Patrick: Hey, Patrick Findaro here, co-founder at Vetted Biz and Managing partner at Visa Franchise. I’m really excited to have on Graham Greene today, CEO of IPG group as well as the owner. He founded the franchise about 20 years ago. They’re around 30 locations in Florida. They’re 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. On our website we have 1,800 franchises available throughout the U.S. We have businesses for sale as well. Next week we expect to have 3,000 plus businesses available, principally in the state of Florida, where we produce all different types of metrics for you to better be able to compare the success rate of different businesses for sale and different franchise opportunities for you and your family. In terms of the buy component of what we offer, for those that are eligible for SBA financing, there are a lot of banks that you can apply for as little as 30% down. So, say you’re investing $300,000 buying an existing business, or $300,000 in a franchise, you can invest 100k, $80,000, and then receive a government-backed loan at around 5%, 6% A payment from a borrower or deposit-taking financial institution to a lender or depositor of an amount above repayment of the principal sum, at a particular rate. In Vetted Biz, it is typically the additional rate of a loan a business buyer would pay off over time to borrow in purchasing a business…. to complete the purchase or to have sufficient funds to purchase a franchise with sufficient working capital. 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.
So, again, today, I’m really excited to have Graham Greene on from IPG. He started his franchise 20 years back. They have around 30 franchises in the system. I like how they grew steadily. Right before the call, we were talking a little bit about Vetted Biz and one of our key core values is transparency, and that’s definitely something that has resonated every time that I’ve spoken to Graham and his colleagues, and all the clients that we’ve had with them. I believe, to date, we’ve had seven clients invest with IPG, and some of them are very actively involved in the business, day-to-day, working 40, 50 hours a week. And others it’s more of a CFO strategic type role, where, yes, they can review the items, and payroll, and all different types of financials on a daily basis but they’re less active on a day-to-day basis.
Graham: I’m here. Good afternoon everybody.
Patrick: So, yeah. Thanks again for coming on and joining our Franchise Fridays live stream. Could you just give a little background? Obviously some people probably have picked up you do have a little bit of an accent, and we’d love to hear about your story and how you made it to the U.S., and then we can talk a little bit about IPG.
Graham: Okay. Absolutely. Well, yes, I am from the UK, but I guess everybody has already worked that one out. I am from the London area. I qualify as a chartered accountant in the UK, which is the equivalent of a CPA in the States. I’m still a chartered accountant but I’m not practicing anymore. But for many years I ran a pretty large accounting practice in London, chartered accountant practice probably 20 years, 25 years. And I got to a stage where I sold out and kind of semi-retired. And then I wondered, “What am I gonna do next?” Because at the time I was young enough to want to do something next. Now, maybe things would be a little different. But certainly, I was looking for something else to do. I just happened to see an advert in the local newspaper for somebody selling properties, vacation homes in Florida. So, I thought, “Oh, that’s a good idea. Why don’t I just fly over to Florida and buy…?”
Patrick: Had you been to Florida at that point or was this the first time?
Graham: I had been to Florida once before that, actually. I’d been to Florida once. My wife wasn’t interested. She said, “No, just go and buy a house if you wanna buy one.” So, I flew across, I bought a house, I liked it. I realized that the potential of the property that I was having was managed by a local company. After a while I realized that, yeah, they were managing it, but they weren’t really doing a great job. And I think I could do something better than that. Long story short, it kind of grew from there. And in 1996, I founded my own companies in Florida. And that was property management and also real estate. And those were the two companies, they’ve been around for 25 years. The Franchise came just a little bit after that. And that really came in rather sort of unusual way, I was running a property management company, vacation homes, lots of them spread around the Orlando and Disney area. And it was going pretty well, except, to be honest, I didn’t think I was doing a very good job. And I began to realize that managing a large number of vacation homes spread over a wide geographical area actually is a nightmare. And it wasn’t a nightmare, I was really enjoying it pretty much because…
Patrick: Was it tough just like getting the right employees and you felt like you were being stretched thin or?
Graham: Yeah. I mean, getting the right employees who had the motivation to supply the level of service I wanted them to supply, that was a problem. The logistics of a team of maintenance guys traveling to one house and then to another house that may be on the other side of town. I thought what we really need is a group of, well, a set of maybe a husband and wife teams or just individuals who, and to split the whole thing up into little groups, so that each group looks after a set number of homes. And I thought, “Well, that actually sounds to me like it could be a franchise.” And that actually is when the franchise was born, and I got to work with my attorney on creating the franchise.
