bannerFranchisor Stories

Why Remote Franchise Brands Are Poised for Massive Growth in 2020 and Beyond

Executives behind different remote concepts explain the advantages behind their flexible business models in a post-COVID-19 world.

Franchise brands have made a seemingly endless number of changes to their businesses over the past few months. From government-mandated shutdowns due to COVID-19 to various phases of reopening that require different rules to be followed, both franchisors and franchisees are navigating uncharted waters due to the ongoing impact of the pandemic. 

Within the franchising industry, remote brands have been able to experience more stability. Businesses that are run out of people’s homes or don’t require a brick-and-mortar location have been able to avoid tough conversations with landlords and have not had  to adapt to a virtual environment or integrate delivery into their models. 

These advantages are expected to continue, even in a post-COVID-19 world. During 1851 Franchise’s #TheGreatFranchiseReturn virtual summit in May, Randall Henderson, vice president of commercial and residential for Property Management Inc., said, “The other key adjustment that we’ve made ... is to try to pivot to trends, not just that have come about due to COVID-19, but that are going to remain.”

One trend that’s sure to remain is remote work. According to a Gallup poll highlighted by Forbes, over the past few months, 62 percent of employed Americans have been working from home, and three out of five said they’d like to continue doing so. Even as states continue to reopen, some consumers will be hesitant to go right back to their normal routines. So, if a business is able to offer its services virtually or remotely, there’s a built-in advantage. 

Matt Kelton, chief operating officer for Showhomes, notes that the franchise has made changes to play up its remote brand and fuel growth in other ways: “Our franchise has adapted during this time, in part, by ramping up its marketing support and digital efforts. As an essential business supporting the real estate industry, we remain open in one way or another in 100% of our locations.”

Kelton continued, adding, “Showhomes has rolled out a customizable online quoting tool, and we offer our franchise system an enterprise version of Zoom to allow for seamless video conferences.”

By hosting virtual meetings and eliminating the need for in-person precautions, including personal protective equipment, remote brands can also save money. This, in turn, helps franchisees focus on growing their businesses rather than on the necessary (but costly)investments required to keep employees and guests safe in-person. 

As candidates do their due diligence and research the business ownership opportunities that might be best for them in 2020 and beyond, franchise brands’ abilities to survive the COVID-19 crisis will be a make-or-break factor that ultimately determines whether or not an agreement is signed. With lower costs and less changes being made, remote brands are sure to attract prospects as the industry continues to recover and move forward.