The Franchise Centre

Making multi-branding work – lessons from the continued evolution of Ray White

By Centre Contributor

Making multi-branding work – lessons from the continued evolution of Ray White

The successful integration of multiple franchise brands within one company relies on brands that don’t need each other to survive but do better when they are together.

This is a key message from the multi-branding experiences of one of the oldest and most well-known companies and largest franchise networks in Australia.

Peter Camphin, CEO of Ray White (QLD), gave a rare insight into the ongoing evolution of the giant real estate business in a keynote address to 2017 Franchise Management Forum.

Click here for full recordings of Franchise Management Forum 2017.

His unique behind-the scenes look at the growth strategy of Ray White highlighted that its focus is always on new ways to enhance the overall customer experience, including the integration of complementary service brands across its franchise network

Founded in 1902 at Crows Nest on Queensland’s Darling Downs, the private Australian-owned Ray White group is in the fourth generation of stewardship by the founding White family. The business now spans 1,000 offices in nine countries, handles $4.4 billion of property sales a month, has 250,000 properties under management, and sells six million head of livestock a year.

Ray White has been franchising since the 1970s and now has one of the biggest franchise networks in any industry in Australia and New Zealand.

Highlighting the sheer scale of the network, Peter said Ray White has to replace 120 franchisees a year as a result of office sales, retirements and the like “just to stand still” in terms of total office numbers.

While Ray White has a long and successful history, he said the company clearly recognises that it has to be flexible and nimble to survive.

“We have got an old brand, one of the oldest in the country. But if we are not rejuvenating and not bringing in youth, we are going to die,” he told the Forum.

The integration of complementary brands has been a major focus for the Ray White group in growing additional income streams and differentiating itself in the highly competitive real estate market.

Peter is also CEO of Loan Market (QLD), an independent finance brand that sits within the Ray White group. Loan Market is privately-owned by Ray White, is not affiliated with any bank, and handles $2 billion in home finance, asset and equipment, and commercial finance loans a month.

Peter said Ray White has learnt some valuable lessons in how to integrate a new brand into an existing franchise network, the most important being that the brand must have its own separate identity.

He said the finance service was first introduced under the Ray White brand, but this didn’t work as finance customers didn’t want to get a loan from a real estate brand.

However, it has been much more successful under the Loan Market brand which has developed its own identity that has added to the overall client service offering under the Ray White group.

Loan Market has helped Ray White to foster closer long-lasting relationships with clients, create more memorable client experiences, provide a more complete client service, and aid in client retention.

Peter said the real value of brand integration is in the enhanced client experience that it delivers. Loan Market and Ray White are two brands that don’t need each other to survive but do better together, he said.

While property and finance services are a natural fit, Peter said there are always ongoing challenges in improving education of the two offerings throughout the Ray White franchise network and retaining the separate identity of two brands while working closely together.

“You are bringing different types of people together and they don’t always understand what each other does,” he said. “We are constantly looking for ways to do it better.”

Click here for full recordings of Franchise Management Forum 2017.
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