Patrick: So, that was back in 2001, 19 years ago?
Graham: It probably was. Right, yes it was. It was about then. Now, initially, the franchise was created for our own purposes. It was in order that we could run the business in a more efficient and effective way. So, what I did initially was, all of the homes that I had, I split them up and I made them into…and sold them as franchises. And they were all to people who, word of mouth, people we knew. And we stayed like that for a few years. It’s only been in the past, I mean, obviously, the concept was well and truly proven but I was not marketing it at all. And only five or six years ago when I started to be approached by quite a number of people saying, “Hey, this is great. Can we buy one?” Then I realized, of course, that I was missing a great opportunity.
Patrick: Yeah, I’m sure you have a lot of folks that are just tired of the cold, whether it’s in London, UK, New York, New York, Toronto, Canada that just wanna move to Florida and operate a small business.
Graham: No, absolutely. So, when we say, you know, we have 25, 30 franchises at the moment, I think it’s important to point out that it didn’t take us 20 years to reach that point.
Patrick: For sure.
Graham: Initially, for the first 15 years, we were just running with the initial nucleus of five or six franchises.
Patrick: I think when we first met maybe four or five years ago, I don’t know if you had 10 or 12. So, it seems like, you know, you were ironing a lot of things out for 15 years and were responsible in terms of not just going crazy selling franchise locations, but now it seems you guys are well poised to grow.
Graham: Yeah, we’re really satisfied with the program. We’re obviously continually improving it. Nothing’s ever perfect. We learn from mistakes. But now it is a well-proven concept. It’s great, you know, for individuals, for couples, for families. And in particular it has been extremely successful in supporting E2 visas, where our track record is pretty good actually.
Patrick: Exactly. Yeah. We have clients who’ve had a very high satisfaction and the majority of our clients have, in fact, been foreign nationals applying for the E2 visa based on an IPG investment. I think we’ve had about seven clients so far. But yeah, it definitely is well-suited, and a lot of our clients, like, compared to some other franchise systems, that you have the option to buy an existing portfolio of homes. So, instead of knocking on houses door to door trying to get your first contracts, you can skip the process, it’s gonna cost you. So, it’s not gonna be an $80,000 or $90,000 investment but probably more like $200,000 or more, and from day one you have revenue. So, could you tell us a little bit more about that and the option for investors that wanna have an IPG franchise to buy an existing portfolio of vacation properties?
Graham: Absolutely. I think that’s fairly unusual with franchises. We actually have three types of franchises, we have the new market franchise, which is, as you were saying, you pay your I think it’s $40,000 or $50,000, we give you a territory, we tell you how to do it, but you’ve got to go out there and get the homes. And, you know, if anybody wants to buy one of those, I will make sure that they really know what they’re getting into because it can be done, but wow, it’s…
Patrick: The first six months definitely suck. I mean, we have one client, he’s with another system, he now has 200 homes under management out in California. But the first six months were tough and building that base of clients took time. Now he’s happy and, you know, he could probably sell his franchise for $700,000 and he only invested 100K, but it was a lot of work, especially those first six months, but if not the first year that he was grinding away and working 60, 70-hour weeks.
Graham: Yeah. Well, we have another franchise called the conversion franchise, which is where if someone’s already got a property management business, vacation homes, and they want to convert to our model, our system, our brand, we will do a conversion. And we haven’t really pushed that but we have done a couple of those, and they’ve worked out pretty well. But the vast majority of the franchises we sell virtually or the franchises we sell are our portfolio package franchises. And the best way of describing it is that, you’re buying a franchise but it’s almost like buying a ready-made business, because the income stream starts virtually from day one. And the way it works is that we sell different packages. Our smallest standard package is 15 units, and that is $149,000. But what do you get for that? Well, first of all, you get the franchise fee that’s included in the 149.
Patrick: What’s a franchise fee? Does it vary or is it a set fee?
Graham: The franchise fee for a portfolio of packages is always $20,000.
Patrick: Okay. Great.
