The changing real estate market in the U.S. and around the world has created opportunities and new markets within real estate. One of those market segments is in the estate planning business, which is driven by two global market factors, real estate market fluctuation and the aging population demographic. With the confluence of these two market trends, the estate planning market has grown significantly. With increasing demand for this unique market segment has come the need for professional organizations who specialize in managing and supporting estate sales. Grasons Estate Sales was created in 2013 by Mrs. Simone Kelly, who after a successful career in residential real estate saw this growing need for estate sales management. The Grasons business model was relatively simple, which created a scalable model, but also required intense, focused commitment from the onsite staff. The typical transaction involved either a death in the family, a serious family transition or other life-changing event. Onsite service providers were not only tasked with managing the tangible responsibilities of selling all of the homeowners goods and personal items, but also in keeping a potentially emotional situation calm and manageable for the client.
After two years of managing the business and seeing continuous growth in Southern California, it became clear that the opportunity for broader scale was there and Simone decided to franchise the Grasons model in order to expand into more markets while maintaining consistent service quality and standards. In 2015, Simone hired Franchise Marketing Systems to develop the Grasons model as a franchise. Franchise Marketing Systems worked closely with Mrs. Kelly and her team to understand the industry and know the estate sales business in order to provide qualified guidance as to how best to go to market and duplicate the success she had in Southern California. The first stage of franchising the estate sales business model was to define the financial requirements to open a new franchise and what the resulting potential return could be for a franchisee. An Item 19 was developed in conjunction with the Franchise Disclosure Document in accordance with FTC guidelines. Grasons retained the legal support of Shipe Dosik law and had the franchise registered in California and other states where the brand had immediate interest. Franchise Marketing Systems developed the operations, training and program documents that were needed to teach and train the processes inherent in operating the Grasons franchise model. There were intricate aspects to how Grasons interacted with customers, created trust and completed successful estate sales, this all needed to be documented and designed in order to teach a new franchisee how to do this same work effectively. The marketing and business development model for the estate sales franchise was remarkably effective in generating leads and new business, this part of the model had to be strictly enforced and documented so that franchisees could have the same revenue growth that corporate had experienced. Franchise Marketing Systems then built the franchise brochures, franchise website, franchise intranet and programming needed for Grasons to market and sell the franchise model.
Ms. Kelly was extremely effective in new franchise recruitment almost immediately upon launching the concept. In only two years, she was able to open 19 locations across the United States with very little marketing or franchise advertising spend. The estate sales concept had a multitude of very appealing aspects, it could be operated from home providing a lifestyle and flexibility that most businesses could not offer. The estate sales industry was growing rapidly and the need for professional, consistent service providers was becoming ever more evident in most areas making the revenue ramp up for early franchisees quick, obvious and great validation for the franchise offering overall. Early adopters become great references and the system caught on quickly. As the network expanded, so too did strategic opportunities for the brand to market to larger opportunities who were interested in a national brand that could handle all estate sales needs in a given region or nationally. Brand recognition, market awareness and industry connections between the franchisees and leadership behind Grasons all lead to greater opportunities for each franchisee involved in the system.
With solid strategic moves and consistent service performance, Grasons is in a strong position to take a leadership role in the entire industry for estate planning services.
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FMS is a team of expert franchise consulting professionals based in Canada that provides solutions for franchise development, franchise consultation, and expansion of businesses globally.