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Graham Green Reveals the Best Approach to Property Management (2023)

Written by: Jack Findaro
Last Updated: January 23, 2023
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This article is based on its most recent FDDKeep reading or watch the video originally recorded on Vetted Biz Youtube Channel

Jack: Hey, Jack Findaro here, co-founder at Vetted Biz and Managing partner at Visa Franchise. I’m excited to have on Graham Greene today, CEO of IPG group as well as the owner. IPGs expanding, they have plans to expand in other states. And today we’ll be reviewing the real estate franchise industry, in particular, property management, and having a chat with Graham Greene.

For those that are not familiar with Vetted Biz, we help you find, vet and buy a franchise or business for sale in the United States. And, at Visa Franchise, we’ve helped 350 plus foreign nationals with finding and vetting businesses eligible for the E2 investor visa. Our clients have moved throughout the United States. We focus a lot on Florida, Texas, and California, although we’ve helped clients invest in about 15 states throughout the United States, mostly in franchises.

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Graham: Thank you for expressing an interest in the IPG unique franchise. What I’d like to do today is to, first of all, give you a brief rundown of who IPG is. Then I’m going to talk about the franchise itself and what it does and how it works. And then I’m going to bring in the management program, which I understand you may well be interested in.


IPG: The Real Estate Company Based in Florida

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IPG has been established in Florida for well over 20 years. We are a real estate company, a property-management company, a vacation rental company, and, of course, a franchising company. We’re based predominantly in the Central Florida area, in the Orlando area, or the Disney area.

We have other offices on the gulf coast of Florida in the Naples, Fort Myers Beach, and Bonita Springs area. But today I’m going to speak about a franchise opportunity in Central Florida, which is the area where our managed model works exceptionally well. I will focus on that but I’m happy to talk about another area if that’s of somebody’s interest.

IPG and Graham’s History

The franchise it’s been running for about 20 years. It’s a well-proven concept. But it’s only in the last 5 or 6 years that we’ve opened it up in the marketplace and have been promoting it. Mainly because we had a lot of people coming up to us and saying, “Hey, we like your franchise, we’d like to buy one.” So, we’ve been growing in the last 5 years.

We currently have 25 active franchises in the Central Florida area. But we also have another probably 15 to 20 potential franchisees who have signed up.

Portfolio Package: The Most Popular Franchise of IPG

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Our most popular franchise and the one I’m going to talk about exclusively today is our portfolio package franchise. When you buy one of those, you don’t just pay the franchise fee, at the same time you buy a book of business.

The book of business comprises several management contracts, each management contract gives you the rights and obligations to manage a vacation home. When we’re talking about a vacation home, normally, it will be a single-family detached property with a private swimming pool that will be most of our inventory. The homes are all going to be located in the Disney area. They’re all within a 10 to 20-minute drive off the gates of Disney World. In areas where short-term rentals are permitted.

And they’re going to vary in size. The smallest property is going to be a three-bedroom two-bathroom property with a private swimming pool. Then we’re going to have four-bedroom, five-bedroom, six bedrooms, and we have some portfolios that are going to have seven, eight bedrooms, or possibly even more.

How About the Portfolio

When we put together a portfolio, we make sure that it’s balanced. And we spread the portfolio across the spectrum.

We do standard packages. We sell a 15-unit package which means you’d be managing 15 homes. But having said that, we can put together a package to suit an individual’s specific requirements and needs. So, although we have those standard packages, if somebody wants to spend more investment, they want a bigger return, we can always put together a larger package.

What are the Franchisee’s day-to-day Responsibilities?

On a day-to-day basis, a regular franchisee is going to be responsible for the number of homes that they’ve taken on, be it 15, 20, or more. They’re going to be in charge of making sure that the swimming pools are maintained, making sure the yards are maintained. The pest control and any specialist repairs are carried out. And probably one of the biggest profit centers is going to be the cleaning department.

Each property is fully serviced after each guest party departs. That’s when the cleaners come in. They completely clean the unit, sanitize it. They change the wash and change the linens and make the property ready for the next set of guests that are due to arrive.