Graham: Yeah. So, the 149 includes the $20,000 franchise fee. The rest of the money are for 15 management contracts. Now, what are they? Well, they’re contracts. They’re legally binding contracts, and each contract gives you the right to manage a vacation home. Now, the vacation homes that we’re talking about are… In Central Florida, they’re all within the reach of the attractions. Every house has a private swimming pool, everyone has a yard, they all need pest control. And they range in size. They could be 3 bedrooms, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms. And the portfolio that we’ve put together is normally balanced so that somebody has a few threes, a few fours, a few fives across the board. So, from day one, the franchisee starts off with these homes to manage. Now…
Patrick: What’s like the average, I don’t know if you can disclose it, but what’s like the average, you know, if you have one home under management, like, are you making 2,000, 3,000? How much are you making from that contract? Five thousand dollars?
Graham: To be honest with you, it varies considerably, and I’d really invite people to get our FDD and read the pages where we do have some very detailed information in there.
Patrick: That’s right, you do have very detailed the revenue, but also all the costs involved with operation franchise.
Graham: Yeah. We set all that up within our FDD. It’s very, very detailed and tells people what to expect. So, from day one, they start with the ability to manage 15 homes. That means they’re responsible for maintaining the pools, the yards, the pest control, the cleaning in between lets. But the franchisee wouldn’t normally do much or any of that work themselves. They can if they want to, but they normally would not. And so, from day one, they’re gonna need contractors to do the work.
Patrick: And who finds these contractors?
Graham: We do.
Patrick: Can you help with that or…? Oh, wow. Okay.
Graham: Oh, that’s all part of it. Most people coming in wouldn’t have an idea who is who. No, we have a list of approved contractors. We vetted them all and we know they’re good. And we’ll introduce them to the franchisee and they can start on day one. Later on down the road, the franchisee is not obligated to keep them. If they want to change the contractors at any time, provided they meet our standards, there’s no problem, they’re free to change them. So, obviously, these homes, to work, they need to have guests going into them. And somebody who’s starting a franchise for the first time isn’t going to be able to fill these homes 90% of the time or 80% of the time, which is what most homeowners want.
Patrick: That’s significant in occupancy.
Graham: Typical occupancy is between 70%, 75%, can be 80%.
Patrick: That’s great.
Graham: We do pretty well. Now, during COVID, and we’ll talk about that a little later, not quite that sort of percentage, but that we can talk about later on. And it’s not nearly as bad as one might think. So, from day one, we as the franchisor, we produce the guests to book these homes. So, from day one, the franchisee has got homes to look after and they have guests coming in. But guests are coming in for two nights, three nights, five nights, seven nights. If there’s…
Patrick: How do you get guests? Are you guys marketing? Is it a known booking system?
Graham: Oh, yeah. We have a very powerful software. We market worldwide, very much to the domestic market. Obviously, the international market at this very moment is not the market that’s keeping us going. But ordinarily we attract guests from the UK, all parts of Europe, South America, Middle East, Far East, just worldwide. And we believe…
Patrick: It’s interesting, out of Miami, where I live and where Vetted Biz and Visa Franchise is, I see a lot of New Yorkers and tech folks from San Francisco that are just coming here for the winter. And instead of where an apartment might rent for three days, five days, seven days, they have the cash and they just do a two-month rental and they have that. They have the money for it. Are you seeing that in Orlando?
Graham: Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah, very much so. I should have mentioned here that we do actually have offices on the coast as well and we are selling the franchise concepts on the Gulf Coast of Florida. And whereas, historically, the snowbirds from the northern states who tend to stay on the Gulf Coast, we’re finding actually a lot of them now, a lot of them are still on the Gulf Coast, but a lot of them are coming to Orlando as well. And in years gone by January, February, March were our really slow months, now they’re some of the best months of the year because they are full of people coming down from the northern states. So, we could…
Patrick: And maybe probably where you had people in their 60s, 70s, now you have young professionals that are like, “Screw it. I’m gonna go down to Florida and I’ll work remotely.”
Graham: Absolutely. Absolutely. Oh, yeah. So, the audience has widened a lot and the occupancy levels have continued to increase. They’re pretty good.
Patrick: That’s great. So, in terms of COVID, and I know our team has spoken to numerous franchisees and your other colleagues, but I wanna hear from you, how has IPG been affected, how have franchisees been affected given COVID-19?
