How long have you owned a franchise?
What were you doing before becoming a franchise owner?
Prior to being a Real Property Management franchise owner, I was a CPA at a public accounting firm in the real estate and construction tax department.
Why did you choose your franchise?
Working in the real estate and construction department of an accounting firm opened my eyes to the significant opportunities available in the real estate industry. The previous experience I had garnered from owning rental properties helped me identify which sector I wanted to focus on within real estate — property management. I knew I did not want to compete as a mom-and-pop property management company, so I sought a proven, established system that would allow me to hit the ground running.
What were some of the challenges you faced when starting your franchise?
When I started Real Property Management with my father, Tom Goral, there were numerous challenges to overcome. Building a client base was the toughest challenge. We didn’t have a single client, so the first three to four months was cold calling, distributing flyers, networking and online advertising. There were times that you could hear a pin drop in the office because the phones weren’t ringing. Once we gained traction bringing on new clients, the next challenge was managing the properties, doing the maintenance and continuing to grow the business, with no employees. After accumulating enough properties to support the addition of an employee, we were relieved of having to complete everything on our own.
Where did you research or get advice about starting a franchise?
We were introduced to Real Property Management in Real Estate Investor Magazine. We then did the majority of our research on the Internet, in addition to speaking with current franchisees of Real Property Management and meeting at the Real Property Management corporate office to learn more.
How much did you spend before your doors were officially opened?
I spent about $75,000-80,000, which included about $40,000 of working capital.
What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day starts between 4 and 4:30 a.m. at the gym, before sending my kids off to school and then heading to the office for the day. While at the office, I review accounting, day-to-day property management related reports, sales and advertising reports, making appropriate decisions and plans to follow.
What is your secret to success?
Work hard, stay focused and hire right!
What would you do differently if you had to do it all over?
The one thing that I would do differently is the hiring process early on. Due to financial constraints when starting out, hiring is difficult!
Where do you see your business in five years?
In five years, I see us more than doubling the number of units that we manage.
What is one trend that really excites you?
The one trend that really excites us is the continued trend the housing industry is experiencing with rental properties. More people are renting homes and renting longer, with an overall decline in home ownership rates.
What advice do you have for others looking to own a franchise?
Do as much research as you can and be ready to work extremely hard, especially in the early years, if you want to be successful. If you are not going to be working in the business, make sure you hire someone that is ready to commit 100 percent, as if they own it.
Would you recommend others be franchisees? Why?
Yes, I would recommend being a franchisee. Joining a franchise means that you start with an established business with an already proven infrastructure and business model, so it is not something you need to recreate. This will be beneficial in the early days when you are just getting up-and-running. Franchisees also have a large support system to lean on for virtually anything, as well as brand recognition. All of these advantages combined lead to an overall competitive advantage in the market.
Where can people get more information on Real Property Management franchise opportunities?
Visit the website here.