Workout Anytime has made a name for itself in the franchising industry as a forward-thinking, consumer-centric enterprise. What further sets the brand apart from the competition is its ability to facilitate a smooth real estate selection process for both single-unit and multi-unit franchisees.
Workout Anytime Senior Vice President of Development Randy Trotter attributes the brand’s streamlined real estate process to a mixture of experience and technology assistance.
“We’ve married our site selection technology with the experience of our most successful franchise owners to optimize real estate opportunities, so what we look for today is probably different than what we looked for five years ago,” Trotter said.
One technology resource the brand uses is the software platform Buxton, which helps determine competitive locations based on local residential data.
“Through this tool, we can designate 10-minute drive times based on population, income and age and evaluate the markets and competition,” Trotter said. “In a rural area, we might do a 20-minute drive time to pick up the population we need to pick a Workout Anytime location. With that type of knowledge, we can zero in on underserved markets that meet our criteria pretty easily once a franchisee comes into the Workout Anytime system.”
Of course, there are many factors when determining a solid location for a Workout Anytime gym. Desirable traits include easy access, parking availability and a good tenant mix. The brand is partial to locations that are in the same vicinity as grocery stores, as they have more visibility. There’s also the matter of the local population, which will ideally be growing and consist largely of young families, and income levels should skew mostly middle class. Workout Anytime also looks out for opportunities to bring their convenient 24-7 service to folks in secondary markets.
A typical Workout Anytime franchisee will let the corporate team know which target market they’d like to be in, but the brand can also work with multi-unit franchisees who would prefer to sign with a brand that can offer pre-negotiated real estate in multiple markets.
“We are looking for multi-unit operators and we understand that they often don’t want to buy franchises without readily-available real estate,” Trotter said. “We can provide them with pre-negotiated real estate so they can focus on opening their locations.”
New Workout Anytime franchisees first work with Trotter to determine the right real estate location.
“Based on how many franchises they buy, we award the franchisee target markets, and they would have development rights based on those areas,” Trotter said. “We would then deploy local retail brokers, whether through an established relationship with brokers in the area or by establishing new relationships with brokers in that area.”
Another goal the brand strives for through its relationships with developers—and typically meets, Trotter said—is to give franchisees nine rent-free months. This incentivizes franchisees to meet the average membership pre-sale goal of 1,000 members.
“Franchisees get three months to build their location and then six months to build the membership,” Trotter said. “They are in the process of building out their club during the first three months but are selling memberships. We’ve been doing this for a long time and we have relationships with real estate developers across the country, so if we land with a developer with whom we have a relationship, we can arrange for that membership-building period.”
Whether prospective franchisees are interested in opening one unit or multiple units with the gym brand, Workout Anytime is prepared to help them find the right location. Previous fitness franchising experience is not required of prospective single-unit and multi-unit Workout Anytime franchisees, as the brand is open to franchisees who come from other industries.
“We have solid relationships with real estate developers across the country, and we’re ready to leverage those relationships to help all of our incoming franchisees find the perfect location,” Trotter said.