Graham: Okay. Well, of course we’ve been impacted by COVID. I mean, most people have. Yes, we’ve been impacted by it. We took action pretty quickly when COVID hit because a lot of our business, in fact probably 60%, 70% of our rentals was International. And certainly, we lost that business. Very quickly, our marketing department switched and ramped up considerably marketing to the domestic market. And what we’ve found is that, you know, obviously COVID has gone through various stages, you know, the curve has flattened, the curve has gone up, but whatever state it’s been at, the domestic market, Americans have traveled. And even when Disney closed down, we were really worried…
Patrick: I can imagine. It’s a huge distraction. Orlando, Disney, it’s the same.
Graham: Right? Even without Disney, they still came to Florida, it was quite incredible. Now, obviously, the revenue was down because they were coming maybe for two or three nights, not so long stays. However, bear in mind that, if you’re a franchisee, a lot of the tasks that you’re undertaking have to be undertaken, whether there’s somebody in the house or not. The pool maintenance, the home maintenance, the yard maintenance, the pest control, the routine maintenance, all of that had to be carried on anyway. And each one is a profit center. The profit center that one would think would be impacted most would be the cleaning. Because if there’s a guest, then you don’t have to clean the property. However, what happened is that we discovered, not discovered, we worked out that there’s a lot of Americans who want to come, and obviously Disney did open up again. They wanted to come to Orlando, to Disney for the weekend. And whereas we used to have a three or four-night minimum stay. We just changed it overnight, two nights minimum.
Patrick: But higher price?
Graham: The guests started to flood in. And obviously the investors who own the properties, the income for them has dropped because it is not for two or three-night hoping that you’ll offer a two-week booking. But for the franchisees, suddenly they were getting people coming just for two nights, then you have to clean the property to the same standard and at the same cost, whether someone’s coming in for two weeks or coming in for two nights.
Patrick: Yeah, it makes sense.
Graham: So, the franchisees where they might have lost their income, they did for a while lose income on the cleaning, we very quickly switched that round, got up the domestic markets to stay for two nights, three nights, whatever, and I think that probably some franchisees actually have ended up doing more cleans than they did when they were doing two or three bookings at a time. So, I would say, apart from the two months when the governor closed down all vacation homes throughout Florida, and I would admit it, they were two months that I’d rather than not remember.
Patrick: Yeah, I can imagine.
Graham: But apart from that, those two months, I’d say they were difficult. Again, for the franchisees, not as bad, because obviously they had no…
Patrick: They still had money coming in from the pest control…
Graham: They still had money coming in from…
Patrick: …lawn care, pool. I mean, maintaining a single-family house is different than an apartment.
Graham: They have to be maintained and the owners know that. So, you know, the owners were sending their money as rental there to enable them to pay for these costs. So, if we look at COVID, overall, will be impacted by, yes. We had a couple of months where the franchisee’s incomes would have dropped. But we were corporate from the rental side of things, our revenues dropped, but we probably suffered much more than the franchisees did. And now, COVID being as bad as it is, our owners, they are still busy with… They have been busy with not just two-night bookings but the two, three-night bookings have really brought the volumes well up, such that we’re now in a position that once the international travel returns, which we know it’s going to, we actually have contracts with two of the largest airlines in the UK, and we supply all the homes. And we know for a fact that once they start, people aren’t gonna, you know, fly in quite the numbers initially. So, it’s gonna be a gradual ramp-up. But I would say within the next 12 months, I’m hoping the volumes will be back to normal. If they are…
Patrick: And probably, I imagine, some of your competitors went on to other things and maybe they manage homes as part and they also bought and sold homes, and now they’re just out of the property management space.
Graham: A lot of companies have gone. We’ve actually acquired quite a number of companies as well.
Patrick: I’m seeing, yeah.
Graham: So, you know, we’ve actually managed COVID I think as well as we could have expected to have done.
Patrick: Yeah, in terms of the franchisors where I believe the system has done the best where they’ve had minimal closures of franchise units and franchisees haven’t had to inject more capital in the business, it seems like the ones that took a very aggressive approach in March were the winners. And those that kind of just waited and were more, you know, receptive to what’s going on, got hit even harder.
Graham: Yeah. None of our franchisees closed. Worst thing that happened was a couple of months where their cleaning income was down.
Patrick: And the owner has not taken a draw on and not taken compensation but, you know, it’s part of owning a business and, you know, most months are probably gonna do well, but there might be some months in a major global crisis that you gotta tap into savings a little bit.
