Affordable start-up for top agents
- 06 Nov 2009
The Chas Everitt International property group has launched a tailor-made licence model to enable top agents to run their own businesses under the brand at reduced cost.
Barry Davies, the group’s director of franchising, says the Chas Everitt Notebook© system has been designed to accommodate top performing agents who wish to own their own businesses without all the traditional costs and structures associated with a full franchise set-up.
“The concept is aimed at allowing people to own their own business and trade for their own account under a strong brand. The licence grants an operator the right to use the brand, its systems, websites, marketing material and training within a defined area at a far reduced entry and operational cost,” he says.
“Substantial savings are also made because Notebook licence holders do not necessarily operate from formal office premises or have to hire administrative staff as our system allows them to handle their own transactions. Those agents seeking administrative assistance have the option of using the services of a professional administration company at a highly competitive monthly fee. This will allow them further to focus on sales,” says Davies.
“One of the precursors for us being able to offer the licence was the finalisation of the full Chas Everitt NUCLEI© system that allows members to transact from end to end, from pre-listing to post sale, and which is now successfully running live throughout our SA offices as well as in Mauritius, Zambia and Zimbabwe.”
In terms of the new scheme, independent contractors obtain an annual licence, which can be renewed for a further year or period of the agent’s choosing. Licences in specific areas will be limited to prevent over-trading of any given area. However, licence holders will be able to operate collaboratively to create a stronger presence in a territory while still owning their independent businesses.
Davies explains that the model is predominantly aimed at smaller franchise and rural areas where traditional franchises and set-up costs are prohibitive relative to market size.
He adds that the group is currently accepting limited applications in identified areas. “The model has elicited a lot of interest from agents in townships who previously had few options in terms of business ownership and who see this as a viable method of entry. The Services Seta has also evaluated the system and believes it offers opportunities for new business creation.”
One of the first Notebook licences granted was to Mara Potgieter and Alida Consalves, two former Chas Everitt agents in Rustenburg, whose business is already up and running. “In practice, the licence concept is outstanding,” they say. “We have access to all support services as well as top quality continuous training that has no equal locally. We are independent, yet associated with a company with high standards, values and excellent value-added products for agents as well as consumers.”
Yolandie Goosen, another pioneer of the system, runs her own operation in Mooinooi near Brits in Northwest Province. Goosen decided to strike out on her own after starting a family and says the Notebook model suits her circumstances perfectly. “The model allows agents to arrange their own working schedule and targets – and as a new parent I found that I could use it to be highly effective and efficient as an agent,” she says. “And the support from the Chas Everitt group is simply outstanding.”
Annual licence fees vary, depending on area and number of licenses, and may be paid in a lump sum. Fees can also be paid monthly to improve cash flow.
There is also an additional monthly fee for the use of the NUCLEI© and related IT systems, as well as access to other systems. Royalty on gross commission on registration of each transaction is also payable.
Licence holders buy a starter pack containing the necessary boards, marketing materials, print items and other material at the group’s preferred rates via recognised suppliers. Costs vary depending on quantity.
Issued by Chas Everitt International