The Key to Getting Guests

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The guests come very much ordinarily from IPG. We have a very very powerful marketing program that brings hundreds of thousands of people to the area each year. And we have no problem in filling the homes under our management with vacationers normally from around the world.

At the moment, for obvious reasons, we are filling the homes solely from the domestic market. We didn’t use to pre-COVID. A very large, in fact, 17% of our business, was international. When COVID hit, we just changed direction and we are now heavily involved in the domestic market.

We realized what a strong market it is. And kind of surprisingly, we’re busier now, even with COVID, just from the domestic market than we were pre-COVID when we were dealing with the domestic and the international markets.

Good Predictability for the Market

For when the international markets come back, we already have reservations in place for 2022 from a number of our connections and we have contracts with tour operators and airlines located literally around the world. Each franchisee needs to have the flow of guests because, obviously, the more guests that go through the home, the more profit there is to be made. That is something that we produce and that works extremely well.

Business Models Adapted Each Client

If franchisees decide to operate the franchise themselves, they can. If they want to, advertise for rentals themselves and they make a commission on those rentals. And that is another profit center for them.

For those potential investors who have expressed an interest in buying the franchise, obtaining a visa, but not wanting to be too closely involved with the cleaning of the pools and the cleaning of the homes and dealing with the guests and the homeowners, we have a management program.

The way that works is as follows. To start with, we appoint a part-time general manager to the franchise. That general manager is a person from our corporate office, they’re a highly experienced person, and they will be to assume overall responsibility for the franchise. In doing that, first of all, they will recruit and appoint the independent contractors that will be carrying out a lot of the work to the property.

Who Assumes the Responsibilities in a Manage Portfolio

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In a managed portfolio the general manager will appoint all the independent contractors that are required. We have access to a large number of them in Central Florida and we have a continually updated approval list of approved vendors that we use for the managed portfolios. In addition, we will recruit, appoint, and train a property manager. That will normally be an employee of the franchise. It would normally be a full-time position, it’s going to, vary to some extent, depending upon the size of the franchise.

That employee, their role will be to do all the duties that the franchisee would normally undertake. And that would be making sure that the poor people are doing their job properly, that the yard people are turning up and working properly, pest control is being carried out regularly. They will probably also personally inspect the property after each clean to make sure the cleaning is up to standard. They’re also going to act as liaisons with the homeowners.

The Importance of the Property Manager

The property manager is supported by the general manager. Although the property manager is fully trained by us, they’re overseen by us. When I refer to a general manager overseeing the operation, it’s a little more than that. Because the general manager has a whole team of people in our corporate office. And all of that team is available to assist the property manager on a day-to-day basis if they have problems. Or things they don’t know how to deal with. We have been doing it for over 20 years, so, we are there to help them if help is required.

Percentage of E2 Visa Approval

I can tell you that all of our franchisees have E-2 visas. They all obtained their visas based on buying an IPG franchise. All approved on the first application.

We have a 100% success rate to date on our Central Florida franchises, both hands-on and managed models, which is something we’re pretty pleased with.


How the Management Program Works

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What we normally do is, and it’s a very very flexible program, we involve the franchisee in some way. The way that we have found works the best is for the franchisee to control the bank account. The business belongs to the franchisee. The bank account is their bank account or their company’s bank account, the money is theirs, it’s not ours. In most cases, we tell the franchisee the bills to be paid. And the franchisee makes the payment by check, wire transfer, or whatever. When the money is due to be paid to the franchisee, which happens every month, the franchisee will see the money come into the account.

We find that the franchisee gets a feel for the activity going on in the company. They are controlling what is their money. And if something looks odd or they’re not sure about it, they have the opportunity of raising an inquiry if they want to do so. That works well for most people. If somebody doesn’t want to do that, they don’t want to operate the bank account, then we can talk about having monthly meetings. So that we can tell them how things are going, what things are going well, what problems we have, and they can give us indications if they want to do so. Bear in mind that, as the franchisee, you own the franchise 100%, you ultimately have total control.

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