Graham: It’s actually, it’s all performed way better than I thought it would, to be honest.
Patrick: It’s huge. We have a question from Fahad, I just wanted to bring it on the screen.
Patrick: “Is it possible to have existing contracts for single home residentials rather than vacation rentals?”
Graham: Okay. The residential home market is very different to the vacation home market. And there’s a very, very big legal difference. In Florida, if you are long-term renting a property, and long-term is defined as more than six months rental. And that would be a residential property. You have to be a licensed real estate company to manage and rent out that particular property. We do that. Our own real estate company has a portfolio of residences that it rents out. However, if you are renting vacation homes, anything for six months or less, and all of our rentals of six months or less, you do not have to be a licensed real estate company. So, I often get asked the question by potential franchisees, “Oh, do I need a license to do this?” Obviously, you need a local tax license, which is $50 or whatever. But what they’re really referring to is do I need a real estate license to do this? And the answer is, no, you don’t. But there is a distinction between the two types of businesses. And so, our franchisees cannot normally get involved in long-term rentals unless they become real estate companies. In fact, funny enough, one of our franchisees has just set up a subsidiary company which is a licensed real estate company with the idea of doing, because he wanted to do long-term rentals. In all honesty, it is not something that we push. If someone wants to do it, we are flexible enough to say, “Well, if you want to do it, that’s fine.” But a vacation rental has a lot of differences from a residential rental and they are treated legally very differently indeed.
Patrick: What I understand, I mean, residential, the margins aren’t as high. Like, oftentimes they’re getting, what? 6% to 10% of the rent and there’s no other kind of landscaping fees and all those type of services.
Graham: Oh, yeah. No, I mean, it’s not nearly as profitable. And it’s a totally different business, it’s not as profitable. You know, you would think that residents are gonna look after the property better than somebody who’s come down for a five-night vacation. It’s not true. We have more problems, many more problems with our long-term properties than we do with our vacation homes. It’s very, very surprising. I mean, you obviously get somebody who would abuse a property, that’s gonna happen now and again. But the vast majority of people, and we have, I’m not sure how many it is, it must be, I mean, it’s tens of thousands of guest parties coming through every year. And the number of incidents where we have, you know, damage is very small. We do actually run, even for that, we run an insurance program, not technically an insurance program or damage waiver, whereby it covers, if somebody knocks over a lamp, stains the carpet, whatever. The last thing you want to do is to blame a guest and say, “You broke that lamp.” “It wasn’t me, it must be the previous people.” And immediately, you know, they’re probably not gonna come back again next year.
Patrick: And they’re gonna write all over Facebook how you treated them poorly.
Patrick: No one wants.
Graham: Likewise, the homeowner, so we charge the homeowner for a new lamp, and they say, “Well, who broke it?” We’ll say, “Well, a guest did.” “Well, why don’t you charge them?” And so, the homeowner is not happy. So, we’ve moved to this damage waiver, every guest pays, I think it’s $69, and it covers accidental damage up to $1,500. Very rare that we had anything in excess of that.
Patrick: It gives a good peace of mind too. You know, you’re on vacation, you don’t wanna worry, if your kid knocked something over and then all of a sudden it costs you $1,000.
Graham: Exactly. Since we put that into play, it’s been operating for a few years now, it’s been great. We haven’t had to upset a guest, haven’t had to upset the homeowner. So, everybody’s happy.
Patrick: Yeah, and I’m sure that’s something that you did in the start, like 20 years ago, but with running your business for 20 plus years, it’s something that you found makes the most sense.
Graham: Oh, absolutely. No, I didn’t think of it 20 years ago, I must admit. But we certainly wouldn’t drop it now, it works very, very well.
Patrick: And we have another question from Fahad, “With an initial investment of $250,000, how many existing contracts would one likely get and what could be the potential revenue?”
