WHY I BOUGHT
Why This Couple Invested in Senior Services to Bring Caring Transitions to SoCal
This husband-and-wife team started a Caring Transitions franchise to supplement their real estate business. Now, providing senior services has taken center stage.
Jared and Victoria Erfle’s journey toward investing in a Caring Transitions franchise began in an unlikely place: the home of a decorated Navy pilot who had served in the Vietnam war.
The husband-and-wife real estate broker team had sold a home to this war hero in 2007, and in 2020 and amid the pandemic, the aging veteran, now in his 80s, was dealing with health issues. All his furniture, all his possessions — his entire life was in this house. Faced with his declining health, he was forced to sell his home to both downsize and relocate to be closer to his family who could care for him.
“It was a lot of difficult decisions for him at a difficult time,” Jared recalls. “He was a decorated Navy pilot. He was a war hero. And he told me that selling this house was the first thing he’d done in his adult life out of pure fear.”
The first step was for the man to liquidate some of his possessions. He put some on eBay while Jared helped him list other items on Facebook Marketplace. They tried to unload as many of his possessions as possible, but months went by with little success. Eventually, the house was sold to first-time homebuyers who, according to Jared, essentially got a fully furnished home, including a pool table, a baby grand piano and Viking wine coolers — tens of thousands of dollars worth of furniture that the war hero had to part with for next to nothing.
“The buyers were ecstatic,” said Jared. “But it wasn’t the best solution for the seller.”
That’s when Jared and Victoria learned about Caring Transitions, a business that has been around since 2006 with a mission to help seniors organize personal property and manage the moving process during stressful life events. As the brokers moved their client from the liquidation stage to the moving stage, they called on Caring Transitions to assist them.
“After they took control of the process, everything went smoothly,” said Jared. “That's when we really saw the need for Caring Transitions in our area. We had multiple senior clients at that time, and the whole process of liquidation and actually moving them was so disorganized. Seniors need more help in these transitions than most, and Caring Transitions solves that.”
Caring Transitions is the nation’s largest and most trusted total-solutions provider for seniors needing compassionate care during life’s challenging transitions. The brand recently opened its 255th franchise unit and plans to reach 300 franchise units by the end of 2022. Much of Caring Transitions’ rapid growth can be attributed to the booming senior care market, which is estimated at $832.8 billion and projected to continue growing by 3.9% year over year through 2025.
The Erfles have been part of that growth. As the pandemic raged throughout 2020 and into 2021, the couple’s real estate business slowed. As they learned more about Caring Transitions, they liked the affordable, low-overhead, home-based business model. So they decided to become Caring Transitions franchisees to supplement their real estate brokerage. The idea was that it would allow them to provide liquidation and relocation services to their senior clients in addition to selling their homes for them.
“It's an integrated business, for sure,” said Jared. “We saw Caring Transitions as a good companion business to our real estate brokerage. But now, that's flip-flopped. Now, real estate is the companion to our Caring Transitions business.”
In their business, Jared oversees operations and spends his days out in the field while Victoria handles marketing, accounting, payroll and lead generation. They’ve had so much early success with their Santa Clarita territory that they have already launched a second territory — years ahead of schedule — in the San Fernando Valley. Victoria attributes much of their success to the business model itself.
“People like our model because we are not an estate sale company and we are not a moving company,” she said. “We do all of this, and we customize it to fit their needs because every household is different. Everything we do is about saving people time and money and agony — because moving is a daunting process for anyone, let alone somebody 80 years old who doesn’t want to move but has to for health reasons or to downsize.”
For both Jared and Victoria, one of the most unexpected and surprising benefits of owning their Caring Transitions franchise has been the value they’ve been able to provide their clients at a crucial time in their lives. It’s those intrinsic rewards, they say, along with the gratification they feel for providing the services they do, that continues to drive them as they grow their business.
“At the end of the day,” Victoria said, “it's really rewarding to be there for people and to help them go through these difficult transitions. It’s a really difficult process for them, and hopefully we can make these moments later in their life a bit sweeter.”
Start-up costs range from $58,912-$82,712, and franchisees have the opportunity to earn back their $44,900 franchise fee through its Winner’s Circle program by hitting a variety of key benchmarks.