands, tie-up with various developers and nurturing the relationship ensuring long-term business for them. The company not only uses technology and digital platforms but also leverages innovative marketing & sales techniques by providing end-to-end business solutions, assistance in sale closures, inventory management and demand generation. Our franchisees get the power of a global network by their side through best-in-class tools, world class technology and training support. This unparalleled support not only helps real estate agents to excel but also gives an opportunity to individuals from outside the sector to participate and benefit from the growing real estate sector. The Coldwell Banker USA University has tailor made modules for every requirement.
7.(ND) :- What are the challenges that can be faced by a franchisee in this business? How can they overcome these challenges?
(RS) :- The key challenges for franchisee are recruitment and retention of the right staff, business development, inventory management and Tie-ups with broker networks. Coldwell Banker India empowers its franchisees with best practices across the globe aiding them to develop their business. By following these best practices and systems & processes, help our franchisees to better their services periodically and enable them to attract and retain customers. Each Coldwell Banker India Franchisee is backed by world-class training, technology and detailed research, which ensures a consistent and a high level of service throughout our network thereby ensuring a seamless experience for our customers.