Graham: Okay. You know, the question that I should have… The answers I should have at the top of my head are how much these franchises cost. And I always hesitate when somebody asks me, “What’s the price of a package?” I know the 15 package is 149. For 250, you will get, let me work it out. In fact, you will get a 30 unit package for I think it’s 280,000. So, it’s gonna be around 25 homes you will get for that sort of money. Now, the next question being asked, how much am I gonna make from that? That is where I have to say, please take a look at our FDD. The reason being that, under franchise regulations, I can’t actually tell you that, you know, openly like this. Obviously, before anybody considers investing, they wanna know how much money they’re gonna make. For that reason, I don’t know if you’ve looked at many franchises, but every franchise has to issue a Franchise Disclosure Document, that’s the FDD. And we obviously have one as does everybody else. There’s an item within that FDD, an item is really a chapter, it’s called item 19. Some franchises have a blank item 19 and some actually have information in item 19. We have information there. And what we have in there is we have proforma, Profit and Loss accounts for a 15 unit, 25 unit, 35 unit package. We show you obviously what each one costs. We also show you a financial projection of what income we believe each package will make from each of the profit centers and we show how we’ve arrived at those estimates. So, rather than me just throwing out a number, which, legally, I can’t do anyway, but in any event, it depends on so many different factors. Once you get the FDD and I always say to people when they’re interested, I’m gonna send you this document. It’s 300 pages long. You know, don’t blame me, we’re required by law to send it to you. But just so that you don’t get bored, don’t start on page one, because you might just get bored going through it. Go straight to item 19. Because I know that’s the item that’s gonna interest you the most. And item 19 will answer all your questions about whether this is a financially feasible project, and if so, how much you need to invest to make the financial return that you need to live. All of that information is in there. I do apologize that I’m not being evasive, I’m just kind of being very compliant with franchising law, that I cannot throw out those numbers. But that, you know…
Patrick: Do you have, prospective franchisees, I imagine, wanna talk to current franchise owners to kind of go through the numbers…
Patrick: …and kind of see how they like working with you at the end of the day? They sign a 10-year agreement, I imagine.
Graham: Yeah, no, absolutely. And again, in the FDD, this little document, after you’ve read how much money you’re gonna make and which size of package you want, probably the next page you’re gonna turn to is towards the back of the document. It will be the names and addresses of every franchisee that we have in the system, oh, and phone numbers, incidentally. And you are free to phone up as many as you like and speak to them directly.
Patrick: I have found from the clients that we’ve worked with, the franchisees have been quite receptive to at least have an initial phone call. And especially before COVID times, you know, if the client was in Orlando, meeting face to face with the franchisee and we always encourage our clients from Vetted Biz and Visa Franchise to talk to as many franchisees as possible, you know.
Graham: Absolutely. And I do not… If somebody says, “Well, I wanna speak to somebody who has been here the longest, and I wanna speak to somebody who’s got a big franchise, and I wanna speak to somebody with a small franchise.” I can direct them. But even if I direct them to those people, I have a policy, I do not tell the franchisees that they’re gonna receive a phone call. Because if I do that, it kind of is not an independent verification. It’s not really [inaudible 00:37:58]. So, any phone calls that people make, yeah, I put out there all their names, their addresses, their phone numbers, I have no idea what they’re gonna say. But given that people are still buying our franchise, I can only assume that not too many people have said too many negative things. So, I feel good about that. But yeah, you know, it’s an open book. You know, if we got in at the moment, I think that due to close, our next FDD is gonna have about 30, 35 franchisees. You know, phone them all if you want to. You probably don’t want all of them. But if you want to, absolutely fine. So, between item 19 and the list of all the franchisees, you can get all the information you need to get your level of comfort with the business. And of course, post COVID, I mean, even now, if somebody wants to do a Zoom meeting with me or one of my colleagues, we’ll do that happily. But if somebody is traveling to Orlando or the coast, and they want to visit our office and meet some franchisees at the same time, we can arrange that. So, you know absolutely.
Patrick: That’s great. So, tell me, so you’re in the West Coast of Florida and the Orlando area, Central Florida, what’s the next step? Where do you wanna expand? We’ve had clients in the past ask about Hawaii and a few other states. What’s on your radar?
Graham: Yeah, on our radar, certainly other parts of Florida. We are expanding up the coast of Florida. We’re working on that. Central Florida is unbelievably popular. And I think there’s probably 30,000, 35,000 vacation homes in Central Florida. So, you know, we’ve got a long way to go in Central Florida anyway. But we are expanding up the coast of Florida. We’re going to be expanding into the panhandle of Florida, which has got some of the most beautiful beaches, actually.
Patrick: Oh, yeah, it’s incredible there. And I’m sure there it’s more the domestic markets.
