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Remote Franchise Brands Across Segments Continue to Thrive

By eschewing brick-and-mortar locations and equipping franchisees with powerful digital tools, franchise brands such as Pool Scouts, Property Management Inc. and Showhomes have found success despite dire economic conditions.

The idea of becoming a business owner may conjure up images of cutting a ribbon in front of a store, but the truth is that business ownership can look much different, and increasingly, franchisees are finding success without a storefront at all.

A recent blog post by the International Franchise Association (IFA) examined three franchise brands that do not require brick-and-mortar locations and are thriving because of it: pool cleaning franchise Pool Scouts*, residential and commercial property management franchise Property Management Inc. and home staging franchise Showhomes

“As an essential business supporting the real estate industry, we remain open in one way or another in 100 percent of our locations,” Showhomes COO Matt Kelton said, according to the IFA blog post. “The brand now offers virtual consultations and electronic proposals, properly shifting gears for remote services.”

For Pool Scouts, what has been especially helpful is the fact that pool technicians do not even need to enter a customer’s home in order to do their job. 

“To promote safety throughout our network, Pool Scouts has added sanitizing as part of every service we provide — we use a bleach solution to sanitize surfaces we come in contact with including gates, control panels, handrails, etc.,” Pool Scouts President Michael Wagner said, according to the blog post. “Our entire franchise system has access to a short video that demonstrates how to do this properly and effectively for the safety of our customers and employees.”

Property Management Inc. has empowered its Franchise Advisory Council (FAC) to examine vendor and partner relationships and provided financing support. 

“In addition to financing, PMI is finding a variety of ways to support franchisees during this time, including waiving required fees for those who want to expand their franchise’s offerings by adding an additional one of our four pillars to their business — residential, commercial, association or short-term rental,” President Danessa Itaya said, according to IFA. 

Bottom line: There’s nothing wrong, per se, with requiring franchisees to open a brick-and-mortar location. There are even certain services and industries that just might always require a physical space of some kind. That being said, franchise brands looking to expand their footprint might want to evaluate the products and services they provide and at the very least consider diversifying their franchise model offerings. In doing so, they can expand their prospective franchisee net and offer a more flexible business opportunity that can operate in just about any economic climate. 

Check out the full International Franchise Association report.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.