Why service franchises will continue to surge in 2022

 

The franchise industry as a whole witnessed some of its most substantial growth in a long while in 2021, fueled by an economy rebounding from the initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic and a growing number of professionals making life-changing decisions to make a professional change.

 

 

Career moves were quite common in 2021—we all read and heard the news stories of the Great Resignation taking place every month in the U.S. as millions of people left their jobs for greener pastures elsewhere. A similar trend ensued in other parts of the world. 

 

The mass exodus went beyond switching jobs; tens of thousands chose to become business owners and invested in a franchise concept. Service franchises, particularly in the home services sector saw solid growth. This expansion is no surprise. From a business perspective the appeal of a service franchise has been elevated due to the pandemic.  Quick serve restaurants and many other brick and mortar businesses continue to struggle more so than service sector.  And our homes have become more critical over the past few years, in part because we’ve spent more time at home during economic shutdowns, remote learning and a shift to working from home. Besides that, the real estate market has been on fire in many parts of the U.S. National home prices increased by nearly 20% in 2021 compared to 2020. Some markets like Phoenix and Boise, Idaho, were significantly higher. 

 

If you’re a home services franchise owner or looking to invest in one, you want to know some of the market trends. Based on my experience in this industry and current vantage point, here are several trends to be on the lookout for in the year ahead. 

 

A rise in tech-focused franchising opportunities

 

Technology, as it has done in every other industry, has significantly changed how franchising works. Franchise systems can manage their entire brand on a single dashboard; franchise owners can do the same with their units’ marketing, sales, and operations.

 

Taking that a step further, there’s a future where more and more franchise brands are tech-first in their actual model, not just the way they operate on the backend.

 

Take, for example, what we’re doing at MooveGuru: We have launched YourHomeHub. This “everything home” tech hub allows homeowners to manage both the home’s financial details and physical elements. From real estate agents to mortgage officers to savvy marketers or sales experts who want a work-from-home business, franchise owners operate the tech-first franchise, selling their services to real estate agents who provide it for free to consumers. YourHomeHub is the first property tech—or, “proptech”—franchise on the market, and it is exploding. We’ve sold out twenty states in less than six months, and we’re just now launching the consumer product at YourHomeHub.com.

 

The impact we’re having in our space could also happen with other service franchise sectors. Tech-first franchises in the B2B space could help business owners learn how to better run or manage their business through a platform; it could help people make investments and provide useful tech solutions for healthcare.

 

Essentially, any tech platform could become a franchise. Franchising is essentially a business expansion  model.  Rather than hiring a large pool of sales associates, a Tech Franchise empowers local owners, who are highly invested and qualified, to own the platform, providing them with the training and support to market and support relationships in their territory while being their own boss.

 

 

Growth of ancillary models that support the homeowner at multiple levels

 

When real estate is good, and values are up, consumers who own those homes have the confidence to do renovations in their home; others have the confidence to sell and buy knowing that they have a lot of equity in their current home. This positive growth in real estate is fueling home service franchises and will continue to do so in the year ahead.

 

Smart, savvy investors are taking note and buying franchises in the home services industry. Not only that, home service franchises have become a hot commodity for franchise conglomerates looking to add to their portfolios.

 

The beauty of home service franchises can be both personal and financial.  Lower start up investment is appealing and the ability to build long-lasting relationships serving homeowners  and their community is personally rewarding.  Having an ongoing relationship and multiple touchpoints with a customer is a dream come true for business leaders, and home services provide just that.

 

We considered this holistic approach when developing YourHomeHub. Consumers can monitor extensive information about their home and local market conditions, store important documents, generate accurate estimates for home repairs and find a local contractor for over 1,000 different home service categories. The platform also offers a reliable home value estimates that are more accurate than common online sources. Homeowners can get alerts on real estate activity in their area, maintenances reminders specific to their particular home and search the resource library for advice on everything from running a successful garage sale to ice damn prevention.

Service professionals buying franchises as an add-on for their portfolios

 

Multi-unit franchise ownership is nothing new to franchising. And owning several different franchise brands within your portfolio isn’t either. However, we’re seeing more and more service professionals buying franchises as add-ons for their portfolios. The early interest in the YourHomeHub franchise comes primarily from real estate brokerages looking to add on to their existing business and create a new pipeline for revenue. Mortgage and title companies and mortgage brokers are also interested in the model.  

 

With these add-ons, it makes sense to think outside the box about how you structure the franchise. For example, we have implemented what we are informally calling a “reverse royalty” structure. We are paying franchise owners every month for their revenue through YourHomeHub subscriptions. Our franchise pays 10 to 20 percent of net subscription to franchise owners (rather than the owners, as is customary for franchises, writing us a royalty check every month). This makes adding our model even easier for an existing home and professional services business. 

 

Any franchise looking to become even more attractive as a low-cost, high-value add-on business model should think outside the box regarding how your franchise is structured. We see the positive impact of that already.

 

As we look ahead into the remainder of 2022, we’re incredibly excited about what’s to come in the service industry within franchising. You should be too! There’s a lot of positive trends on the horizon. Be innovative and be courageous. If you’re those two things, be prepared for rapid growth this year.

 

About the author:

Kathleen Kuhn has more than 35 years of experience in real estate and home services, with an emphasis on franchising. She joined MooveGuru in 2021 to expand the company’s consumer services and help launch the YourHomeHub franchise offering. In October 2021, Kathleen was named President of MooveGuru, the first female president in the company’s history.

 

Learn more at YourHomeHub.com