The Rawson Property Group is well known for its support of traditional real estate doing things differently. This year, their franchisees have added their voice to that movement by electing their very first, female National Franchise EXCO Chair.
Lizette Joubert, owner and operator of the Rawson Rentals, Commercial and Residential franchises in Paarl, will lead the advisory body in its mandate to represent the interests of Rawson franchisees to the franchisor. She stands at the helm of a team of 10 elected (and several co-opted) franchisee members, acting in an advisory capacity to ensure the Group’s strategies, policies and initiatives to promote the interests of everyone involved.
“I feel very fortunate to be in a position to be able to represent the franchisees and their businesses,” says Joubert, who served on the National Franchise EXCO for 3 years preceding her election to the Chair. “I have a long history in business, and own a rental, commercial and residential franchise, myself. That first-hand experience is invaluable, and makes me really confident that I can make a meaningful contribution to the Group on behalf of franchisees across the country.”
The National Franchise EXCO plays an important role in information sharing and dispute resolution within the Rawson Property Group, but the committee is far more than just a mouthpiece for Rawson franchisees. Joubert says they also play a pivotal part in the development of cutting-edge tools and systems that keep the Group’s franchises ahead of the industry curve.
“As a Group, we’re very aware that real estate agents can’t operate the same way they used to ten years ago,” she says. “To be relevant and competitive in today’s market, we need to be able to deliver more value more effectively than ever before. As such, technology has become an essential part of our professional toolset, and Rawson is constantly improving our internal tools to enable our franchises to field truly tech-enabled agents.”
To ensure franchise interests and operational challenges are fully supported by these tools and systems, Joubert says National Franchise EXCO members are frequently called on to test new projects and systems in their own franchises before national roll-outs. This, she explains, not only helps iron out any early issues, but also gives National Franchise EXCO members useful insights to help encourage adoption amongst the rest of the franchises.
“There can be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to adopting new tools and technology,” says Joubert. “It’s a lot easier for us to help other franchisees see the benefits of putting in the effort when we have first-hand experience of the value the tools deliver. Of course, we can’t force anyone to make use of the tools available to them, but we play an active role in encouraging adoption, and helping franchisees support their agents through the learning process.”
One particularly exciting release is the Brand’s new CRM system, known as Rawson Engage, which launched to franchises late last year.
“Rawson Engage is like a really amazing personal assistant that helps us stay on top of the human side of our industry – keeping in touch with clients, delivering ongoing value, and building lasting relationships,” says Joubert. “It’s a replacement for that old birthday calendar, and that diary full of notes and call reminders – a new tool to help us deliver traditional customer service with a modern twist!”
It’s not just agents and clients that Joubert hopes to connect, however. One of her main goals as National Franchise EXCO Chair is to get Rawson franchisees interacting with each other on a more regular basis.
“We’re all part of the same team and we face the same business challenges,” she says. “That presents an amazing opportunity for us to learn from each other’s experiences, and benefit from each other’s strengths. We’re currently putting together proposals for small but regular franchisee meet-ups, and I’m really excited to help cultivate that team spirit as National Franchise EXCO Chair.”
As for her own offices – serving the Paarl, Paarl East, Val de Vie and Pearl Valley communities – Joubert says her new appointment should only reinforce their existing reputation for trustworthy, professional service.
“I hope that in representing the brand, I can give our communities a glimpse of the people behind the yellow logo, and show them that we really do have their best interests at heart,” she says.