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Over the past four decades, Neighborly has developed a legacy of leadership in both home services and franchising.
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Over the past four decades, Neighborly has developed a legacy of leadership in both home services and franchising. With 28 brands, more than 4,500 franchises, and more than 1,000 associates worldwide, we truly have a global community that enriches people’s lives by delivering amazing experiences.
However, it is not just the reliability of processes and systems developed over the past 40 years that make for such dynamic franchise growth and brand recognition. Experience taught us that success comes from evolution and change, which is especially important in franchising.
Each new year brings new challenges and new growth opportunities. While experience gained along the way helps you better manage that growth, it doesn’t mean you’ll be fully prepared for every challenge.
TACKLING AN UNKNOWN FUTURE
Last year confirmed that we never know for certain what the future holds. Despite having repeatedly proven the essential nature of our family of brands in past economic turmoil, the onslaught of a global pandemic was definitely not something we – or any business, for that matter – were prepared for.
Now, over a year since the first COVID-19 shutdown, the home services industry has again proven itself recession-resistant. While brick- and-mortar-reliant businesses were forced to close – some of them for good – the need for plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, and other trades professionals never went away.
Business even spiked as people used their homes significantly more while sheltering in place. In turn, inquiries into home services franchising steadily rose, solidifying the industry as one of the most attractive franchise sectors in today’s new normal.
KEEPING UP WITH THE CUSTOMER
Nonetheless, while being essential means constant consumer demand for the types of services our brands provide, consumer preferences still change. And at Neighborly, with one of our key organizational values revolving around customer focus, we recognized that it was critical to keep the Neighborly experience as positive as possible for both our customers and our franchise owners despite marketplace circumstances.
In the last year, we transformed our operations in a number of ways. We introduced new safety protocols to keep both service professionals and homeowners safe; we added masks and gloves to uniforms, launched contactless payment and paperwork, virtual estimates, and more.
As we continued expanding our franchise network, we held “Meet the Team” sessions online, allowing teleworking prospects to still get the full Neighborly experience from our development and operations teams. All the while, we continued to Own The HomeTM with Neighborly.com by connecting homeowners in need of service with the Neighborly franchise nearest them, thus making the process easier for customers and more profitable for franchise owners.
By the close of 2020, Neighborly awarded nearly 400 new franchise agreements. Brand legacy and industry resilience may have played factors in this impressive growth, but the key ingredient to our success was our willingness to adapt. The traditions we were founded on are still present, yet our modern brand reflects the franchise owners and their customers of today.
Words by Brad Stevenson, chief development officer for Neighborly.
AT A GLANCE
Number of franchised outlets: 4,500+
Locations of units: United States, Canada, Australia, Austria, Germany, Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom
Investment range: Varies by brand
Minimum required capital: Varies by brand
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