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Need to sell? Jim's the one

With Trish Mewett & Jamie Byard, Jim's Real Estate

We all know Jim’s Mowing – the man with a beard wearing a hat. Well, Jim’s Mowing is in fact part of the larger Jim’s Group. With more than 50 different services such as carpet cleaning, bookkeeping, removals, roofing restoration and building inspections, Jim’s has now moved into real estate. This extension into real estate seems like a natural progression.

Trish Mewett, the Divisional Franchisor for the newest franchisee in the family ‘Jim’s Real Estate’ says “Jim's Group has been looking at real estate for quite a while. It was something that Jim Penman had looked at several times, but the decision had been made to not proceed. In more recent times though, it's become quite clear that as Jim's Group has started to move into other professional services and professional areas like finance and conveyancing, it stands to reason that property would be the next thing that he would probably look at."

The timing finally seemed right, so Jim’s Real Estate launched in Victoria last year and there are plans to expand to other states soon. The company brings all their experience as one of the most successful franchises in Australia to the real estate space.

Jamie Byard, the Regional Franchisor for Jim’s Real Estate says, “Jim’s Group is probably one of the most underestimated businesses in Australia, to be quite honest. I'm quite often asked how big is Jim's Group 'cause people just think about mowing and cleaning. Well, the simple fact is this: Jim's Group is the world's largest domestic service provider. In the world, no one living comes close. The only closest franchise system in Australia would be Australia Post.”

He adds, “There's near on 4,000 franchisees across four countries. If we're talking about how many services we provide - we receive about 12,000 calls to our call centre each week. We do about 800,000 per year."

It is a business that knows how to look after customers. The national call centre, where every call to every service is directed, is actually over staffed. Jamie explains, “Jim's theory on that is, ‘If I've got extra staff, no one's ever gonna have to wait on the phone’. Now, if you think about a traditional call centre, it's cut down to the bone. There's the least amount of people, and if you've gotta hold five minutes, so be it. But, we expect our phone calls to be answered within 10 seconds. If not, we're putting on extra staff over that period."

So taking all the customer service experience in associated services and positioning itself as a full-service agency, Jim’s Real Estate is interested in agents who are committed to meeting the needs of customers. Trish says, “I think it's become very clear for us over the journey over the last six to eight months, that we are a real estate company wanting to bring in some of those old fashioned values. So for us, we are looking for the type of person who believes in delivering excellent customer service, that wants to engage with their client, wants to build their relationships. That purpose is based around the fact that we believe that true happiness comes from helping others."

Coming from within the Jim's Group for 15 years, Jamie says, “Franchisees are running and managing their own business. They are negotiating their own commissions. They're keeping 100% of the money that they negotiate on the sale. It stays with them, and they pay a fixed flat monthly fee to access everything they need, all their systems, processes, branding."

Jamie believes that the wide range of services within the Jim's network gives real estate agents within the group an advantage. He says, “When a person lists with us, what we call an ‘open for inspection voucher’ is provided to the client. They get four of these, and they can use them how they need to. So, they may choose to get the person in to mow their lawns for them that morning. They may choose the person to come in and clean the house for them before the open for inspection. That's completely up to them and it's completely up to the franchisee to negotiate the value of that. As the franchisee or the business owner, it is a cost borne by you, but if you consider the very small cost involved in that versus getting the listing over the line in the first place, it's a great value proposition."

Further leads and network opportunities abound by being part of such a large group. While agents will of course have to pound the pavement, Jamie says, “Jim's Group has about 4,000 franchisees in it. Now, each one of those franchisees has their own network of clients themselves, and nearly every one of those is in a domestic environment. One of our franchisees last week went to three separate franchise meetings for three separate divisions just in his local area. So, he went and met with the cleaning franchisees in their local area and there's 20- odd of those and so he was able to network with those 20 people, have a chat with all them, explain what he can do. That gives him an opportunity to network with those 20 people, and then each one of their clients on top of that. He went to a mowing one as well. I think there were 25 people in that group, and he even went to a skip bins meeting later in the week. I'm sure people hadn't heard about Jim's Skip Bins either."

So look out for the man with a beard, wearing a hat – coming near you soon!  


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