There is no stock standard approach when it comes to franchise models and Smartline’s vision is a little different to many other franchises.
The Smartline Group focuses on people – that is, both its franchisees and clients. It provides high level support and opportunities for each franchisee, which not only leads to great business outcomes and job satisfaction, but also helps franchisees get the best result for their clients. Ultimately, the Smartline model, which is all about providing a great service, leads to the best outcome for everyone.
Smartline franchisees are certainly happy with the business, with the company ranked as the best franchise in the Topfranchise Awards for eight consecutive years.
The Topfranchise Awards recognise best practise within the franchising sector, as rated by the franchisees. Franchisors are ranked across six categories – brand, expansion, lifestyle, marketing, passion and support. This year, Smartline achieved a ranking of first in marketing, passion and lifestyle and second for business expansion. Coming in second overall, Smartline also notched up three points in its rating score for ‘overall satisfaction’ compared to last year.
“Our franchisees know that we are passionate about the business,” says Smartline CEO, Ian Winn. “We do everything with enthusiasm and a desire for success.”
Why does Smartline consistently rate so highly amongst its franchisees?
“The company’s end goal is aligned to that of our franchisees – we want to provide an outstanding personalised service to clients,” says Winn.
“Our franchisees always have their clients as their number one priority. In the same way, our franchisees are the number one priority for the Smartline management team. The first rate support franchisees receive means they can focus on their business and their clients.
“Franchisees also like the freedom we offer – we allow them to develop their own business models and go at their own pace. As long as they are providing a great service, the rest is up to them. This really separates us from large franchise systems.”
Smartline’s exceptional support services are geared towards helping each business be successful, whether they are new to the industry or have been part of the team for years.
There is a comprehensive support program for all new franchisees, which goes for two years, and gives newbies the best chance to build their business. It includes a dedicated ‘Onboarding Manager’ to guide new franchisees through the process of becoming a fully trained and qualified broker, and a five day induction to get them familiar with Smartline systems and proprietary software.
On an ongoing basis, a personal business coach helps franchisees create a business plan specifically designed around reaching their own goals. They also have access to an experienced mentor, who can provide practical guidance on loan writing and dealing with clients.
Essentially, the Smartline Group office is available at all times for advice, marketing and IT support, so franchisees can concentrate on winning clients and building their business. It’s clearly no accident that Smartline has been recognised at the Topfranchise Awards nine years in a row.
Smartline welcomes enquiries from anyone considering a career in the mortgage broking industry, whether or not they have prior financial services experience. If a new franchisee has the drive and desire to make a success of their business, then Smartline has the resources to help make that possible.
“When you focus on service, everything else – such as business growth and satisfaction – tends to follow,” says Winn. “Our vision is implemented from the top down. When we look after our franchisees, they look after the clients. I believe that’s why we continue to do well.”