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opportunity: home & building


Compass Homes offers new franchisees concrete benefits

Points of difference

In recent years, Garry has handed over CEO responsibilities to Bronwyn Bindon, who manages two branches herself and has developed the franchise system, while Yolande is Canterbury General Manager. With 25 years in the home building industry, and having been a franchisee with other home building groups herself, Yolande understands exactly what franchisees need to create a solid, sustainable business of their own. Yolande Mintrom


o franchisor can expect their new franchisee to hit the ground running when they’re carrying the financial burden of a high initial fee. ‘That’s why ours is at the lower end – just $50,000 to be in business with one of the country’s most respected housing groups,’ explains Yolande Mintrom of Compass Homes. The New Zealand-owned company has grown rapidly in recent years, with 10 offices around the country and opportunities for many more. Founded 15 years ago in Hamilton by experienced builder Garry Shuttleworth and then business partner John Jarvis, Compass Homes was created to meet expectations of the lower end of the market where price is a driving factor. By value-engineering the way a house is designed and built, they were able to achieve significant cost savings without compromising quality, style, liveability or road appeal. Their commitment to positioning for the sun, to provide heating cost savings and other benefits, inspired them to name their business Compass Homes. ‘One of the key components that sets Compass Homes apart from other building companies is our ability to build to any budget, from first home buyers through to high-end,’ says Yolande. ‘This enables us to assist anybody looking to build.’

‘Our franchise fee covers all necessary business mentoring, operational, HR, training, marketing and customer support collateral, as well as access to long-established strategic alliances that enable franchisees to negotiate great deals for their customers.’ she says. ‘Compass Homes also offers critical points of difference such as our online project management programme, which not only helps franchisees manage timelines but also allows their customers to follow building progress. This cutting-edge technology offers timetable information and photos that are automatically emailed to them as building continues as well as immediate notification of any queries or issues.’

What you see is what you get

‘As a former franchisee of home building groups myself, I know the importance of a show home,’ says Yolande. ‘It’s easily the best form of promotion – but a common complaint about show homes is they are better built, better finished and better fitted out than the actual build. A typical example of this is when a home buyer with a fixed-priced contract finds architraves are less decorative or of poorer quality than in the show home, or they are told they can have the same architraves as the show home but at extra cost. Well, with Compass Homes, what a potential customer sees is what they will get in their new home. ‘That matters. Before joining Compass Homes in 2011, I spent time searching building group customer feedback online. The one exception to negative comments was Compass Homes, which has always had a high standard of ethics, values and customer service. It’s these standards that are attractive to people planning to build their first home, and we want franchisees who want to bring that to their own area. Aside from engineering factors and our other competitive benefits, it’s the honesty of our dealings with customers, particularly those planning to build their first home, which makes a real difference.’ So what sort of people make great Compass Homes franchisees? According to Yolande, ‘As much as we’d love to find an all-in-one builder, accountant and super salesman, we’re happy to hear from experienced business people advertiser info from all sorts of backgrounds as long as they have a strong track Compass Homes record in sales and the skills to manage on-staff and contract Contact tradies. Bronwyn Bindon ‘If that’s you, contact Bronwyn and get on the right course with Compass Homes.’ – PUTTING PEOPLE IN BUSINESS

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