by Refresh Renovations
last updated 23/06/2019
transforming MANAGERS into OWNERS
by Refresh Renovations
last updated 23/06/2019
Kim Reiche arrived in New Zealand 16 years ago with ‘one husband, two children, a suitcase each and a couple of thousand dollars.’ Today, she has a thriving Refresh Renovations business and is so well-established that she is about to purchase a neighbouring territory. ‘This is a superb franchise and if you are prepared to put in the hours, do your planning and get your teams right, then there are big rewards, both financial and personal, to be made,’ she says.
With a degree in interior architecture, Kim had done residential renovations in South Africa and after a few years here she seriously thought of starting her own business. ‘But I could see I’d need to spend a fortune on building a brand and I certainly didn’t have the energy to build a website, look for business, survive and put food on the table! Then I came across Refresh Renovations.
‘Refresh Renovations stood out for me because of their straightforward and well-designed operating strategy. The national marketing support the company offers is outstanding and their systems are excellent – the Refresh process covers everything from the initial briefing to concept, working drawings, quote, build and finished project. This allows clients to fully understand what’s involved in a renovation project – the planning needed to achieve the end result.
‘In the five years I’ve owned my Refresh franchise, my team – staff and contractors – have worked on everything from bathroom and kitchen renovations through to larger projects, such as major extensions and complete remodels. The franchisee’s role is sales and project management – in the current housing market, a lot of people who like the area they’re in are choosing to make-over their homes rather than look elsewhere, and we take the hassle out of renovation.’
Refresh Renovations is one of New Zealand’s biggest franchise success stories, having been launched in 2011 after five years of meticulous research and development by strategic marketing specialist Traffic. In working with some of the biggest brands in the building supply sector, Traffic’s research had uncovered some surprising facts and figures.
‘The renovations market is worth over $8 billion – bigger than the new housing market,’ says Lal Meyer, the company’s International CEO. ‘Yet there were no specialists in the market, so Refresh Renovations was created as a national brand with franchisees having all the systems and support they need to project-manage every aspect of a home renovation.’
Today there are 29 Refresh Renovations franchisees around the country and Refresh is now operating in the UK, the USA and Australia. Traffic has also launched two other franchises into the home improvement sector: Zones, which specialises in residential landscaping, and its latest brand Oncore, specialising in maintenance, repairs, decorating and installation.
Jeff Clarke is a new Refresh Renovations franchisee proving that good skills are transferable. He has a strong sales background through his former career in the IT industry and was contemplating a six-month sabbatical while he researched his next career move. ‘I decided to have a quick look at businesses for sale and was so intrigued by Refresh Renovations that in one evening I was semi-hooked. That was in December 2017 and I spent the next few months doing due diligence before buying one of the Wellington franchises in May 2018.
‘What impressed me about Refresh was the level of detail that has gone into the franchise, and the fact you don’t need engineering or building experience – just good management skills. When I went to sign the franchise agreement, my lawyer pointed out I should take comfort from that detail and that the agreement reflected the level of support and investment the franchisor had made. She was quite right!’
Jeff describes his role as being ‘chief bottle-neck remover’. ‘High quality leads flow in to me from the franchise and my job is to turn leads into solid sales and identify the potential problems and bottle necks in each new contract before they occur. That way, we can bring in quality renovations for our customers on time and on budget, and keep the cash flow positive. I’ve already exceeded most expectations for my first six months so I’m looking forward to building a solid long-term business like Kim’s.’
build a significant asset
Traffic is interested in talking with potential franchisees from within or outside the building industry for all three franchise brands: Refresh, Zones and Oncore. ‘The skills required to run a successful business can be rare within trade-based roles, so we are deliberately looking to other disciplines or industries to find people with the necessary management and sales skills,’ says Traffic director Jon Bridge.
‘This is an opportunity where you can use your experience to own your own business and build a significant asset. Most franchises require you to be always working in the business as an operator; with a Traffic Group franchise, you focus on running the business while your construction team focuses on running the building projects.
‘We have opportunities available all round New Zealand at a variety of investment levels, so contact me today or visit our website to find out more.’
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