If you are considering joining a national real estate brand, you will need to appreciate the differences are between the First National Real Estate network and franchise models.


1.  Recognised trusted Australian brand

In the face of increased competition from large, franchised organisations, the ‘First National Group of Independent Real Estate Agents Limited’ was incorporated as a public company in December 1981. Today, First National Real Estate is Australia’s most advanced real estate network and the trademark ‘Swash’ is the country’s most recognised symbol for real estate. The network now has over 300 offices throughout Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Vanuatu.


2. Supportive team of members

As a real estate ‘Adaptive-Cooperative’ group of members, First National Real Estate takes a more collaborative approach than franchises. The network is managed by its member base, rather than a single person or entity. For instance, McGrath Estate Agents is a franchise group that is listed on the Australia Stock Exchange. Public companies are responsible to shareholders requiring profits, which can produce very different outcomes for stakeholders.

First National Real Estate focuses on the overall community of people that make up its membership – from principals and agents to admin staff and marketing people across all agencies under the brand. Franchise groups tend to focus on the success of an individual agency – frequently by forcing competition between their own franchisees. At First National Real Estate, the members behave like a team that supports each other so everyone shares in the success.

3.  Flat Fee Structure

The key financial aspect about First National Real Estate is the flat fee structure. While franchises are financed through percentage of an agency’s turnover, based fees from sales and property management. First National Real Estate members pay a fixed monthly fee and there’s no fees applied to property management income (or a third office, if you’re building your own local network of offices). This means that as your business grows, you actually pay a lower and lower percentage of your total turnover.

So, First National’s model is particularly attractive to sole agents who are looking to join a membership that is supportive as they grow their business and not looking to optimise corporate profits through franchise fees. With franchises, if your real estate business turnover isn’t considered high enough by the franchisor, you may find a competitor placed in your suburb, competing with you under the same brand! Franchises are often accused of having an ‘every man/woman for him/her self’ type approach, and there’s rarely any cooperation between franchisees.


4. Focus on giving back to the community

Publicly listed and franchise real estate companies are focused on external shareholder returns in the form of profits and dividends. First National Real Estate focuses on giving back to the local communities that their real estate members service. For example, throughout 2019, First National Real Estate donated close to $200,000 in sponsorship funds to support Kids Helpline. Kids Helpline is Australia’s only free, private and confidential 24/7 online and phone counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25.

Other community initiatives include national sponsorship of the Seven News Young Achiever Awards, Variety’s Postie Bike Dash, Ronald McDonald House Charities’ Ride for Sick Kids, and Support for Kids with Disabilities & Financial Disadvantage.


Network support

This is where First National stands out, with comprehensive training and support programmes that put their people first, rather than the network itself. First National members are offered assistance and support every step of the way, even so much as having staff from corporate and/or member offices step in to help other offices get set up, or solve business challenges along the way.

Examples include fitting out an office and implementing the branding; to helping them set up technology and software, or guiding them on staff recruitment and training.

Human resources and training
First National also provides complimentary human resources guidance, something that every business owner needs, risk management strategies and quality assurance guidelines. It is this approach that has earned First National a strong and extremely well-respected reputation for its commitment to excellence and care for its memberse.


Dedicated online marketing support team

First National is progressive in technology platforms and applications. From websites for members, mobile apps, customer relationship management, email marketing, Google and social media, we ensure our online presence and technologies attract the maximum number of vendors, buyers and tenants possible. To support its online goals, First National has a dedicated online service delivery team that interacts directly with member agents each day.


Speak to us today?

Find more information at https://join.firstnational.com.au/partner-with-us and please get in touch with Matthew Harvey, National Business Growth Manager at First National Real Estate on 0429 859 066 or matthew.harvey@firstnational.com.au to discuss more details on joining our network.


The following advice is of a general nature only and intended as a broad guide. The advice should not be regarded as legal, financial or real estate advice. You should make your own inquiries and obtain independent professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances before making any legal, financial or real estate decisions. Click here for full Terms of Use.