Property group CENTURY 21 has introduced an innovative offer to 'incentivise' franchise purchases for a limited period.
The initiative, dubbed the "Golden Ticket", is aimed at established estate agencies with a proven track record, says Colleen Gray, MD of CENTURY 21 South Africa.
"Essentially what we are offering selectively are fully-fledged CENTURY21 franchises with all the usual attributes of training programmes, technology, marketing support and business tools associated with any franchise agreement we sign.
"The difference in this instance however, is that for a limited period, commencing in August, these franchises will be available at an incentivised level of pricing which we believe makes our quality brand the most attractive offer available to the market at this time."
She says the company is looking for established estate agencies which would benefit most from CENTURY21's global and local branding and which would turn to good account the value of that brand in what continues to be an extremely tough market.
"We recognise that agencies have been through arguably the toughest business cycle in decades, a situation that's reflected in the fact that as many as 50 000 agents have reportedly left the sector.
"The hard core of about 38 000 agents who are still in business have proven their ability to survive tough times by a combination of good management, cost controls and adaptability to demanding consumer conditions, notwithstanding the lack of bank finance and consumer wariness of debt in whatever form.
"These are therefore people who are clearly at the top of their game but equally they remain challenged on numerous levels not least of which of course, are costs.
"Moreover, they need all the support they can get in current conditions to remain in business pending the arrival of the inevitable upturn. It's this market to which we are targeting and we have little doubt that there will be a tremendous response."
CENTURY 21 SOUTH AFRICA