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MARKETING: Pam Golding Expands Franchise Network


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Despite the prevailing constrained trading conditions the Pam Golding Property (PGP) group is embarking on expansion within its franchise operation - both nationally and internationally.

Comments Andrew Golding, CE of the PGP group: "In line with our long term strategic goals we are looking to further expand our franchise network in Southern Africa, the rest of Africa and internationally in a strategic move which provides significant opportunities for those already active in the real estate market, including opportunities for BEE partners. 

"There are many key benefits to buying a franchise with a respected and well established brand. The PGP brand provides immediate brand exposure and recognition after 33 years of market leading trading, as well as access to our tried and tested way of doing business and extensive global referral network via some 300 offices and 2500 staff. This is coupled with management training and support in setting up the office as well as ongoing real estate training at all levels and in accordance with the new training qualifications via our own Pam Golding Training Academy. In addition, there is the extensive support and back-up of our own in-house marketing, IT, financial and HR service network.

"The PGP group has always recognised and embraced an entrepreneurial spirit within the organisation, with some of its own successful agents going on to own their own franchise business within the organisation. A unique feature of the group is that, in addition to a strong company-owned branch network – which forms the core of our operation - we have an extensive network of successful franchise offices, each of which is wholly owned by the area principal. Some of the more notable examples of the latter include franchises in Pietermaritzburg, East London, Nelspruit, Margate and Mount Edgecombe."

Golding says that having the full support, experience and know-how of a successful major group certainly gives a franchise owner the edge, particularly in today's extremely challenging and competitive trading environment. "It's also key that as a responsible franchisor, we ensure that each franchise business has the potential to be viable and sustainable, rather than simply saturate the market. As a result, franchise boundaries are determined based on a Deeds Office search of property transfers to ensure sufficient market share is attainable. Naturally some areas allocated are smaller than others, so one could be looking at a town or a grouping of suburbs in a denser area. In addition, an equally important dynamic is that the 'fit' is right, and that the principal shares the same values and ethos as the group."

Greta Daniel, sales and operations manager for Pam Golding Franchise Services, says that being a successful principal of a real estate business in today's challenging times requires considerably more skills than ever before.  "It's certainly true that those who succeed in a downturn are well-equipped to weather any future storms ahead, and this is where new principals stand to gain considerably from having the experience, backing and support of a successful major group.

"In the marketplace in general we see that often those who have only prospered in boom times and never weathered an economic downturn are those that fall by the way.  And it takes more than successful selling skills as an agent to embark on owning and successfully running a business. As selling and management skills are different, the skills gap needs to be breached in order to build a sustainable business.

"Buyers and sellers today have access to sophisticated levels of information and technology amid an increasingly competitive and challenging marketplace, which is where the strength of our support division has great relevance – being totally dedicated to servicing all offices, whether franchise or branch. However, the fact is while franchisees need to be able to carry the business for approximately six months, they are acquiring their own business and one which should in the medium to long term result in sound wealth creation," says Daniel.

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