Graham: It is very much so. We would love to expand into the Miami area, and the only reason we haven’t is because there are a lot of problems with rental restrictions down there. Short-term rentals, I believe that Airbnb got heavily fined. So, that’s the only reason not to… I mean, we love the area and the clients love the area, but we’re not going to, until we are satisfied that we can offer a product that’s not gonna be plagued with legal problems, we’re not going to do it. So, after the panhandle, we will then go out of the state. Next in our list definitely is California and Texas. I wanted to go to Hawaii but I believe there could be some, not for us, but there are some legal issues for franchises going into Hawaii. So, I’d love to go there but we may have to put that one on hold.
Patrick: That makes sense.
Graham: But definitely California, and almost certainly Texas will be the next.
Patrick: So, expand further in Florida, Texas, California. Yeah, I mean, I’d say between Texas, Florida, and California, that encompasses 80% plus of our clients. That’s great to hear.
Graham: Yeah, no, absolutely. That’s on our radar. And it’s pretty soon, maybe we’ll get that done this year. That’s the objective.
Patrick: Perfect. Well, we’re wrapping up, just wanted to…And anyone that’s interested, I’ll send an email out after this presentation, you can schedule an initial call with Graham, or Zoom video call to get more information about IPG and see if it’s a good fit for you and your family. But before we wrap up, Graham, just wanted to turn it over to you and see if you had any last words and anything you’d wanna get out to a prospective franchisee.
Graham: No, just a couple of things that we didn’t touch upon. I talked about these standards…
Patrick: Sure. That’d be great.
Graham: …15, 25, 35, they are standard packages. And they are standard because we put them into the FDD and give you proformas on them. However, if you work out that you really need to get the income that you want, you really need a 40 unit package, we can set a 40 unit package. If you decide that you want, and we actually have somebody who wanted an 18 unit package. He had done his sums, they weren’t for me, his own sums. He wanted 18. I said, “You don’t want 20?” “No, no, I don’t want 20 and I don’t want 15, I want 18. Can you do it?” “Of course we can do it.” So, we are very flexible. The standard packages tell us what you want, what you want to achieve, what your budget is. Obviously, if it’s an E2 visa situation, that’s gonna come into it as well. You’re probably not gonna be looking for less than 15 units. Having said that, we have had a lot of visa approvals on the 15 units. So, people come to me and say, “Well, I suppose I’ve got to spend more than that to get an E2 visa.” And I say, “Well, I’m not an immigration attorney, but I can tell you that we’ve had lots of proof of the 15 units.” So, we are flexible. And also, if somebody is interested in real estate, we do have an add-on to the franchise. There’s no additional cost to it. But if somebody wants to, they can, obviously they have to get their license. We direct them how to get the license, how to take the exams, get the license, and they have to hang your license with our real estate brokerage. And they can run that alongside their property management. I welcome one-to-one calls with anybody at any time. We can do any time zone. And I tend to like to do the calls myself. It doesn’t have to be me, but I like to do it myself because, you know, I think I know quite a bit about, you know, the good and the bad. There’s not much bad, but if there is I’m gonna tell you about it.
Patrick: And I think we’re kind of kind of similar, you know. You’re the owner of IPG, my brother and I own Vetted Biz and Visa Franchise. But generally, every client that works with Visa Franchise, I talk to at one point. So, they really hear, you know, what we can do, and I wanna know if we can do a good job for that client and if that client would be a good fit for our services. So, I imagine you as the owner, you know, know very well the type of prospective franchisee that would be a good fit for your system and if they’re gonna be happy and which one that there’s just a misalignment of expectations and fit.
Graham: And, you know, if I really think that somebody is not suitable, this is not the right thing for them, it doesn’t happen very often, but it does happen, and I will say so. Whereas, you know, if we employed a salesman, they might not say so, but I will turn them away if necessary.
Patrick: So, Graham…
Graham: So, I welcome hearing from people, happy to talk, no obligation. Let’s talk it through, see if we might be a good fit for one another. And yeah, I’m happy to talk to anybody, any time.
Patrick: Perfect, Graham. We really appreciate joining us today for Vetted Biz’s Franchise Fridays, and I’ll go ahead and send a recording of this live stream out as well as a link to schedule a one-on-one call or Zoom video meeting with Graham. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
Graham: That’d be great. Appreciate it. Thank you, Patrick, for the opportunity.