27/05/2010 - 00:00

Belief returning for franchisees: survey

27/05/2010 - 00:00

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THE mortgage broking industry has emerged as the leader in overall satisfaction among franchisees, according to a recent review.

Belief returning for franchisees: survey

THE mortgage broking industry has emerged as the leader in overall satisfaction among franchisees, according to a recent review.

Based on its bi-annual survey of more than 2,000 franchisees from nearly 70 systems, topfranchise.com.au has rated Australia’s top franchisors.

It found that, during the past year, there was a 5 per cent increase in franchisees’ belief that they would be able to sell their business for a good return on investment.

The previous survey found there was plenty of work to be done to improve the experience of franchisees, with the “greatest gaps and opportunities to be in the areas of financial guidance and franchisees’ human resource skills”.

This year the survey, run by research house 10 Thousand Feet, found Smartline Personal Mortgage Advisors and Mortgage Choice were the top two franchises in Australia in terms of franchisee satisfaction.

The review looked at set criteria including renewal, recommendation, rewards, passion and support to rank the nation’s leading franchises.

Smartline, which tops the list for the second time, now has more than 200 franchisees.

The business grew its network from 140 advisers by acquiring Western Australian-headquartered Mortgage Force in the past 12 months.

The broker has managed to successfully integrate the two businesses to still have the most satisfied franchisees in Australia, topfranchise.com.au found.

Smartline founding managing director Chris Acret said the key to a successful franchise was to ensure the franchisees were satisfied. That was achieved through guidance and communication, he said.

Mortgage Choice, with more than 300 franchisees, has undergone a range of improvements since the last survey to move into the number two position after the franchise’s overall satisfaction rating increased by 22 per cent.

The business’s focus on improving key areas has been reflected in the popularity of its system, with seven times the number of new franchisees starting with the business this financial year compared to previous financial year.

Mortgage Choice corporate affairs manager Kristy Sheppard said the flexibility and autonomy of the mortgage broker’s franchise system contributed to the high level of satisfaction among franchisees.

“Although there is an increase in new Mortgage Choice franchisees with management, lending and customer services backgrounds, we still bring on board plenty of people who are unexperienced in those areas and help them quickly find their feet,” she said.

First-time entrant to the top 10 was fast food company Chooks Fresh & Tasty, a Western Australian brand with 34 outlets, which has since moved into the east coast with six stores in Queensland and Tasmania.

Chooks founding managing director Steve Hansen said in order to be successful, franchisors must look at their business much like a marriage.

“For everyone to be satisfied you have to seriously work at the relationship and really just communicate,” Mr Hansen told WA Business News.

He said Chooks had an open and transparent franchise structure, which had a strong emphasis on communication.

This included financial guidance and regular meetings with franchisors throughout the year.

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