Alternative to real estate investing: Franchising

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Want to diversify your portfolio? Why not add a unique franchise in an emerging market?

Willowbrae Academy has its sights set on becoming the premier childcare brand in Canada, and it’s tapping investors – with the promise of a solid investment -- to help with that plan.

“It’s an emerging market, definitely. There is no real predominant brand in North America and I truly believe that we’ll be that brand with respect to childcare,” Wayne Cochrane, president & CEO of Willowbrae Academy Corporate, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “Everyone inherently understands there is demand and it’s a continuing renewal of supply.”

As of this writing, Willowbrae has sold 20 franchises, with another currently about to close.
Franchising is a good opportunity for investors hoping to work with an established brand.

“It’s a franchise. The predictability is fairly high; the probability of success is high when you’re involved in any brand that is doing franchising. Our model is owner, non-operator, so we help investors hire a good director,” Cochrane said. “There’s some quality of life with the investment.”
The total initial investment is $700,000-$950,000, including $250,000 to $500,000 in liquid assets and a $50,000 franchise fee

Ideal investors are those who want an investment that’s that’s outside the traditional franchises of food and beverage and those with good business or entrepreneurial skills, according to Cochrane.

To help investors, Willowbrae has built a suite of tools to help them get their franchise off the ground and to keep it running.

“Almost always, the revenue line will continue to grow until business is at maturity. Which is unique in our industry. The revenue line will continue to grow to different degrees, depending on market,” Cochrane said. “The industry we’re in, there’s really a great opportunity to get in. It’s an emerging market, we feel that we’ll be the predominant brand in North America in our space. It’s a great time to get in early.”

To learn more, click here.

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  • by Scott 2016-12-30 7:06:04 AM

    Interesting. I had wondered why real estate investment trusts were the only "new" thing to pop up in this area for the last decade or two.

    I do have one suggestion - why not franchise nursing homes? There will be HUGE demand there with our aging population.

    My only concern with this franchise is the price. It's really high for a franchise that has not been proven in Canada yet. Out of my reach.

    Best of luck!

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