Six months after launching its Inclusive Ownership Program, Coldwell Banker welcomed on Tuesday the first three franchisees to complete the rigorous program aimed at increasing the representation of minority, women, LGBTQ+ and veteran entrepreneurs.
Tina Marie and Rich Hernandez of Coldwell Banker Omni Group in Santa Ana, Califonia; Amber Schuppan of Coldwell Banker Action Holdings in Grand Island, Nebraska; and Becky McBride of Coldwell Banker Northland in Flagstaff, Arizona, all opened their new franchises this week.
“I am extremely excited to welcome three new brokerages to the Coldwell Banker brand,” Coldwell Banker President and CEO Ryan Gorman said in a press release. “We are at a crucial moment where it is no longer enough to have conversations about diversity, and brands like Coldwell Banker must act.”
“When we increase diversity among our broker-owners and focus on a culture of inclusion brokerages will better serve groups that are traditionally underrepresented as home and property owners,” he added. “Coldwell Banker can help build wealth for diverse communities and promote equal opportunity for all.”
The franchisees will receive multiple financial and educational benefits, including waived initial franchise fees, royalty fee rebates, a maximum of $100,000 in funding alongside continued education and mentorship. Furthermore, they’ll receive membership and conference registration for an industry partner group of choice, such as the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals and the Asian Real Estate Association of America.
“The Omni Group has helped build generational wealth for the Latino community in Orange County for many years,” broker-owner Tina Marie Hernandez said. “We’re thrilled to be a part of Coldwell Banker because the Latino community deserves to have a powerful brand with luxury offerings behind their real estate transactions.”
“Coldwell Banker’s Inclusive Ownership program supported us so we could do everything right as soon as we affiliated with the brand,” broker-owner and fair housing advocate Amber Schuppan added. “Through this program we’ve been able to expand our office, attract agents with area expertise and train our recruits well.”
“As our company has expanded throughout Northern Arizona, I knew it was time to expand into the commercial real estate sector, utilizing the resources of the Coldwell Banker Commercial brand,” concluded Becky McBride, who is now the first woman Coldwell Banker broker-owner in Arizona. ” The technology, marketing support and education from the Coldwell Banker Commercial brand is amazing and will have an enormous impact on our successes.”
In an interview with Inman, Gorman said that, since February, Coldwell Banker has received hundreds of inquiries from established and aspiring brokers, who have completed different stages of the program, including intensive individual and group training.
“The part I’m most excited about is the education and mentorship component,” Gorman said. “We partner each individual with three different people, including me, and I’m loving the conversations thus far, especially about coaching and accountability.”
“The other [mentor] is a leader from our own brokerage operations, and finally, we have a franchise leader who is a franchisee like them who’s found a way to get the greatest value from the Coldwell Banker platform,” he added.
After the individual and group sessions, Gorman said franchisee hopefuls presented their business plans and completed the franchise disclosure document process, which includes providing biographical information, a real estate resumé, licensure, and personal and business finances.
Once approved, Coldwell Banker helps franchisees with the final steps, which includes filing final paperwork, onboarding agents and preparing for the launch.
“Then we’re quietly in the background for a couple of months to plan the announcement with them to make sure it’s exciting for everyone involved,” Gorman said. “We want to make sure they get a lot of attention so they can grow their business from the moment they announce it.”
Gorman said more franchisees will be announced before the end of the year, and he’s expecting a robust 2021.
“They’re the first three of many, but they were among the strongest candidates with well-developed business plans to be able to move quickly through the process and hit the ground running,” he said. “Each of them are in a different place in their evolution and business plan, but their plans are all strong and executable.”
“I expect next year to be even stronger,” he concluded. “Obviously, there are macro-economics to take into account, but I think what’s happened thus far is that in a more uncertain time, a lot of individuals have felt the need to reach out to an organization like ours that’s not only survived but thrived, in prior challenging times.”