(BPT) Small business has always been the backbone of the American economy, and today’s entrepreneurs are as diverse as American culture itself. Entrepreneurship takes many forms, from freelancers and independent contractors to sole proprietors. In fact, just one form of entrepreneurship - franchises - employs 8 million people and accounts for 40 percent of all retail sales, according to the Small Business Administration.
Franchise operations come in many forms, from chain restaurants and retail stores to home services providers and real estate brokerages. In fact, the real estate franchise industry is a $25 billion marketplace and more than 55,000 Americans are employed as franchise owners, according to market research firm IBISWorld.
“Many real estate brokers have been making great livings as small business owners for a very long time,” says Adam Contos, co-CEO of RE/MAX LLC. “As franchise entrepreneurship continues to grow, we expect opportunities in real estate franchises to grow, too.”
Contos points to four reasons why a real estate franchise has always been, and continues to be, a great career option:
- You can be your own boss.
The ability to work for oneself attracts many people to owning a small business. A real estate franchise allows you to nurture your entrepreneurial spirit. Franchisees get to set their own objectives and make business decisions about everything from where they’ll work (at home or in an office) to how they’ll market their business.
- You can work for yourself but not by yourself.
Franchisors typically provide training, assistance and marketing support to franchisees. For example, billions of dollars have been spent promoting franchise brands with tools like property signs and outdoor advertising, TV, print and social media, and they are helping franchisees with professionally designed marketing materials, PR support, hands-on coaching and recruiting resources.
- You don’t have to move for work - unless you want to.
Real estate agents usually specialize in an area that’s close to their own home. It’s easy to find opportunities in your own backyard, especially if you sign on with a franchisor that has numerous offices across the country. Living in the communities where you find business also allows you to develop a level of expertise about an area that can better serve both home buyers and sellers.
- Your local business can have a global presence.
When your franchise is connected to a well-known brand, your bread-and-butter business may be local but the brand’s name recognition can have global reach. By franchising with that brand, you can lean on its reputation, and that can open up opportunities beyond your local business.