The Avendelle Franchise concept was born out of a need in the senior care market. The demand and need for senior services and facilities had grown at lightning rates over the past decade and looked to continue expanding at breakneck speeds in the coming 20 years. With this growth, most organizations looking to address the market demand had been opening large scale senior facility complexes such as Brookdale and Sunrise Senior Living which consisted of hundreds of rooms in hotel-like complexes. Although these monster facilities could offer incredible amenities and experiences, some of the residents felt lost and uncomfortable in these types of residences. The Avendelle model is unique and fit a specialized space in the service segment in that the concept is designed to provide senior care services from a converted residential property. This new approach to the senior services market was cozy, small and provided highly focused levels of care.
The original business model was founded in 2005 when Ms. Esther Cromwell, a veteran nurse and healthcare provider, realized the opportunity to provide boutique senior care services from residential property locations. The original homes were located in upscale, safe neighborhoods and operated under the brand of “The Haven” with several homes located in Raleigh, North Carolina. Mr. Terry Hubbard joined the brand as a partner soon after and together the partners had a vision for expanding into new markets through both company owned growth and franchising.
The model was simple and well-defined in that the facility was ideally a single level residential home that was a mid-range value property with 3 bedrooms with a property value of $250,000 to $350,000 and needed some essential leasehold improvements to install commercial sprinkler systems, widen doorways and make the facility wheelchair and ADA compliant. The business is based on having 6 residents in most states, but some areas allow for an 8 resident location which makes the financials of the model even more appealing. Residents at Avendelle homes are treated with private rooms in most cases or have the option of renting a couples room for two people, the homes also feature three to one care to residents. The model was working, the market was growing and the concept seemed to be an excellent fit for franchise development.
In 2014, the Avendelle Assisted Living team approached Franchise Marketing Systems to design and implement a franchise expansion model. The concept was relatively unique and hadn’t been franchised before, so there was interesting dialogue that surrounded the concept of how to franchise the senior care business. It was clear to the Franchise Marketing Systems team that several key aspects to the Avendelle model were making the model not only work well, but also duplicate efficiently. First, the model was being marketed consistently and effectively to families and new residents, every home was full within 90 days of opening the location. Second, the units were being operated efficiently, good systems, technology and operating controls allowed the business model to operate with onsite managers in each location. And Third, the concept had a great deal of “residual” to it as the residents and families were very happy with the service and experience they received with Avendelle. Once in the homes, people stayed and families were happily paying the bill.
Through continued dialogue and development, the team of franchise consultants from Franchise Marketing Systems developed franchise operations manuals, franchise training programs and documentation needed to be able to teach the concept to new franchise investors. These programs would provide franchisees with the tools and documentation needed to hire staff and build an Avendelle senior care franchise in their own market in a short time period. Business plans and financial modeling tools were developed to provide franchisees with the resources needed to raise capital and plan for their growth. What was discovered by Franchise Marketing Systems team of consultants was that the concept could be funded rather easily when certified as an SBA approved franchise. Due to the fact that the Avendelle’s largest portion of the initial investment was a residential property, it was a simple task to collateralize the franchise loan.
Franchise Marketing Systems team of consultants then provided the tools, processes and franchise development support needed to take the brand to market, today, Avendelle boasts over 20 units in three different states. The model is on a path to define this market segment of residential senior care facilities and with impending market growth that seems impossible to saturate, the upside is significant.
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