Funkhouser Makes Transition from Franchise to Independent Brokerage and Joins The Enterprise Network
In August 2012, Funkhouser Real Estate Group launched their new site on The Enterprise Platform. Joining us from Harrisonburg, VA, Funkhouser has been serving the Shenandoah Valley real estate market for more than 40 years.
With the launch of their new site, Funkhouser and its associates gained exclusive access to the cutting–edge tools and services provided only to members of The Enterprise Network. Incorporating all the latest technologies available on our platform, Funkhouser can now provide a more personalized home search experience for their customers.
Features available on FunkhouserGroup.com include the latest in search functionality from Advanced Search to Site Search to Proximity Search, agent websites, individual property websites, LifeCycle integration, an enhanced sitemap based on findings from our usability studies and much more. Their site is also mobile-enabled, ensuring a consistent experience for their customers no matter the platform.
The most unique aspect about their go-live is the fact that Funkhouser had made the decision to switch from a franchise brokerage to a private firm. Our first client to reclaim their independence, we wanted to take this opportunity to share the process the Funkhouser team went through when making the decision, how they feel this transition will affect both agents and customers, and the feedback they’ve received so far from their internal team.
Below is an interview we conducted with Kemper Funkhouser, Chief Operating Officer and Associate Broker at Funkhouser Real Estate Group, that focuses on these main objectives.
Why did you decide to leave a franchise and become an independent brokerage?
KF: As a franchise, we felt we weren’t getting the tools and local presence that was needed to stay competitive. We were looking for a new way to provide our agents and customers the best technology available in the industry. After researching a variety of vendors, we found Active Website and The Enterprise Network.
But we knew they only worked with independents. Wanting to work with the best tech company out there, it re-affirmed our decision to leave the franchise.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced when making this decision and how did you overcome it?
KF: I thought the biggest obstacle we were going to face was the perception our agents would have about this transition. This is not an easy decision and it requires a lot of effort on everyone’s part. However, this proved to not be an obstacle at all. Our agents were very receptive and supportive of this move.
In order to better assist our agents with this transition, we’ve done on-site training to walk them through the new site and gave them newly branded business cards and tools to clearly communicate this transition to their clients. By doing as much of the legwork up front as we could, we ensured that our agents could hit the ground running following the launch.
What value do you think this transition (from franchise to an independent) brings your customers?
KF: As a member of the local community for more than three decades, no one knows our market better than us. By becoming an independent brokerage, we’re able to make quick decisions based on the needs of our specific customers – without having a corporate company making them for us.
What value do you think the transition brings your agents?
KF: We’re now able to invest our marketing dollars back into our local market more than ever before — which in turn allows us to invest more in our agents as well. By breaking away from a franchise, we’re able to increase our local presence and better position our brand to our specific market needs.
How do you think your new site will benefit your customers?
KF: Our site was developed with the end user’s needs in mind. Keeping usability at the forefront of design, our site provides a streamlined and consistent experience for customers from the corporate site all the way down to the agent sites.
And with access to more search functionality than anyone else in our region, our customers will be able to find their next home easier than ever before. With a wealth of information and tools available, our site is better aligned with the customer’s end goal in mind – to buy or sell their home.
How do you think your new site will benefit your agents?
KF: Again, the tools and functionality available on our site are unmatched in the market and give our agents a huge competitive advantage. Because our agent websites inherit the same core functionality as the brokerage site, they now have access to the latest and greatest real estate technology that would not be possible on their own.
How has the news been received so far by your agents?
KF: We’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response from our agents and everyone is very excited about the future of our company. Together, we’re re-inventing real estate services in the Shenandoah Valley for many years to come.
Why did you choose to join The Enterprise Network?
KF: When making this decision, we wanted to go with a company who could most effectively help take our business to the next level. Active Website not only provides the most advanced technology available in the Real Estate Industry, but access to a network of other brokerages across the country with similar goals and values.
The ability to collaborate with other like-minds in the industry is so valuable to us. It helped make the transition from franchise to independent a much easier decision. We get to maintain our independence and make decisions that we feel are best for our company, but we still get the support of a larger corporation through The Enterprise Network.
For more information, visit Funkhouser online at www.funkhousergroup.com.